My sick family

So my sister recently blogged about how she is turning into a hypochondriac….like my dad. You can read it here:

But while her self awareness is impressive, I don’t think she quite understands how it feels to be related to someone with her condition.

Here I am, already used to the calls from dad, requiring urgent medical care or at least a quick consult for the superbug he just acquired. His toe’s are numb, there is a twinge in his back, and why does THIS look like THIS???

He once opened a bag of undershirts, just bought from the store, and put one on.  At the end of the day, he noticed some dead type of insect stuck to the T-shirt. As I remember, it was maybe a day or so later, he found some sort of red rash on his skin, and immediately linked it with this mystery insect. He then did some research on where the T-shirts were packaged and came to the conclusion that he had contracted Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease spread by the bite of sandflies. Clearly there was a hostage sandfly packaged in his T-shirts, just waiting to bite and infect the first person to open them. He went to the doctor, heart in mouth, and probably a little proud of himself for the brilliant diagnosis.

He felt a bit sheepish I believe, on his way OUT of the office.

I love my dad, and I truly love these moments as well. He is a great sport, and will laugh at himself the hardest of all.

the real deal, leishmaniasis...courtesy of wikipedia

the real deal, leishmaniasis…courtesy of wikipedia

Dad is a great believer in popping pills, for anything and everything. He WILL get sick if you happen to visit him and then mention feeling ill at anytime afterwards. His own secretary years ago wanted to test his sensitivity to the powers of suggestion. He came to work in PERFECT health one day, and after she looked at him with concern, telling him he looked a bit under the weather…. he actually felt horrible within mere hours and had to go home and rest.

So, I’m used to this from dad. For fathers day, I found myself scanning the drug aisle at Target, looking for any bright new bottles of special supplements that he might not have….

But now, for my sister to follow in his footsteps….. We are supposed to make fun of him together! I can’t do this alone!!!

I didn’t notice it starting with her, I don’t know how. I do remember some phone calls, but to be fair, I’ve always had her pegged as pretty stable so I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt. Even when she started going to the doctor, the minute clinic….. and plugging way to many things into WebMD. Her eagerness to need antibiotics for something, anything!…. should have tipped me off, but didn’t.

This last call though….. I can’t make any more excuses for her.

A bone, part of her own jaw, noticed for the first time and panic quickly follows. A call to me, just to inform me about her probable mouth cancer or at the very least, her abscessed tooth.  After her visit to the dentist, we talk. Um…it’s not cancer. It’s……my mouth.

Long pause.


Guess dad isn’t the only one getting bright colored pill bottles for Christmas this year.


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