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Why So Serious?

An excerpt from Chapter 2 of Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load & Renew Your Spirit by Courtney Ellis 

Used with permission of Rose Publishing

I take myself too seriously, probably because I’m a human being. –Maeve Higgins

“How’d your doctor’s appointment go?” my husband Daryl asked as he loaded the dishwasher.

“Oh, fine,” I said. “He’s sending me to an audiologist for tests since the ringing in my ear might signal hearing loss.” I passed him a handful of spoons from the sink.

“Any idea what’s causing it?” 

“Probably a virus. Or an autoimmune reaction. Or maybe—ha ha—a brain tumor.”

“Ha ha,” he said. We both fell silent.If you purchase Happy Now using this link Fathom will earn as small commission.

With three kids and three jobs between us, Daryl and I don’t go to the doctor unless we discover a really weird mole or break a bone. So when my right ear started ringing—a loud, unyielding, high A-flat—I ignored it. It didn’t hurt. Plus, our two oldest were late for swim lessons. 

But when my nearly deaf grandmother and I went out for lunch and she asked why I kept yelling—I couldn’t hear her over the din of the restaurant—I figured it was time for a checkup. 

An audiologist confirmed my hearing loss and sent me back to the original doc, who ran again through the list of possible causes. The autoimmune reaction was rare. 

“It could be a virus,” he said. “But you haven’t been sick. At this point—” 

“I’m thirty-six years old,” I protested. “Are you really saying I might have a—” my voice dropped to a whisper “—brain tumor?” 

He waited a beat. Looked me straight in the eye. 

“Premature,” he said at last. “We need more tests.” 

To read the rest at over at Fathom Magazine, click here. (Plus check out this great author Q and A with the brilliant Aarik Danielsen.)

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