More often than not, I’m certain that something is very, very wrong with me. I’m certain I’m dying, the question is simply: of what?
The first time I used a tampon at 14, I convinced myself I had toxic shock syndrome and was slowly dying. There was no cure (there definitely is a cure) and a painful, brutal death was simply inevitable. It was all very sad and as much as I wanted to tell my family, I just couldn’t bear the pain they would feel at losing their daughter to a tampon.
When I eventually broke the news to my mum, she laughed at me and told me that a vague headache and an upset tummy probably weren’t symptoms of a rare disease, and were far more likely to be related to the anxiety I was experiencing about my imminent death.
At first I was annoyed by her rudeness, but it didn’t take long for me to feel better.
Ever since, I’ve had bouts of being convinced that the slightest abnormality is an indicator of a deadly disease. Last week, I was having one of those bouts.
For a while now, I’ve had what I like to call a ‘fat dimple’ in my left leg. It’s not cellulite (I’ve got that too), but an actual dent that looks like someone has stapled the side of my thigh. I’ve been aware of it, but not too worried, until something caught my attention. Did you know that a dent in your breast can be a symptom of breast cancer?
If a dent in your breast can be a problem, surely a dent in your thigh can be? Right??
So, yet again, I spent several days of my finite life sure that I was dying. By this point, I thought, it’s probably too late. I’ve let it go for so long, naively thinking my ‘fat dimple’ was just a side effect of putting on weight around the hips and thighs, rather than the very serious symptom it obviously is.
On Friday, I went to my doctor about it. I awkwardly brought up that I had a weird dent in my thigh, and I’d like her to have a look at it and tell me whether it was an indicator that something was wrong.
She had a close look and started touching the area. ‘There’s a lot of fat…’ she said.