published Friday, December 9th, 2011

Leber: Stressing over aches makes me a pain in the neck -- sorry

Being sick is no fun. I haven't even been sick, really. I've just been feeling ... off. Out of whack. Uncomfortable. Icky, if you will.

I need a tune-up.

Feeling under the weather screws up my life, and I do not appreciate it. I had to take a day off from work. I haven't had the energy to clean my apartment. I missed the chamber music concert I wanted to go to because putting on actual clothing and driving 10 blocks seemed like too much of a chore.

Not feeling up to snuff (what is "snuff" anyway?) also makes me a less-than-ideal girlfriend. More specifically, I'm a huge pain in the neck. I get cranky and pessimistic. I don't want to do anything, even things I should want to do, like getting a Christmas tree. We have the stand, the ornaments, the lights, even the fake snow blanket thing to put around the base. Now we just need the actual tree.

Maybe tomorrow, if I feel up to it. I want to, but I probably won't.

You see what I mean? Cranky. Pessimistic. Grouchy. Not my usual cheerful, sunshiny self.

(Yes, anonymous person who consistently sends clippings criticizing my sentence structure, I know that's not a proper sentence; I'm writing to mimic colloquial tones. Also, what's your problem with my hat?)

Again, I've just proved my point. I'm grouchy, grumpy and snappish. Truly, I'm a terrible patient. And my poor partner bears the brunt of it, in more ways than one. Suffice it to say, I'm not the most affectionate lady right now.

"Get off of me," I groused the other night as he attempted to offer a comforting embrace as we settled into bed. "You weigh a ton."

For the record, he does not weigh a ton.

I'm also a total stress bug about my health. I worry that every ache, spot, twinge or bump is a sign of terminal illness.

"You're fine," a doctor told me recently, in regard to another freak-out. "That's the exact same thing we noted a year ago. There's no change. It's perfectly normal."

"What do you know?" I retorted. "Do an ultrasound."

He was right.

Despite the fact that I can attribute my current state of feeling blah to a sudden change in diet and an increase of stress, I still have trouble letting go of my inherent fear.

Ridiculous. I don't gamble, enter contests or play the lottery because I figure there's not much chance of winning, but I somehow think that the most infinitesimal, nearly non-existent statistical anomaly is going to work against me.

The cruelest irony -- and I generally appreciate irony, even the cruel kind -- is that my stress makes me feel worse. I literally worry myself sick.

Don't I sound like a catch right now? Aren't you all just so jealous of my man? Don't-cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me?

All right, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to snap out of it. Really, I am. Because I need to feel better, and at this point, I think I'm the only one who can make that happen. Because my sympathetic boyfriend is wonderful, but I shouldn't take advantage of his sympathies unless I really need them. Because Joe and I promised each other we'd have a fun, festive holiday season. There are things we want to do.

Excuse me, now. I'm going to go buy my Christmas tree.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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Carl said...

May I join your support group? I have a minor ailment I'm convinced is a mutant strain of a lethal virus that has leapt upon me in some public space. Its' intent is to prevent me from enjoying this season and it's pretty well succeeding. Now I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired so I think I'll move along with my holiday plans. Please join me, together as a tiny village of neurotic sufferers we can do it!

December 9, 2011 at 10 a.m.
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