I may have given myself a tumor.
Four days ago, while sitting at my laptop creating a fancy keynote presentation on ukulele for beginners (BACK OFF! Get your own teaching job!), I suddenly had a bad headache. The pain was intense on a specific spot behind my ear, sort of at the base of my skull. It ran downward along my neck all the way to my shoulder. If I touched it, I could have fallen over. Not because I am a pussy. I'm not. I can handle a lot of blood, guts, and pain. But this hurt, yo.
Then, when I was trying to massage my own neck to make it feel better, I felt a lump, about the size of a small marble. It moved around. I heard that moving balls are better than stationary balls (HAHAHAHAHA) so I was not overly concerned about the ball. But the pain was another story.
When Tony got home, I told him to look at my neck. "I think a part of my skull broke off and traveled down into my neck. See this neck ball? SEE IT?"
T: No. What am I supposed to see?
Me: This ball. It's hard. It moves around. And it really hurts.
T: It's a tumor.
M: Shut up. I'm serious! There is something there!
T: I know! It's a tumor and you're gonna die.
M: Screw you.
Seeing how I had no sympathy from THAT end, I asked my mom to have a look. She couldn't see anything, but I made her feel it. Then, like all good mothers (but apparently NOT husbands) do, she started to worry. Maybe she didn't say it, but I know she did. Because she is my mommy. And I made her.
The next day, the pain was worse and gosh dang it, that ball was sticking out the side of my neck! WTF?! IT GREW! I AM SURE IT GREW! I may or may not have taken photos of it with my phone and texted them to a friend who is a nurse practioner to ask her what they were. Said it was most likely a lymph node and she couldn't talk, she was waiting for Oprah to come on stage. Apparently Oprah trumps neck bumps. If my neck had billions of dollars and gave back to the world, maybe it would trump Oprah. This assumes I actually took photos and texted them. Which may or may not have happened. Hard to say...hard to say.
I decided to do yoga. I thought maybe some yoga would stretch my muscles and pull that piece of my skull back up behind my ear where it belonged. Funny thing with yoga. When you don't do it for a few weeks, then you dive back into a more advanced routine, your muscles are not too happy with you. The actual yoga felt great, but my entire body was not Ommmmming in any way. And my good friend Bally was still there. Or maybe Bolly. Like Bollywood. That's more kitchy.
I called every massage place in town trying to get in. Managed to get one booked for the following evening at 6 pm. Help was just a few rubs away.
In the meantime, though, the pain got worse and Bolly grew. I called to get a doctor's appointment the following day, but the timing meant I would have to forgo the massage. And I reaaaaaallllly wanted that massage. I tried to reschedule, but that meant waiting 10 days. And that is like 11 days too long.
So Bolly and I went to the doctor. And guess what?
It IS a tumor.
Ok, not yet. Right now, it's still a lymph node that's all hot and bothered by an infection.
The doctor started looking all through my hair and my scalp. Then he saw a bump and I told him not to worry, it was just a pimple.
Dr: No, you don't get pimples in your scalp. That's a lesion. And it's infected.
Me: Huh? Really? Neat.
Dr: Yes, there are a few bumps under the skin here. The infection most likely drained down all the way to that one lymph node, and it's fighting the infection, but also putting pressure on this muscle and an occipital nerve.
Me: HUH? From a pimple?
Dr: Not a pimple. A lesion.
Me: yeah, right. So all this pain is from that little bump?
Dr: Well, the lesion is most likely what started the whole chain reaction. Maybe a staph infection, or something else. If we can clear up the infection, your lymph node should shrink back down and the pain will be gone.
Me: Ok, so how do we do that?
Dr: Antibiotics. Then, once you're done, give it about 6 weeks to shrink. If, after that, the lump is still there, then it's a tumor and we'll take it out.
Me: A tuuuuuummmmmorrrrrr. Hmmmm... From a pimple.
So after exchanging pleasantries (his daughter used to be in Sashimi's class), I went to fill my prescription at the pharmacy. Tony was not working, but his colleage looked at me and said: MAN! Tony's gonna feel like such an ass for saying it's a tumor when it could ACTUALLY be a tumor.
Me: Yeah. He's such a butt face. I'm gonna be like: IN YOUR FACE! You mock Bolly and this is what you GET!
Tony handled the news of Bolly the pre-tumor very well. He looked at me and said: That lesion was a pimple, wasn't it.
Me: Nnnnnooooo. No pimples on scalp. LESION.
T: Yeah. But did you pick it?
T: See? You probably felt a bump, then tried to squeeze the shit out of it, pushed all that pus down into your lymphatic system and gave yourself an infection. PICKER!
M: There is no way that is possible. I have never had an infection like this before from picking a pimple.
T: That's just a miracle, considering how many pimples you have picked in your life.
Me: I'll pick you. Give YOU a tumor.
T: So's your face.
M: Your mom.
T: Your mom's face.
M: That doesn't make sense.
T: So's your face always makes sense.*
And that is how I may have given myself a tumor. And an infection. Although the pimple was legitimately NOT my fault. Cursed oily-skin genes.
**Conversation embellished a bit. Although I can confidently say that these retorts have actually been used several times in our marriage. Tonight may or may not have been one of them.