Chronically Joan

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By: Samuel Smith, Columnist

This is a fictional story.

“Dear Professor,”
I pause.
“Dear Professor,
Due to my broken husk of a body-”
I backspace. I’m not broken, I’m just sick, I think. I’m still angry.
“Dear Professor,
Due to an illness, I will be unable to attend class today. I apologize for the delayed message.”
That’s better. Click! Sent!
I crawled back into bed, under the covers and close my eyes. I’m not about to cry. This has been going on for about a month now. Along with fatigue. God, I’m so tired! I can barely make it through class. And my weight shot up. My partner thinks it’s cute, but I do not. I already get flack from the doctor about my weight being “too high.” I don’t need to give them more of an excuse to lecture me.
Before you ask, yes, I saw a doctor. No, I’m not pregnant. My doctor thinks it may be my thyroid. I’m waiting for the results of my thyroid stimulating hormone test-
I hear my phone buzz and I grab it. A call from my doctor! I pick up before it can ring twice.
“Joan?” I hear my doctor’s too-familiar voice say.
“This is she. Are my results in?”
“Yes. Your TSH is high, indicating hypothyroidism.”
Hypothyroidism runs in my family. I knew what this meant.
“So, what does that mean? Does it mean nothing’s wrong?”
“No no no. It means you may have hypothyroidism.”
“But I’m symptomatic. It’s affecting my day to day life.”
“We’ll discuss this at your next appointment, okay? I have to get to my next patient. See you soon!” Click. She hung up on me.
I screamed into my pillow and beat my fist into my bed. I just wanted answers!!! I just wanted some understanding! I wanted a way to move forward. I wanted, and I still want, to not be freaking sick!!!! I want to go to class! I want to go to work again! Is that too much to ask for? Apparently so.

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