Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bad Genes

In general, I don't think I'm a sickly person, but since marrying my wife, I've realized I have a bunch of problems she doesn't have. I guess I never realized that not everyone deals with some of this stuff. I'm not a hypochondriac, so I have to chalk it up to my faulty genetic material. This is not a pity party. I just thought I should record all my physical problems for posterity so they'll know who to blame.

Here's the short list:

1. Hypoglycemia

The way I describe this to people is that my pancreas is stupid. It's the part of the body that produces insulin, and mine likes to sleep on the job. When a normal person eats a piece of chocolate cake, their body starts producing insulin to balance. Mine just sits there, like a 30-year-old deadbeat who won't get a job and still lives in his mom's basement. My sugar level just keeps climbing and when my body finally starts to absorb it and get rid of it, my pancreas finally gets off the couch and in a panic starts cranking out insulin. At that point, my already lowering sugar level plummets, and I have to grab a candy bar or something sugary to compensate. Thankfully, mine is the mild variety, so I don't pass out or anything.

2. Pectus Excavatum

Probably in response to my under-performing pancreas, my ribcage decided to be a big overachiever and grew too much too fast. They buckled in and started pushing on my lungs, which is never a good feeling. The doctor said my case was one of the more severe cases he's seen, and I had to have surgery for them to hack out a bunch of bone and rewire my chest together. While they fixed the problem, my ribs now look like they've been trampled by a herd of elephants. Needless to say, I look gnarly in a swimsuit.

3. Pleurisy

Oddly enough, this one is a direct result of number 3. A few years ago, I started getting this sharp pain on the right side of my chest. It literally felt like someone was stabbing me with a rusty knife every time I sneezed, coughed, burped, or yawned. After a few days, it would fade away, and I would get on with my life. It started to worry me, so I went back to the doctor that did my chest surgery (who's practice is now run by his son), and he scheduled me for an MRI and other tests. When all was said and done, I had no answers, other than the knowledge that none of the wires had loosened, meaning they weren't the ones stabbing me. Months later, in a conversation with my sister, she mentioned I probably have pleurisy. Sure enough. That's what I have. It's caused by lung infections, other diseases (such as lupus) or chest injuries. Evidently, my pectus excavatum still keeps on giving because now I get to deal with pleurisy about every other month or so.

4. IBS (or the more embarrassing term, Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Doesn't that name sound awful? It is entirely too descriptive and conjures way too many graphic images for me. Now, to be fair, I haven't actually had this diagnosed. However, half my family has it, and I match the symptoms perfectly. I'm not going to elaborate on this one, but it's not pleasant and there's no current treatment. The one thing I will say is that my daughter has started associating the bathroom with "Daddy" (which (when pointing at the closed bathroom door) is what she says).

(I bet this was a major "over share" moment for those who know me.)


Loralee and the gang... said...

You sounds like my husband...specifically, he never lets anyone 'hover' outside the bathroom door when he's in there. I say, Why would we want to? Please!
Thanks for your comment about Utah drivers. While I would really like to go with your theory, and it does make sense, for sure, but every time we drive thru there, we witness the same craziness; lanes switched without signaling (or looking, probably) excessive speeds, etc, and we Always check the plates - Utah! It's pretty funny, really.

trublubyu said...

yikes, man! my husband is also hypoglycemic. no fun.

Rachel said...

Have you ever realized the paradox of overshare v. undershare? Most of the time people say something, I am torn between which one to say. Maybe they said too much...but man you want to hear more.

Here, overshare for sure. :)

krystal said...

I know this isn't the right response to your conditions- but if you die early and leave us alone, I'm going to be so mad at you! You have to admit it, you're kind of a health mess. Nonetheless, we like having you around and would like for you to be here for a very long time. Just don't contract anything fatal, OK? I love you, dear.