As we've established in earlier articles, I've been recently diagnosed with a disease called Hashimoto's. I have to admit that at first I was a little down about the whole thing. Having any illness is a bummer, even one as silly sounding as mine.
But then it occurred to me. I have an illness about which no one in my life has ever heard. They don't understand what it is and even more importantly, what it is not. My family doesn't understand it. My friends don't understand it. Not even my tiny Yorkie, Tanner has a clue.
I could work with this.
So, I called a family meeting. "Family, I have a dread disease that I contracted while eating bad Chinese food called Hashimoto's. It's a devastating blow to be sure, but I know with your help and support I will somehow manage to live my life with at least some degree of meaning and value."
Thus my evil plan was launched.
Of course, Mr. Man was with me when I was diagnosed by Dr. I'm Not From Around Here, so I had some concern that fooling him might offer a challenge. But thankfully with my mister, as is the case with most misters, I simply have to pepper our conversations with words like ovaries and Fallopian tubes and he is perfectly willing to believe anything I tell him. So long as he does not have to go to Wal-Mart and shop for my ultra-absorbent feminine things with wings, he asks no questions.
I'm not gon'na kid you. It's been pretty sweet around here since I started being diseased and all. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.
"Hey Mom," called my wonderful ten-year-old son from his bedroom at 9:30 p.m. the other night. "I need no less than one-hundred-forty-two cupcakes by tomorrow morning for the school carnival. Sorry, I forgot to tell you."
"Oh son. I'm so sorry. I have Hashimoto's Disease, remember? I'm not allowed to touch anything with Pillsbury or Duncan Hines in it. I just feel terrible."
"Tee-hee-hee," I cackled. This idea of mine is a thing of beauty.
"Honey," said Mr. Man as he was getting ready for work, "I can't find any socks. Have you done laundry lately?"
Putting on my most pathetic face I softly whispered, "I can no longer do the laundry, my poor, wonderful husband for alas I am afflicted with the Hashimoto's. If I so much as touch the knob of the washing machine, my Fallopian tubes will begin to....."
"That's ok. Never mind. I'll just wear your panty hose instead."
Mr. Man has issues of his own.
This mysterious illness of mine has also proven to be a stroke of luck with people outside my family as well.
"Mrs. Crazy On Your Face, this is Chatty Cathy from the church. I'm calling to ask if you wouldn't mind volunteering a few decades of your time to our community outreach program to sew shawls for the criminally insane?"
"Well Cathy, here's the thing," I said. "The last time I actually picked up a needle and thread was my freshman year of high school when I attempted to sew a stuffed mushroom in Home Ec. for which I was rewarded with the grade of F minus. That's why all Mr. Man's buttons are stapled on and why my son wears duct tape patches on the knees of his jeans.
"But, because it's for the criminally insane and all, I'd be willing to try were it not for this horrible disease I have contracted called Hashimoto's. If I should accidentally prick my finger in the course of shawl making, I'd fall into a deep sleep which would last for many years and I could only be awoken by the kiss of a handsome prince, which as you know are completely extinct."
For a second there, I thought I may have gone too far. Thankfully, Cathy is barren and as such has never read a fairy tale in her life. Thus her interest in the shawls for the crazy criminals campaign.
"Sher," said my friend Trixie over lunch at Big Bob's House of Beef & Pie, "I wonder if I could ask a little favor? It's my birthday next week and my hubby wants to take me out for a night on the town. Would you mind sitting with little Timmy for the evening?"
"Darn it all, I can't. As much as I love being kept awake all night by a screaming, pooping, smelly bundle of joy, I've got the Hashimoto's now and I have to be careful. It is contagious after all, but oddly enough only to babies and telemarketers."
"Oh my gosh!" said Trixie. "My sister has Hashimoto's Disease, too!"
Oh crap. I'm busted for sure. My ride on the Hashimoto's gravy train has come to the end of the line.
"She has an especially severe case of it," Trixie explained. "She's so sick that I have to go over and clean her house and cook her food every day and once a month, my family and I pay for her trip to see her specialist in Vegas."
"Would you have her give me a call?" I asked. "I'm going to need the name of that specialist."
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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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