As Seen on Television

While I’ve got us all in an irrational mood, let me tell you another of my little habits. If the Internet has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how strange my thoughts or quirks may be, there is SOMEONE OUT THERE who feels/does/thinks the exact same thing, or at least along similar lines.

So, how best to explain this? As I noted in another post, at night, I watch a lot of real life TV. Forensic Files, Dr. G: Medical Examiner, Medical Incredible, Mystery Diagnosis, and on and on. People die in the strangest, most unlikely ways. But what really strikes me is when they do the reenactments. You know, black and white, arty shots, no faces shown. I’m sure you’ve watched the shows before.

Often, someone has died suddenly and for no apparent reason, and the show retraces the last days or weeks of the person’s life. Obviously, while falling asleep, these things have started to seep into my brain. You know how sometimes you get a random pain, it’s nothing, just a sudden really brief headache, or maybe a sore elbow, and you just write it off? Weird pains happen to everyone. I’m 27, I’m in good health, I have no cause for concern whatsoever with occasional headaches or the fact that my ankle joints suddenly make it a pain in the ass (or… ankle?) to go down stairs recently.

But even though everyone has these occasional twinges, mine come along with something extra.

A voiceover.

Whenever I get a sudden random pain in my head, I can hear it, what my future will be like.

“Though TJ was generally healthy, earlier in the day, she had mentioned an odd pain in her head to her boyfriend. It passed quickly and they both wrote it off as nothing. Little did she know, by 4pm… she’d be dead.”

“Writing her occasional ankle pain off to less exercise and change in climate, she occasionally took Tylenol and thought nothing of it. Since the problem never worsened, she remained unconcerned and went about her day to day life. This would turn out to be her fatal mistake.”

or, best of all:

“No one would have expected the awesomely awesome TJ had a killer lurking deep within her brain. With no outward sign, family and medical professionals alike were stunned at her rapid decline. When questioned later, her boyfriend said that she had occasionly mentioned slightly blurred vision, but nothing so serious as to contact a doctor.”

I don’t truly suspect there is an aneurism waiting to happen, or that I’m going to have a stroke (though one time? I was pretty sure I was stroking out but it turned out to just be a bunch of fireflies), or that there’s anything at all wrong with me. Still, I can’t be the only person who has these thoughts. Obviously, when a random unexplained pain occurrs, everyone’s first thought is how the narrator will appropiately voice the true gravity of the situation only realized afterwards.

… right?

17 thoughts on “As Seen on Television

  1. Awlbiste

    I laughed so hard I snorted. Good or bad, you decided.

    But seriously once I was totally convinced I was having a heart attack that I made my mom drive me to the hospital. It felt like a fucking heart attack, really! But about a block away it just stopped and I felt completely fine. I have no idea why that happened but it’s never happened since then.

  2. Kelly

    My daughter is EXACTLY like that. Come to think of it, so is my sister and baby brother. And my grandmother and my mother were that way, too.

    So, you’re totally not alone, TJ. I don’t hear those particular voices, but I’m related to a lot of people who do.

  3. Sargeras

    The closest thing to this sort of self-narration in my own life is as follows.

    At times, I will perform some sort of action that is perfectly normal in everyday life (for example, replying to an e-mail to say “Nice job!” about something). As I do this, it will occur to me that my action could somehow be misinterpreted as hostile (for example, “Nice job!” being taken sarcastically). I will then mentally defend myself against this hypothetical naysayer by replying that the hostile interpretation never even occurred to me. At this point I am forced to realize that the scenario where I say it never even occurred to me is taking place INSIDE MY OWN BRAIN.

    All perfectly normal I am sure… <__>

  4. Julie

    You think you worry? Being a critical care nurse, I see real life weird, off the wall things, so I am always sure I have some sort of ailment that is going to end in certain death. I am a lot of fun when I am sick…really.

  5. Adlib

    WebMD is good at making you think you’re going to die of something you didn’t even consider.

  6. KC

    I don’t do it with health stuff. But I work at night and ride my bike home at 1:30 a.m., so to get myself pumped up/not get bored on the way home I imagine the crime reenactment shows after I beat up and capture some mugger who tries to get me on the way home. “A mugger had been causing problems in [hometown] for several months, but one night, he chose the wrong target.”

    And then that inevitably leads to imagining capturing bank robbers/terrorists/annoying gophers/whatever. It’s always their fatal mistake, though.

  7. Luckedout

    I’m a doctor. My sister has called me at 2 A.M. thinking that she was having a pulmonary embolism and that she would be dead by morning. Needless to say it was a cramp due to sleeping position and that my sister is totally fine and alive.

    Even though I made her swear never to call me at 2 A.M. unless she was truly dying… I’m pretty sure she talks herself out of calling me everyday to ask about her aches and pains and whatever crazy diagnosis she found on WebMD.

  8. Catastrophe


    I do something similar to that! Usually like this:

    -Guy calls me a name
    -Voice1 in my head says “I wish he’d choke on that apple”.
    -Voice2 says “No, no, Voice1 didn’t mean that ignore him” (Truely believing that Voice1 has the power to make things happen by saying it).
    -Voice1 says “No seriously, go and die”.
    -Voice2 says “Well if he dies now, its on your back”.
    -Voice1 says “Oh crap, Ok I didn’t mean it, right?…right?… please don’t kill him, I didn’t actually want him dead….”
    -Voice2 says “Its too late now, hes going to die because of you”.

    This leads me to feeling genuine guilt, although I never actually did anything :/

  9. BlueTiger

    I tend to do this with relatives – which might make me even more morbid. I think up (generally when I about to sleep or driving and walking, times when the thoughts just flow) different ways in which different family members die or critically injure themselvs and then what I do during/after. My justification is that IF then something like thi would happen, I would be prepared.

  10. DocKro

    I’m a Hospital Corpsman and I’ve been trained as a Basic Emergency Medical Tech, so pretty much anytime I have any twinge of strange pain or something out of the ordinary happens, involving my body, it goes on 24/7 observation, until I determine if it’s serious or not… lol

    I’m probably a hypochondriac.

  11. Blusummers

    I’m sorry it’s taken me until now to read this post (backlogged on my feed reader a bit), but have you seen the movie “Stranger Than Fiction”? Your post just reminded me of it, and I think you’d really like it.

  12. Pingback: Temerity Jane » Blog Archive » Still busy? Me, too. But for you? I’ve got time.

  13. Erin

    I just got to this post by going back to read your Cosmo posts (which are totally brilliant!) and this happens to me all the time. I am glad that I am not the only one.

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