That time I was crazy, but then i wasn’t…

I don’t know where some things that seem so important because they’re going to kill us all one day but then completely disappear the next day go, but it happens from time to time. Stuff just comes into our lives for a little bit and then leaves.

Last week, I was watching PBS because the kids must have been watching Sesame Street or some similarly awful show earlier in the day, and by the time I realized that I didn’t have the remote within reaching distance, my fat ass had already nestled into a couch cushion.  We have sweet leather couches and I don’t move once I’m nestled, so I was stuck until I ran out of beer or had to pee.

There was a commercial on about an upcoming show concerning archaeologists looking into the mysterious deaths of 57 Irish immigrants who were working on the railroad in Pennsylvania back in 1832.  That seemed promising, but that thriller wasn’t going to be on until next week.

The upcoming show was going to be some NOVA special.  NOVA?  Oy, that’s pretty hit or miss right there.  Dear God, please don’t let it be something awful, because the iPad wasn’t within my reach either.  If the show sucked, I’d have to try to lure the dog over to me to help me hoist my big butt off the couch, but she’s old too and looked pretty comfortable and uninterested in answering my future calls to come help me up.

The show, it turned out, wasn’t too bad.  It was about the meteor that whacked the crap out of Chelyabinsk, Russia last year.

Do you remember that incident?

We were all apparently very lucky that this thing landed in the snow some place in rural Russia instead of in the middle of a major urban area.  It wasn’t the rock that did all the damage, it was the sonic waves or something afterwards that rattled windows and cars all about the city.

Even though I think the show was a little melodramatic simply because science people involved with meteors clearly want us to be afraid of meteors so that we’ll demand funding for scientists to study ways to prevent death by meteors, it’s still a legitimate threat.  I spent a few days worried that I could die by way of a meteor hitting earth after I saw the show.  I’m sure others worried about it right after the event in Russia happened too.

But now that a couple of weeks have passed, I’m not worried about meteors.  I’m worried I’ll die from a copperhead snake bite that I’ll get while cutting my 10 inch long grass.

Why?  Because we have a neighborhood FB page and somebody was all atwitter recently about copperhead sightings and it went on and on about how I should check my BBQ pits before I open them and be careful near logs and rocks and what not in my own yard.  One neighbor was bitten, apparently.  Jesus, I don’t live in Australia, but now I have to worry about snakes?  I hate you FB page!

That was a few days ago.  I cut all the grass yesterday and was not attacked by a copperhead snake, so all ended well.  I’m not worried about snakes right now.

The meteor scare reminded me that we were all going to die from a Tsunami someday as well.  The entire east coast is at  risk should a wave form someplace in some ocean far far away in just the right environment.  It hasn’t happened, yet, but the threat is there.

The tsunami reminded me that at one point, we were all going to die of a nuclear attack. Those of us who are 70’s babies were all scared that the Russians were going to nuke the hell out of us and we out of them, thus destroying the planet.  We’re still alive, but that North Korean chap is rekindling bad memories for me.   Is that Star Wars system still functional?

Before the nuclear wars, we kids were afraid of other stupid things too.  At some point, I was scared of quicksand.  It’s possible that too many Tarzan episodes or the near death of a push cart ridden by Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles caused that scare, but it was real enough to me.

About that same time, killer bees were going to come from Africa and sting us all to death. The horrifying thought of death by huge swarms of bees kept me in for an entire summer of my youth!

More recently, AIDS was going to get us.  Some monkey in Haiti was apparently to blame for AIDS, but it was petrifying to think that you could get this horrible disease just by shaking hands with the wrong person!  Well, some people thought that at the time, and it took a long time to clear all of the misconceptions up.  Magic Johnson apparently has had HIV, which I guess leads to AIDS?  I don’t know, but he’s been alive for a long time and seems just fine.

West Nile Virus? Bird flu?  SARS? Mad Cow Disease? Vaccines are killing our babies?  Good Lord, the things to fear are endless, but some of them were only short lived.

What ever happened to Mad Cow Disease, for example?  Are the cows no longer mad?

I can relate.

I was “mad” or touched in the head, or crazy for a bit of my life too.

Well, strike that, my dad was first.  After 50 years as a normal human being, he suddenly couldn’t ride in an elevator or stay in a hotel room above the first floor unless it had a walk out balcony.  He’d have crazy panic attacks or what not if he did, and we’d all have a good laugh at his expense.

Then all of a sudden, I couldn’t sit in a restaurant without starting to feel the same way.  I’d just up and start feeling like the whole room was closing in on me and suffocating me.  I’d have to walk out and go sit in the car.  It was crazy.  I thought I was crazy.  I’m sure my wife was laughing at my expense (until it dawned on her that she’d married a loon).

It happened over and over again until finally, it happened at work in front of somebody who forced me to go to the hospital.  He said I looked like shit and like I needed a doctor so I went ahead and let him take me to the hospital.

5 days in a freaking hospital later, I went home and it’s never happened since.  That was 10 years ago.

While Doctor Jewishfellanameforgotten put me through a litany of tests to make sure my heart was ok, I tried to convince him that I was just going crazy.

Look Doc, I told him, I just got married a few months ago, we have a baby coming, it’s a girl, I’m starting a new job at work, I’m about to start law school while getting ready to have said baby and work this new job all at the same time, our house is too small and we’ll need a new one, I can’t work more secondary jobs with all the school work I anticipate, I have to sell my truck and get an SUV, my wife will get a minivan, and there’s always a chance that I can fall in quicksand or catch the AIDS!!  My brain simply had enough!

He insisted that I wasn’t crazy, even though he was a cardiologist and not a Neurologist, psychiatrist or even a psychologist.

Apparently though, hearing that my heart was strong and that it wasn’t causing my brain to go haywire did the trick.  I left the hospital and haven’t had an episode since.

