Last night I woke up in a feverish state. The air conditioning was on full blast so it wasn't the hot air of the tropics nor the stuffiness of my room that was making me sweat in my sleep.
I dragged myself to the bathroom, looked in the mirror. I looked like shit and I winced at the sight of my own skin, with the imprints of the folds of my pillow still on my right cheek. Why was I awake anyway at this ungodly hour?
I coughed and spit into the sink, casually, to clear my throat. I washed my mouth with a minty-fresh mouth rinse and looked down to spit the liquid out.
But before I could do that, I stopped. There were blood clots in my sink.
I coughed again to see if the blood was really coming from inside of me, and there it was again at the bottom of my sink. Small little chunks of blood.
Suddenly, I was wide awake. How did this happen? Have I done anything to hurt my stomach lately? I've been on a short self-imposed health kick, so I haven't had a drop of alcohol or soda in just about a week. I've been eating a lot more greens and even forcing myself to chow down a small breakfast every morning, despite my absolute abhorrence of breakfasts.
A quick Google search only heightened my alarmed state. Strangers were suggesting that the blood clots could be anything from an ulcer to cancer. Fucking cancer? No way. Not me.
I dressed in the middle of the night and texted a cab to rush me to the hospital. On my way there, I had to deal with racing thoughts. Have I lived my life to its fullest? Have I loved enough? Do the ones I love know that I love them? Do the ones I care about going to care if I am suddenly gravely ill?
I thought of how much misfortune an unexpected sickness can bring. What if my employer does not value me any more because I will always have to call out sick? What if my dude decides that I am too much of a burden to deal with? What if my parents get grief-stricken and will want me to come home?
I didn't want to find out the answers to these questions just yet. I wasn't prepared to deal with the heavy shit, right then and there, at 4 o'clock on a Saturday morning.
The doctor's observation was vague and not completely reassuring.
"This might be caused by stress... but we will not know for sure now. We can do a conservative treatment, give you some medication and see if your condition improves in a week. Or we can do something more aggressive and do an endoscopy to check for ulcers."
I chose the more conservative option. No need to go batshit crazy with worries just yet. Maybe I shouldn't stress too much (yeah, like that's likely to happen) and see if my condition improves, just like the doctor said. Maybe I don't have cancer after all.
So today, I will rest in my bed, take my medication as prescribed and try to recuperate to the best of my ability. And today, before tomorrow brings whatever it is destined to bring, I will tell at least one person I love them.
It's the least and the most I can do. Today.