I’ve always been freaked out by hospitals. I have what you call extreme hypochondria. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I had high blood pressure. I have NEVER had high blood pressure in my life. And then, I bought a blood pressure monitor and realized that my numbers were completely fine…until I would round the street corner and see the doctor’s office. Yep, I am one of those types. I could be in a conversation with someone and then realize they are a doctor…and I’d probably find a way to exit the conversation so I could find a place to go hyperventilate in a corner somewhere. Awesome, right?
I grew up with parents who were in the medical field. And they both liked to tell me stories, you know, sweet childhood stories about people who got their ears pierced then they got infected and THEN THEY DIED. Here’s a clip from my childhood.
Hahahahaha you think I’m kidding? I’M NOT. So whenever I’d have a random ache or pain, I’d ask my parents about it, and they’d inform me that I was probably fine, but that it could be a life threatening disease as well. And there you have it. Thank goodness there was no google when I was a child. Because I’d probably be committed to an asylum by now if I had the vast wisdom of google to back up my parent’s anecdotes. Yikes.
When I was 24 years old and about to get married, my husband and I went through pre marital counseling so that we could find out how deeply jacked up we were, therefore giving us hope for our marriage. Just kidding, it was actually quite helpful in a lot of ways. But hey, we are all deeply jacked up, so that part is pretty true! In one of my individual sessions, the counselor looked at me in my eyes and asked: “have you EVER done anything rebellious in your life?” This is a story for another time, but I was the kid who wanted to please my parents so I was very obedient and compliant with them to a fault. And I looked at her and said: “no.” This question was radical for me. Out of fear, I had spent my whole life avoiding rebellious acts because I didn’t want to end up like that poor dead girl who only wanted pierced ears. So I got a tattoo. And I didn’t tell my parents.
A lot of you are laughing right now, because for many of you, a tattoo is like, the least rebellious thing you have EVER done. But for me? This was RADICAL. I went to work the next day, and everyone thought it was fake. I promptly responded: “yes, I got a fake scabby tattoo” because I mean, gross, right? Basically it was the most shocking thing in the world that I, little Katy Carnohan (I grew up in my church where I worked) got a TATTOO. And my parents just looked at it, asked if they had used sanitary equipment, and then kind of just moved on. And I DIDN’T DIE. Always a bonus.
I call this my “candy striper dress” because it looks like one of those old fashioned candy striper dresses you always see on tv shows and in movies (do people actually ever still wear those things unless it’s essential to a story plot?). And yes, I would be the world’s WORST candy striper. I’d be the one panicking because there were doctors and needles all around me…trying to help people but instead shaking and knocking over people’s medication and stuff. For now, I’ll just wear the dress and work on my crippling anxiety.
The moral of this story is, if you get your ears pierced, you probably won’t die. Probably. And also, no one actually wears those red and white striped dresses unless you’re in a tv show mystery where you have to sneak into a hospital unnoticed. As always, good educational stuff right there.