Story Time: My Stupid Brain Tricked Me Into Thinking I Was Having A Stroke
So as you probably haven't noticed, I've been off this past week. I had some paid time off.
And as a lot of you out there know, if you have too much PTO at the end of the year, you lose some of it. Use it or lose it. So even though I didn't have any plans, I took off for the week after Thanksgiving. It was pretty normal. Did some cleaning around the house, attended a Christmas Party, attended a work lunch, went with my Dad to get him a new armchair, typical stuff.
But then, came the near freak out that made me think I was having a stroke.
So lately I've been trying to be more fastidious when it comes to working out and eating better. I haven't seen too much improvement yet, but I have been eating more asparagus and learning about riced cauliflower. I can't say the results of learning such things have been incredibly exciting, but I digress.
I was on my exercise bike the other day, pushing to go from 45 minutes to an hour. I was rocking out to some sick as heck jams, sweatin it up, moving my arms, you know how it is. But then I started to smell...cinnamon toast?
I don't know about you, but I've always been a kind of internal hypochondriac. I'm the kind who has a knee twinge and goes to WebMD to immediately find out which kind of brain eating flesh worm is going to eat me alive. I don't go to the doctor about it, because, why spend thirty bucks when I'm just going to die from a rare form of cancer caused by me eating a red M&M in the 80s? And obviously the internet would never lie to me. If my fingers are stiff, it's not because I've been on the computer all day. It's because I'm getting rheumatoid arthritis. If my arm hurts, it's not because my cat scratched me. It's because my cat scratched me and somehow transmitted a rare bacteria into my bloodstream that will cause all my internal organs to shut down simultaneously. If I get a headache, it's not because I haven't drunk enough water. It's because, CLEARLY, I have an enormous brain tumor that will be knocking out my lights any day now.
Then the next day I wake up fine and we start this over again. Let's continue where we left off.
So I'm sweating, but I'm not overly exerting myself. I'm breathing a little heavy but nothing to be overwhelming. And I keep noticing the sweet smell. Well, first of all I try to talk myself down. But the kitchen is literally all the way on the other side of the house. There's no cinnamon sticks in my exercise bike room. There isn't a wall plug in or candle that smells like cinnamon in my house. And I remember, something I was taught is that sometimes before a stroke victim has a problem, they smell toast. I mean, that's the old wives tale anyway.
I'm getting a little freaked out at this point, but I tell myself... "Self. You feel fine. You're in your early forties, it's probably not a crippling, debilitating, life changing stroke you're having. It's got to be something else." So I keep going. The smell gets stronger. I finish up, and it lingers all around me. I think, well, just in case, make sure all your important documents are in the same place in a clearly marked "IN CASE OF MY DEATH" folder. Then I also think... wait. Mom always said to leave the house in clean underwear in case you got into an accident. I'd just gotten off the bike, I was sweaty and gross, and I couldn't let the possible future paramedics find me like that and ruin my already somewhat tenuous reputation.
So to the shower I go. I wash up and get ready to wash my hair. Then, it hits me. I feel like the biggest idiot that ever idioted in the history of morony. It's... the shampoo. I recently bought a new kind of shampoo that smells very sweet, kind of like birthday cake. I have curly, unruly hair, so I'm often trying new products to tame it.
When I was on the bike, I was getting sweaty. My hair was getting wet from sweat. And the combination of the shampoo and the conditioner and the curl stuff activated together to smell like.... cinnamon toast.
Keep in mind, people pay me to do work. People trust me to operate a motor vehicle on the roadways. People actually invite me to their houses. Their weddings. People acknowledge they know me in public. And yet, here I am, the biggest Idiot that ever Claimed to Be An Adult.
Thank you for listening to my Ted Talk.
Goosebumps and other bodily reactions, explained