My crazy came and went.  Just like Mad Cow Disease.

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45 Responses to That time I was crazy, but then i wasn’t…

  1. ardenrr says:

    My crazy came and went. Just like Mad Cow Disease. — Are you sure about that Don?

  2. Susan says:

    You forgot sink holes…. I had a dream the other night that our house was sitting a sink hole. Freaked me out.

  3. Don’t forget about the super volcano bubbling up under Yellowstone. Missouri is probably far enough away that you won’t be killed in the eruption. It’ll probably just be one of the enormous rivers of hot lava that gets you.

    • Hot lava has been a fear of mine ever since I first had to jump from couch to coffee table to couch to chair to kitchen tile to escape the living room floor lava as a 6 year old.

  4. Maggie O'C says:

    Crazy is as crazy does. I went off my nut after my dad died and couldn’t leave the house without sobbing, a little lexapro fixed that right up. I’ve never had the anxiety attacks that you are talking about but my kids and their dad does. Ick.

    And what about how we were supposed to eat apples, remember when Meryl Streep said we shouldn’t eat apples and that chalkboard dust and our hair dryers were going to kill us. Sometimes my hair dryer sucks a bunch of my hair into the motor and that hurts but it probably can’t kill me. If it tries, I will wrestle it to the ground.

    • I never took advice from Meryl Streep as a lad, so I must have missed out on that one. At least you had a reason to lose your marbles for a bit. Mine just appeared to have been Jesus fucking with me or something.

  5. You know what’s really crazy?? The Red Cross won’t allow me to give blood anymore because I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome years ago. They seem to think Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is linked to Mad Cow Disease!

  6. You’re lucky your crazy didn’t last too long, Don! I’m stuck with my crazy over cats forever, I’m afraid.

  7. 😀 Crazy!
    Was my Mommy blog post humorous enough for you today 😉
    Cheers,
    Jennifer

  8. tric says:

    Birds of a feather flock together! Lot of us not so well if you ask me. Anyway normal is boring. Maybe that programme should have had a mental health rating.

  9. juju333 says:

    Okay get this one. My daughter, who is a paramedic, is a germ freak. She is constantly washing her hands and is sure she is going to get some awful disease. That and she is deathly afraid of BUGS, any bugs. Let me assure you she has one hell of a set of lungs on her and will let you know if there are any bugs near by. If she happens to get a bug on her she screams and does a crazy dance. Yes, there is an entire blog post on her. Maybe one day soon.
    Me, I am only afraid of things that I can’t see.

  10. cookie1986 says:

    I’m a horrible hypochondriac with a photographic memory. Which means every time I read about my symptoms on the internet, the information gets stored in my brain for the next time i have a strange looking pimple or a cold that takes too long to go away. On a positive note, I could probably save a lot of people a lot of money by diagnosing them without them having to see a doctor. I’m THAT crazy.
    Crazy can be a lot of fun. As long as you’re up front about it.

  11. Katie says:

    I’m still worried about getting sabotaged by an AIDS needle at the gas lump.

  12. And all this time, you’ve been making fun of ME and MY crazy? Well, now I’ve got some ammunition.

  13. Haha kids will do that to ya! And My neighborhood FB page is all over snakes too! Rattlesnakes specifically..yikes! Not to mention the wild hogs, coyotes, and apparently bobcats roaming around. No, I don’t live in a zoo. I promise!

  14. queenlorene says:

    The tsunami, unfortunately, is a very real threat. The island is La Palma, and the whole western face is partially removed from the island–4 feet at the top. It will fall in the next 1-3 volcanos–est 50 years. But that is life. Just life yours to the fullest….and buy up land 5 miles in from the current coastal line, you will be the new beach area… 🙂

  15. sassypanties says:

    You’re gonna have to remember the name if that Jewish Doctor cuz I have this chicken phobia thing I need checked out! Dude! I need my crazy to hit the road too!!!!!

  16. Reminds me of those great bumper stickers that were popular right around Mad Cow Disease, I think: NO FEAR. Great post, Don!

  17. toni596 says:

    When I was a child I had two fears. I always slept on my back because I was afraid if I slept on my stomach someone would break into the house and stab me in my back. I realized that they could also have stabbed me in my stomach, but I figured I would see them coming somehow and stop them. Hey, I was a kid, ok? (Not to mention already a control freak at a very young age.) The second thing I was afraid of was that an airplane would crash into our house and kill me. Since this was San Antonio in the 50’s and we lived close to Kelly AFB, there was a constant stream of planes flying over our house. Can’t say I had a great childhood. After I grew up, I went to work for the airlines and married two pilots, although not at the same time. Control freak much?

    • Haha, what a specific thing to fear, being stabbed in the back! I think about planes hitting my house still from time to time. I don’t know why and the chances are probably slim, but I do.

  18. Amy says:

    Never EVER think that the threat of snakes has passed. That’s what they WANT you to think.

    Great post…as usual.

  19. keladelaide says:

    Your crazy might have been short lived but your uniqueness as you put it will last a lifetime.

  20. Amber Perea says:

    LOL I never used to fear anything -ever- then around my mid-twenties became afraid of everything, too. Then I calmed down a lot. I think it has a lot to do with media fear and just plain age. We learn that we aren’t invincible and that freaks us out for a while.

    Although I still tuck my head between my knees when Chris drives on hills (I won’t go anywhere near hill country lol) because I’m convinced we are going over the cliff.

    So maybe ALL of the crazy doesn’t leave us. 😉

  21. furthermore says:

    Take a muffin pan, turn it upside-down, and use the bottom cups to cook each bacon bowl.
    There are a number of people who do not respond
    enough from dietary changes. When I was in Afghanistan, I used to have the same type of breakfast as listed below.

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