This Lump Under My Arm Is Probably NothingCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 32•13 • Oct 29, 1997 By Charlie Burdick, I Love Life Charlie Burdick I Love Life Hey, how's it going? Everything okay? Hope so. Say, do you know any first aid? I don't really know what the problem is. Could be some sort of bug bite or something. Actually, forget it—I'm just being a worry-wart again. I'm sure this lump under my arm is nothing. I'm not going to fret about it unless it causes my shirt size to go up again. You know, the body is an amazing, complex thing, and who can say they understand every little thing about it? I mean, if I went to the doctor every time I got a mysterious rash on my back, scratch on my leg, or throbbing lump the size of an orange under my armpit that changes shape and size weekly while radiating heat, I'd go crazy. I'd just look foolish taking up the doctor's time when he could be treating someone with real problems, like diabetes or seasonal allergies. Why should I waste a beautiful fall Saturday in some doctor's waiting room just to show him I can't touch my elbow to my side? Besides, the lump has hardly grown in the past week, and it's hard as a rock. I call it "my little baseball." Ha, ha, ha—oh, my goodness. I'm a jokester! Who has time to obsess over little things that turn out to be nothing? I've got my kids' Little League games to go to and neighborhood cookouts to enjoy, and I have to schedule in a revitalizing nap every couple hours. I live a busy life. I'm on the go so much, I'm dog-tired from the minute I get up in morning to when I go to bed at 5 p.m., so why should I give myself any additional stress? I don't know about you, but I'd much rather spend my time enjoying life than obsessing over imaginary ailments. Like I said, I'm busy. Not only am I vital to the current project at work, but at home I'm at my wits' end trying to find whatever stray cat has been sneaking into my house and leaving those huge clumps of hair all over the furniture. You probably think I'm worried about that lump, but I'm not. Really! You'd be surprised how little I think about it. Maybe when I'm in the shower, or once in a while if I go into a washroom and take off my shirt to stare at it in the mirror. Besides that, close to never. Scout's honor! I may be many things, but I'll tell you this: I'm no Harry Hypochondriac. While other people are wasting their time worrying about the littlest aches and pains, I'm busy appreciating life's simple pleasures, like a nice, quiet room with no sunlight. (Bright light tends to give me horrific, blinding headaches.) Or a delicious meal of broth and Jell-O, which my wife so lovingly prepares for me on those days when anything else is vomited up along with large chunks of green, mucus-streaked bile. Yes, it's enjoying the little things that puts a smile on my face and a rainbow in my life. You see, my own dad died when I was still a child, and I had to grow up without him. It was very painful for me. More painful than, say, a burning, aching, gourd-like appendage under one's arm. Well, I'd better get going now, because I'm feeling the onset of one of those little fevers that turn my body into a 106-degree, thrashing, shrieking shell of pain, the only remedy being 20 or 30 hours of catatonic sleep. Toodles!