Dec 14, 2009

'Tis The Season To Be A Hypochondriac


[Soundtrack: "Down with the Sickness" - Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine]


Traditionally, Christmas is a time for giving, spending time with family, going “home for the holidays”, Santa, snow, singing carols, shopping, decorating the tree, putting up lights, eating honey baked hams, Frosty, Rudolph, Grinch, Charlie Brown, and “Don’t shoot your eye out.” For years, Christmas was the time of the year that some sort of sickness decided to show up in my body. Bronchitis occasionally paid a visit for a week. During the ten or so years that I wrestled, I would normally make friends with a ringworm or two, get a rash, or some sort of non-STD with a funky name. One time, Christmas brought an ACL tear, compliments of a Holiday Wrestling tournament – ironically. Another Christmas, my voice was completely gone for what would become a three month freakshow part of my life. All in all, none of the diseases, viruses, rashes, coughing, fevers, inability to speak, inability to walk, etc. really bothered me as much as one last issue that seems to show up around Christmas…the God Damned Cold Sore.

I’m not really sure how long these cold sores have come up, but I know it has been going on for quite some time. Up until this year, I treated the outbreaks with a bottle of Campho-Phenique, that was – I shit you not – from 1987. The treatment process is commonly a month long ordeal. Especially if the cold sore is located at the corner of my mouth, where the mere act of speaking, eating, yawning, screaming, etc., will cause it to crack open and set the process back at least -3 days. Eventually, they go away, but hell it’s annoying. If I excluded the gallons of orange juice and covering all food with hot sauce from my diet, it may speed up the healing process a little more, but I’d much rather blame the little green bottle from ’87 as the culprit though. On Day 1 of the infestation, I learned that Abreva was something to invest in. As soon as work was over, I went to the shady Kroger to pick up some Ab----, Am----, wait? What the hell was it called again? Ambien? No…that’s the stuff that gives you suicidal diahrrea. Just then, my mom gave me the traditional 7:30 phone call I describe as “the most inopportune time to call and check on me because I am always in the middle of something important, have my hands full, and absolutely cant talk on the phone.

Whats the cold sore stuff called? It starts with an “A.”

Campho-Phenique?

No, that starts with a “C.” And the bottle is older than PorkRice, so I’m not using that anymore.

Greg? Do you know what the cold sore stuff is called?

I don’t get cold sores.

No, but ya know…

Campho-Phenique?

Fuck, listen I gotta go.

So I ask the pharmacist.

Whats the cold sore stuff called that starts with an “A?”

Ohhh, Abreva? Its right here. Really good stuff.

She hands me the package, and makes sure she stares at the cold sore on my lip, and never…not once…looks me directly in the eye.

Really…good…stuff...

So I get out of Kroger and pull up in my driveway. As I load up all my crap to take into the house, the phone rings again. Mom.

What?!?!

Hey! That stuff is called Abreva…

Yeah…I know…but I gotta go…hands full…just got home…[random slurs].