ILLNESSES NO ONE BELIEVES I'VE HAD BUT I'VE HAD

I've had all these.
  1. Chickenpox in my deepest throat and vagina
    Age 4. Dooope.
  2. Scarlet Fever
    6th grade. It was either from a kid on the subway or my friend Katia's little sister. Because of Little Women I prepared myself to die.
  3. Tetnus
    10th grade. From a bad St Mark's place cartilage piercing. My jaw locked. My therapist (therapist!) removed the offending earring with a lock cutter she got from her building super then rushed me to the doctor.
  4. Recurring mono
    2006-2008. I had acute mono (the part where your glands swell up like you're Frankenstein and you can't swallow or even move) three times. Shout out to Audrey Gelman for all the time spent in the Oberlin ER with me when the haterz said it couldn't happen twice, much less thrice. True friendship.
  5. A missing ear drum
    2012. True, I did this to myself with rough Q-tip work but everyone was like "there's no way it's GONE, Lena." Well, it was and the doctor made me a new one out of cigarette paper and I cried with relief when I could hear again and two months later the paper ear drum fell out when I sneezed and looked like it had been captured in amber.
  6. Impetigo and Shingles at the same time
    2013. This just seemed like overkill when I used it as an excuse not to go out. But it was very real. Very real on my face.
  7. Chronic Appendicitis
    2014. My appendix was removed during a non-appendix related surgery and a pathology report revealed it had been infected for at least five years, maybe ten. I screamed it at every friend who had ever accused me of being a baby/never leaving the house. Note: I still don't leave the house. Other note: @jennikonner was there and very supportive.
  8. Bladder base infection
    2015. It wasn't a UTI. It wasn't a kidney infection. It was just the base of my bladder, babies. And that's cool. Note: @jackantonoff was ride or die on this one.