Thursday, June 24, 2010

"It's Pronounced 'Zhal-bare's!'"

Come to think of it, he does look a little sickly here.

It’s been in the 90’s every day this week, and that can only mean one thing: my thighs have been sticking together more than usual. The things resemble two giant ham hocks – delicious but true.

But enough with my meaty thighs, although I know it’s a rather titillating subject. Let’s talk about something even more sultry: MY THYROID! I have come to the not-very-informed medical opinion that there is something wrong with each organ or gland in my body. I am now on a quest to prove it. I received a call from the nurse at the fertility practice, and I am borderline hypo-thyroid. My mother is hypo-thyroid so I immediately called her and cursed her genes. I then went online to see what the symptoms were so I could really milk it to Matt and get out of making dinner – I mean, my poor thyroid needed a rest!

The symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue and sluggishness (so maybe I’m not inherently lazy?), constipation (uh, no), a puffy face (and maybe that’s not due to the Oreo problem?), unexplained weight gain (see: “Oreo Problem”), brittle fingernails and hair (true fact: I have already eyed – on more than one occasion – Raquel Welsh’s wig line with relish), and depression. You see, my thyroid was tested because hypothyroidism can hinder a woman’s fertility.

Now, this borderline hypothyroidism isn’t a very big deal (I have bigger fish to fry, although I’m just plum tired of taking pills and being a pathetic specimen of a healthy human being), but I decided to go home and be really obnoxious about it. Because that’s what I do.

Unfortunately, just as I was going to log-off at work Matt IMs me with the results of a routine blood test he had at his PCP last week. “I have Gilbert’s Syndrome”, to which I replied, “Who’s Gilbert?” “NO,” he said, “it’s pronounced zeel-bare’s. I have increased bilirubin!” Nevermind he didn’t know what bilirubin was when I asked him, except, “something having to do with the liver.” He then said it’s just “awful and horrible” living with such a disease and thank goodness it impairs (supposedly) your memory so he “doesn’t have to remember the pain of living with it.” Oh, then he told me he was playing tennis with his dad after work and logged off. (Don’t worry: he then resumed his complaining when he got home.)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “What the heck is Gilbert’s Syndrome?” Let me tell you: it’s the most inconsequential syndrome in the world. Don’t you dare pity this boy. It’s as if Matt felt left out by having a healthy body, and searched for a condition with really no ramifications that he could “have” and then complain about it. Here are a few choice words and phrases from the Wikipedia article regarding Gilbert’s: “harmless” “does not require treatment”, “asymptomatic”, “individuals with GS….[have a] significant decrease in the incidence of coronary artery disease” (the horror!), and “no clear adverse symptoms”.

To give you an example of what I put up with now, you know, having a husband with a newly-discovered quasi-fake condition that doesn’t impair his life in the slightest, here is an unedited IM transcript:

Kathryn: how is your Gilbert's Syndrome today?
Matt: I think I'm having a flare up
Kathryn: really? why is that?
Matt: I'd detail more, but I don't want to ruin your day
Kathryn: maybe you can't think of a fake symptom to tell me
Matt: there's nothing fake about it
Matt: I can't always recall, because my brains to foggy from this heartless disease
Kathryn: how will you go on? how can you live a full life now?
Matt: I know
Matt: it's terrifying
Kathryn: did you tell your family yet? you'll have to sit them down to deliver this devastating blow
Matt: true
Matt: maybe you can tell them
Matt: I don't know if I have the strength

Nancy and David, I have something to tell you: Your son has a harmless condition with no medical ramifications. (Well, maybe mental, but certainly not physical.)


  1. Oh please tell me this is some kind of cruel joke!!! :)

  2. thank you for making me fail at holding in laughter at work. this is a lot like what happens in our house when H.K. gets a cold. i have dubbed him, "illness pansy". he has retaliated by dignifying me as "temperature pansy" since i get hot and cold flashes. needless to say, there are a lot of "pansies" thrown about.

    tell matt he can't have alcohol anymore, or he'll get jaundice :)

  3. Matthew, how could you be so cruel as to let us find out about this condition by reading a blog????
    Your loving, heartbroken parents

  4. Nancy,
    Matt spent a good 20 minutes trying to think of an appropriately faux-in-pain response, but gave up. Suffice it to say, I'm sure he'll fake moan for you when you see him next.

    I'll play along with his "disease" until he bores of fake-complaining about it; haha.

    He did mention the possibility of jaundice....actually, it was more than mention. Lament, moreso. He's putting on quite the performance, indeed.