Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Every day there's some new pain, some new pain pang somewhere on my body, and I become pretty much convinced I am about to die. I've probably got cancer or a blood disease or a parasite or some kind of rare, incurable illness. It's a matter of time before I find out for sure. I was thinking about this today (more than usual anyway) because a friend of mine who died a couple of weeks ago at age 30 of a sudden and completely unexpected heart attack (as if they ever are expected) reportedly told his wife he had a premonition he was going to die. This was two days before he died.
I thought this was rather creepy, but get this! That's not unusual, apparently! A nurse friend of mine tells me an Impending Sense Of Doom is common among people who are about to have major heart events.
And lo and behold, we looked in the handy dandy book my health care provider sent me in the hopes that I will try to self-cure (which I do, often) rather than see a doctor (I do my best to make sure United Health Care has enough money in its pocket) and it said "If you feel like you are about to die, you may in danger of a heart attack and should see a doctor."
I'm paraphrasing, by the way, but that's really what it said!
So this is not even a physical symptom! This is just you having a horrible feeling you are about to die!
This is my question. How STRONG is this feeling that you are about to die? Apparently it was strong enough that my friend felt the need to mention it to his wife. If I mentioned to my husband every time I had a sneaking suspicion I was about to die, he would have left me by now. For example, the last time I felt death approaching was while I was sitting at my desk at work today, having a stroke. Well, maybe it was just heartburn.
But seriously. I need to speak with someone who has actually had a heart attack and experienced this Impending Sense of Doom. Because I need to know how to differentiate between my normal everyday Impending Sense of Doom and the Real Deal.
Anyway my husband mentioned something to me the other day that's been sticking in my mind regarding karma and the fact that we seem to lack the good variety. This would be due to the fact that we've been to more funerals than weddings in the last 12 months and the fact that his grandmother is going to drive him to murder, among other more petty irritations like the fact that we both sort of detest our jobs and wish we could be a novelist and a race car driver (me and him, respectively) instead.
So now we're working on our good karma: Letting people merge in front of us more, smiling at strangers and mentally ill people more, practicing deep breathing with the most aggravating people in our lives more and in general attempting to force ourselves to Think Nice. Wish us luck...


  1. You should talk to Christina. I don't know how many times she comes home from work and asks me to touch her forehead because she thinks she has a fever. She currently has a pain in her side, which will go away as soon as she stops stressing. (Which just happens to be my diagnosis for everything.)

    By-the-by if you really want to get on the good side of karma, give to the poor...I need a new car...

  2. John, you are in luck. I am selling my old New Beetle!! hahahahhahaa....
    Actually, I also recall frequently checking Christina's temperature when we worked on the Daily. I was convinced that she, too, was doomed, in particular because of that freakish lump on her head.

  3. Before I even saw John's post, I was totally relating because I've been thinking that the pain in my side is actually a symptom of some terrible disease. That said, I think an Impending Sense Of Doom is also a common symptom among journalists. Good luck finding a cure.