The Sickness Chapter

In honor of my sickness and my obsession with what getting sick might mean for me, I have resurrected a lost chapter from LITTLE PANIC, one on sickness, that was killed, swiftly and painfully, at the last minute. I present it to you now…


            There is no reason for my back to hurt, but it does just like that and out of the blue, and that’s why I think it’s cancer. Alex’s sister’s back hurt and she ignored it for months and when she finally went to the doctor they told her she had cancer of the soft cells and she died four months later. I didn’t do anything strenuous, so there’s really no explanation for it. If I have cancer then I’ll regret how much of my life I’ve wasted and I’ll be paralyzed because I’ll know it’s too late now to even try and achieve my goals. If it still hurts tomorrow, it’s cancer. Maybe I should take something. I’ll take something. If the Advil doesn’t work, it’s cancer.

            Cancer would explain my relentless exhaustion, which I’ve Googled and is definitely a symptom. I’ve been exhausted for months, and I don’t know why, but now my back hurts and I can feel a new, terrible reality descending on me. Also my pee is pretty dark, which the Internet says is dehydration, but I know it’s other things, too. Just in case, I drink some water. When I lie down I feel a sort of throbbing in my sinuses, which makes me think that maybe it’s a sinus infection that’s making me so tired. When I look it up, I see it’s a symptom. I follow the links in the comments section and wind up on an allergy site and read an article on inflammation, then follow the links in that comments section to a natural remedies site. I love natural remedies. Anything that promises to change and fix me, I believe, and buy. I learn about Edgar Cayce, the father of holistic medicine, who discovered an ancient healing technique that offered instant cures. All you need is hemp or wool flannel, a towel, a heating pad, a glass jar, a plastic bag, a spare bed sheet and Castor Oil. After buying all that, I come across other anti-inflammatory cures: turmeric soaks, Colostrum pills, oil pulling, nasal rinses, tea tree oil and lavender for the bottom of your feet, and a raw CURES EVERYTHING ginger, apple cider vinegar and garlic shots. Soon, it’s four hours and ninety-three unanswered emails later.

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