I am a hypochondriac on a good day. On a bad day, I'd sooner put the house on lockdown than venture into a world filled with bacteria, pesticides, pestilence, mold, #3 plastics, and the types of people who change their children's diapers on dining tables at Burger King.
I worry that my son has autism. I worry that my husband will die of cancer. I worry about Alzheimer's for my parents, but I can push such fears aside with the knowledge that heart disease will probably get them first.
I worry about vaccines and I worry about not getting vaccines. That, my friends, is the stuff of an internal dialogue so vertiginous that I could puke just thinking about it. Sometimes I talk to my husband about my fears and he calls me crazy. That usually makes me feel better. Sometimes he agrees with me. That's when we're screwed.
The Boss, as always, is the voice of reason. She recently picked up on my paranoia of outside places when I was hemming and hawing about going to the store because, I rationalized, The Boss had a cough. Nevermind that the cough had been her only symptom for over a week. She'd gone to school every day on schedule and had a grand old time. She was fine. We all knew it. I just wanted an excuse to stay home.
"Don't worry, mommy," she said. She brought the bend of her elbow to her mouth, her round baby blues looking out at me pointedly over her arm. She made a small hacking sound in demonstration. "I cough always in the crook, and I wash my hands a lot."