Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Imaginary Ailments

Kreislaufkollapse: collapse of the circulation system


Living in Munich, my American friends and I couldn't stop joking about this common German ailment. In Germany, a good bout of Kreislaufkollapse will easily get you a doctor's note requiring a week off from work. But really, a collapse of the circulation system? Shouldn't that get you a one-way ticket out? I mean, shouldn't you be dead? What is this imaginary illness?

Americans don't have imaginary ailments like that, I told Fritz.


The last few nights, Noah has woken up crying. "His legs hurt," Fritz frowns as he reports this to me. "I rubbed and rubbed his legs, but it didn't go away; it must not be in the muscle."

"Oh... growing pains," I say. If I close my eyes, I can almost feel growing pains from my own childhood. The sharp throbbing in my legs. Crying. My mother sitting on the side of my bed in the middle of the night. The memories of growing pains are more vivid than two unmedicated childbirths. I don't know if that's because of the magnitude of growing pains or the power of childbirth-forgetting hormones.

"Growing pains?" says Frtiz. "What's that?"

"Didn't you get pains in your legs when you were little?"

"No."

Oh. Erm. Hmmm.

I google growing pains and discover the actor who played Boner on the 80s sitcom-of-the-same-name went missing last year.

Okay. Somebody out there tell me that you, too, had growing pains. Is this an imaginary American ailment? Please tell me that I'm not imagining things!  (You can comment anonymously if you're worried about joining Noah and me in the Circle of Those with Imaginary Ailments.)

5 comments:

Pregnantly Plump said...

Poor little guy! I never had growing pains, or I don't remember them. But one of my bosses did. She grew 6 inches one summer, and not only did it hurt and make her taller than everybody in her class, she also had to relearn how to do things because she was so gangly and kept bumping her head.

Egen and Quinten Meyer said...

Both my boys had/have growing pains. It's not imaginary - it's the same symptoms in both. Egen had grown out of his before Quinn was even aware of it, so you can't even say that he "learned" it from his brother.

They seem very painful, they always flare up while they're sleeping, and rubbing their feet (where it usually manifests itself) doesn't seem to help.

Ann Wyse said...

Yes, I'm pretty convinced it's not imaginary, too. But I do find it strange how much conflicting information there is about *what* exactly it is. I'm not going to schedule a doctor visit (just yet) for this, but I will definitely be asking about it the next time I'm in there... the online information leaves so much to be desired...

Swistle said...

YES, I remember growing pains! My son has grown about 6 inches this year and he gets them too. But...I'm never sure how to answer his questions about it, like what CAUSES them. I'm always answering, "Er, it's...the growing. The growing causes them."

Ann Wyse said...

This is scary...I think I better measure/photograph Noah right now, because if he's going to grow 6 inches in one year... well, one needs to document that, right?