Wednesday, October 8, 2008


My sister is a hypochondriac. But it’s not the normal sort of hypochondria where you hear of a disease and you suddenly have it or the sort where you’re just constantly sick. It’s not even like MY hypochondria – which is more of a hypochondria by proxy (I like to diagnose my friends….) Hers is more the self-fulfilling kind.

A doctor once told her that 1 in every 10,000 people has an adverse reaction to the Tetanus shot. Sure enough, three hours later her arm swelled to the size of her thigh.

I am convinced that if her doctor had just kept his damned mouth shut, she would have been fine.

A couple months ago she wrenched her shoulder while swimming with her kids. She bitched and moaned about it for a few weeks – because that’s what Jo does – before finally going to the doctor. Sure enough, she’d managed to do the most damage possible without her arm actually falling off. She’d stripped all the cartilage from her shoulder joint.

I always feel a little guilty when dealing with Jo. I always scoff at her when she says something hurts. (Probably because EVERYTHING seems to hurt her at some point)

My dad is no better. He has no patience for other peoples’ pain and suffering. He used to tell us that menstrual cramps were “all in your heads.” To be fair, I never had bad cramps. That didn’t stop me from happily using my period to get out of 7am Mass once a month…

But back to Jo. She had a three hour surgery the other day to rebuild the cartilage in her shoulder and when she told me that she’d be off work for a full month I was quite rude to her. I was ruder still when she told me that she wouldn’t even be able to take care of her kids for the first couple weeks because it is essential that her arm remain still.

Why am I so rude to her? Why her? Any other person and I would at least PRETEND to be sympathetic. Why am I so ready to disbelieve and belittle HER?

I’m sure it doesn’t help that Jo has a very complex relationship with “the truth.” Read: she lies. A lot. And when she isn’t lying, she’s exaggerating.

But I love her. And I don’t want her to be in pain. And I’m sorry I was such a snarky bitch the other day.

I guess that’s the good thing about sisters. Even when we’re horrible to each other, we aren’t going anywhere.

I love you, Jo. Be better soon.

And quit whining.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sisters. It's just like that. That's why I like the show Brothers & Sisters. While it's exaggerated -- not by much.