Do you remember the anthrax scare that took place somewhere between three and seven years ago? There were lots of scare stories on the news and reports of post offices closing in large cities. If you watched the scare stories, you knew how to identify an anthrax scare...
And around that time I was in nursing school and had called home to talk to my family. I called my grandmothers to check in with them. It was at this time that one of my grandmothers became very seroius, and this conversation ensued:
gm: I need to talk to you about something very serious. I've not told anybody else about it yet.
me: What's going on?
gm: Well, you've seen all that stuff on the news about those poor people getting anthrax from their mail and post offices.
me: Yes, I've seen those stories.
gm: This morning I woke up with the burn of bile in my throat and I almost threw up. I've got the anthrax.
gm: I've got the anthrax. It must have come in my mail.
me: Maybe it's not anthrax.
gm: Oh, no, I'm sure it's the anthrax. I'll probably be dead soon.
me: Grandmother, those other places that had anthrax scares were big cities. Big cities with lots of people. I don't think that Summertown, Tennessee would be in danger of being singled-out for an anthrax scare.
gm: Well, that's possible, but I'm sure that I have the anthrax. I woke up and couldn't breathe from the bile.
me: Have you broken out a rash? Have you been coughing a lot today?
me: Has anything else happened different today except for the bile?
gm: No, it was just the bile stealing my breath this morning.
me: You know, we've talked about this at school. I think that, unless you develop any other symptoms, you'll probably be okay...
gm: It was really scary. I just knew I was dying from the anthrax.
me: How about I call you tomorrow just to check on you?
gm: That's probably a good idea.
(story update: Grandmother did not have the anthrax.)
That's the back story to the story I want to tell you today. And this story doesn't have a single thing to do with breast cancer awareness month or BSEs or mammograms...
Sunday morning I violently woke up coughing and gagging on bile. I ran to the restroom and tried to catch my breath. I wanted to take some Tums, but couldn't because of its interaction with my Synthroid... so I ate a couple of crackers and sat up in the living room when it dawned on me... I know why I woke up choking on bile: I have the anthrax.
The Hater slept through my initial anthrax attack. I have since picked up an H2-blocker and some additional tums at the attempt to self-medicate, but if that doesn't work, I'll have the opportunity to make yet another doctor's appointment.
My warranty must have run out, because all of my plumbing seems to be falling apart. And if that wasn't bad enough, now I have the anthrax, too.
7 hours ago