Home - Top Row


Home - Bottom Row

Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« In which I don't bother coming up with a conclusion. | Main | Pretty Rambo: love him at your own risk. »

If it's not one thing, it's your mother.

Diagnose me, Internet: for the past three days I have had a blinding headache, my entire body aches, I am mildly queasy, and if I walk more than a few blocks I feel as if I should just lie down in the gutter forever. My guesses are hanta virus, or imminent death. Any other ideas?

Speaking of hypochondria, my husband spent last weekend obsessing over a mole that had suddenly sprouted on his wrist. The mole was all the things they say moles should never be: irregularly shaped, dark, raised, shiny, bumpy, mole-y. We enjoyed 48 hours of Scott peering at his wrist and whispering “Oh god oh god oh god.” Of looking at pictures of moles online and predicting the grim outcome of the biopsy and why didn’t he have life insurance and etc. So this week he went to the dermatologist, who diagnosed him with…

… a scab.

Yes. A scab. The mole that had suddenly appeared was a CUT that suddenly SCABBED. And oh, how I laughed. I laughed and laughed. There may have been some pointing. I’m not a nice person. I am now calling him Scabbers.

(My husband agreed to let me share this story on one condition: that I mention how, by the end of the weekend, he told me he thought the Cancerous Mole was getting smaller, and I told him that he was insane, that he was seeing things because he was so afraid of going to the doctor. So. But still. A scab! Laugh! Laugh and point!)

Speaking of words that begin with “scab,” my son’s itchiness has also been diagnosed. The kid has scabies. It took three doctors to figure this out. As I had joked, he was in fact being eaten alive by microscopic vermin. For MONTHS. One application of scabicidal ointment later, my son’s skin is smooth and clear. I shared this news with my mother, who shouted, “He has SCABBIES? I don’t understand! How did he get SCABBIES?” and I'd like to say that I told her he caught them from his father, but I wasn't clever enough, probably because of the parasite that’s eating my brain.

Reader Comments (64)

can you actually get a diagnosis for hypochondria (and please don't pick on my misspelling again - i'm doing this one-handed!)?

i found your blog thanks to that nyt piece and now look forward to noontime pumping, because i can close my door and read your archived posts. there's a danger in this, though. you are so goddam funny that in the past week i have overpumped TWICE! so when i say i wet my pants laughing at your blog, that's no hyperbole, no sirry.
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Diagnosis: you are pregnant.
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Jesus Christ! Not pregnant! If I was I sure as hell wouldn't be asking the Internet to tell me so.

March 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Diagnosis: Bile.Treatment: Leeches.Fee: Crown jewels.
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commentersavtadotty
Headache, body ache, over-tired....Um... Parenthood?

LOVE your blog.
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterlab
How about lyme disease?
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
I have all those same symptoms--but then I hate my job. Today the yellow makeup I put on my dark eye rings didn't even cover them. If I had partied the night before I could take satisfaction in my stupor. But no, I stayed up late trying to wash extra thermals for my husband to have some for work today. God, I need Spring so I can get outside!
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
my friend says she caught scabies from wearing a short skirt in a cab. i remember that she hauled her couch onto the balcony in the middle of winter to try and freeze them out of there.i am itchy right now from this dang fifth disease rash. i need an oatmeal bath, pdq.
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered Commenterdomin8trix
I not only laughed out loud at your piece, I wound up sending a note to Jessica Rothman for her comment: "I'm not a hanta, I'm a gatheruh!" Then I sent out eMails telling 3 other people about *her* webSite. Now, I have to send out more eMails telling other people about YOURS. Eghad! No wonder I never get home 'til after midnight!

Seriously, although who wants to be, I had melanoma 32 years and 2 days ago. Word to the wise: if hair is growing out of a mole, it is NOT cancerous. Go ahead, ask your doctors. If it looks funny and hair is NOT growing out of it, GO. Immediately.

Fifteen doctors poured into my room after the operation. To a one they said, "This is the type of cancer that kills. How did you find it and what made you see a doctor?" It was 1972.

My mother had died after two separate masectomies, 2 years apart, on New Year's Day 1964 ~ just 5 weeks after JFK ...

Ahhhhhhh, the Sixties .... Martin, Bobby ...

I was 16 when she died; she, 45. I've been running from death ever since. Anyway, I knew the 7 signs of cancer and I found a tiny (1/2 the size of my pinky fingernail) mole in the middle of my back. I was 24 and unattached. No one to look at it (my Dad? are u kiddin'!) except me. So, I did. In the mirror. Black. Ut, oh. That was one of the signs.

Went to my local doc. He outed it. Then thought about it and, remembering he lost my Mom just 7 years earlier, he sent me into NYC to Pack Medical Group and Dr. Arthur S. Caron (now deceased).

A team of pathologists worked as he cut me. The scar is 6 inches long and the tumor underneath spanned the width of both his hands, side by side.

It was smack in the middle of my back. No lymph glands affected! But a couple of inches in any direction ... and they would have had to cart a helluva lot more of me away.

The Gods, for once, were looking over me that day. So ... I live on and on and on, and haven't a f - - - ing clue what the hell I'm supposed to be doing with my life.

And now that I've written more than I write on my own blog, I'll probably be banned for the rest of this long life from being allowed to comment at anyone else's. Ha, ha, ha. (Always like to end on an upbeat note.)
March 16, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Lee Michas
Definitely SARS.
March 17, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith
The Magic 8 Ball has responded - you have coccidioidomycosis. Why that? Because big medical words are more fun than small medical words.

March 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMallie
Earlier this year, two of my not-so-close friends kept complaining about how they thought their mattress had bugs in it. They went through the process of acquiring a brand new mattress and took the old one to the dump. Strangely, though, the itching and rash persisted. Finally they caved and went to the doctor, who told the girl that she'd picked up scabies, probably while she was in Costa Rica for the summer, and passed it to the boy. Nobody was allowed in their room for two weeks, and everyone was relieved that these people were too antisocial to have many good friends.

Just to tell a nice, catty story about scabies.

As for Blogochondria 2005, my vote's on the Rot. Or perhaps the Mung. Which is the generic name I give to any eeech feeling.
March 18, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra
Oh, my sweet Lord I can't stop laughing. People are looking at me funny. And all I can do is point. And laugh.
March 29, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterJT
I went to the doctor to check out a mole I had on my neck for my entire life. But I noticed that it was getting bigger and blurry around the edges. After looking online, I found that was one of the signs of a mole turning cancerous. I went straight to the doctor and he told me that it was....a bruise. It so happened teh bruise was right on top of where my mole was. I realized while standing there taking the news that it was really a hickey. I kept that bit of info to myself. If my doctor figured that out, he was nice enough not to say anything.
March 30, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>