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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In Which Teen Tracey Thinks She's Dying

Today marks the start of the month-long Blog Me MAYbe blogfest, in which you blog more often, have more fun, and never run out of blog post ideas. Four out of five doctors surveyed said the blogfest reduces weight by 87 perecent.* If you want to join in, click here for details.

Let’s kick this baby off with the Tuesday topic: May I tell you something about myself? Because I write for teens, I thought it’d be fun to use Tuesdays to tell you things about Teen Tracey. I can’t promise that will always be the case—I’m pretty set on dedicating a future post to my new writing space—but just go with it. (Thanks and I love you.)

Okay, yep, this is totally what I looked like in high school. Did I forget to mention I was a part-time woman of ill repute?*

I was pretty sure I was dying.

I’d felt fine all morning—no headache or nausea or little signs of my body slowly shutting down. It wasn’t until after lunch, when I was sitting in Chemistry, that I became aware of my imminent demise.

There I was, gagging at the scent of chalk mixed with pencil shavings and some bitter chemical we’d just boiled over a Bunsen burner. My classmates scribbled lab notes while our teacher erased the blackboard. I rubbed my hands harder, on my new black jeans to improve my circulation. My thighs warmed, but the friction wasn’t doing anything for my blue hands.

I was no medical genius, but blue hands seemed … wrong. And let’s be serious, wrong = fatal. It was a fact.*

I walked up to my teacher, hands clenched into fists. Sure, a chemistry teacher isn’t a good substitute for a doctor, but gimme a break; I was working with what I had. He stared at my hands, the blue fingers and palms. I waited for him to laugh at me, to tell me the chemicals we’d just mixed could turn you into Violet Beauregarde’s twin, but he didn’t. Because he had no idea what was wrong with me.

So, right. Back to the whole dying thing.

Me, melodramatic? Psh.

I spent the rest of the day furiously rubbing my hands together and on my legs to warm them up, but no matter what I did, they stayed freakishly blue. By the time the last bell had rang, I’d pretty much resigned myself to creating a last will and testament instead of doing homework that night.**

My mom’s car waited for me when I left the building and I threw myself into the back seat.

“How was your day?” she asked. I told her everything: how I felt fine all day, how my hands suddenly turned blue, how I was pretty much going to die and I really didn’t want my sister to have my favorite sweater.


And passed me a wet wipe while laughing. While wiping her laugh-tears away.

I cleaned my hands with the wipe, which left them pink and healthy looking. But the wet wipe? Bluish black.

Because my unwashed black jeans were bleeding on my hands. My hands that rubbed on my jeans THE ENTIRE DAY. The jeans that sopped up extra water after I washed my hands and dried them on those scratchy brown paper towels that smelled like sour leaves.

I’m not ashamed to reveal this to you. To let you know that:
  1. We didn’t have cell phones with Internet access when I was in school.
  2. WebMD had not been created. (But, yes, funny guy, the Internet had.)
  3. I was a complete hypochondriac and apparently lacked all sorts of street smarts.
Make me feel better: When have you completely overreacted in health matters?

*But not really.
**Who am I kidding? Even if I were dying, I’d have done my homework. Just in case.

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