The other day I woke up with a bruise on my upper leg. Actually two bruises less than an inch apart. And then for the better part of the morning I panicked. Which may sound odd to panic over a couple of little bruises. But let me explain before you label me a hypochondriac.
First of all, the location didn’t make sense to me. What could I possibly have done the day before to receive such bruises? The answer I kept coming up with is: nothing. I didn’t do any physical activities. I couldn’t remember running into anything. There was no possible explanation for the bruises.
That’s when I started to panic.
My mom died due to complications with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia eleven years ago. Fifteen years ago, she was diagnosed. Before that though, before we even knew what CLL was, she would get these random bruises on her body. She attributed them to old age. Likewise, her nosebleeds she blamed on living in a dry desert climate. We know better now. We certainly didn’t recognize the symptoms then.
So when I saw my seemingly unexplained bruises, I felt a little rush of anxiety. All morning I tried to figure out how and why I received the contusions. I also remember looking up the statistics one time and read that having a close family member with CLL may increase my odds of getting it. Or not. But I focused on the increased chance.
And so, all morning I pondered the bruise.
By noon, I figured the bruises were probably a result of sitting with my phone in my front pocket. That could probably, possibly produce the two marks. They certainly didn’t hurt my leg. Just my brain and maybe my heart as I searched for an explanation.
For now, I am satisfied with the conclusion. I mean, I really am not a hypochondriac. Once I thought of a possible solution I was ready to move on.
But in the words of the Grinch, “almost lost my cool there” (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000).