Stroke Me Tender

by Marinka on October 27, 2008

Disclaimer:  I have a fucked up sense of humor. In no way am I mocking people who suffer from heart disease. I am mocking my own hypochondria. Lovingly.
I don’t want to alarm you, but Oprah and I are having some issues. For example, I was enjoying the October O (the magazine, not a monthly orgasm, you perverts), learning about enhancing my bliss, when I came across some jarring news. Apparently, if you have migraines with auras, you are more likely to have a stroke and absolutely everything, including hiccups, is a warning sign, so you may as well go to the Emergency Room, fill out a toe tag and wait. The bright side of this is that you don’t have to worry about your IRA. Or anything else for that matter.

So the bad news for me is that I’ve been having migraines with auras for approximately forever. It’s a really weird thing where suddenly I will have trouble seeing out of one eye, and the things that I see will look like they’ve been painted by Dali. In other words, you probably shouldn’t get too attached to me although you may consider advancing my next 20 birthday gifts.

So, when I read that, I put the magazine down and shared this news with Husbandrinka.  Or maybe I didn’t put the magazine down, who can remember this crap?

“I think I’m dying,” I told him. “We need to make preparations.”

“I will not remarry until a respectable period of time has passed,” he answered automatically.
For the first few years after I trapped him, I was obsessed that if I died in childbirth or by overdosing on Haagen Dasz Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, he’d marry someone before the autopsy report was filed.   His new bride would be prettier and younger and more alive.  Which would be mortifying to me in the afterlife, as I tried to blend in with all the cool corpses.  But that was years ago, and I am much more secure now. I don’t give a shit what those postmortems will think. Although the fact that he appears to be so accepting of my death is very troubling and is making me think that I’ve been too lax in paranoia relationship maintenance.

“I may be having a stroke,” I told him. “I get those headaches and Oprah says that if I also start hiccuping, I should present myself to medical authorities. Since I assume I’ll be busy having the stroke, you will have to do it for me.”

“O.K.”

“O.K. So what’s our plan? Because we work in different places, so how will you know if I am stroking?”

“Stroking what?”

“Stroking. I’m pretty sure that’s ER talk for having a stroke. Because they probably won’t have the time to say, ‘Marinka is having a stroke’, they’ll just say ‘Stroking. Code blue!’ to save time.”

“Is this like the other time when you thought that you were having a heart attack?” he asks, and I suspect that he is considering laughing.

It’s true in the summer of 2007, I was convinced that I was having a heart attack.

This flashback is brought to you by Enchanted Memories of a Hypochondriac:


“I’m dying!” I told Husbandrinka from the couch. “My chest hurts and I am convinced that I’m having a heart attack.  Boy, it sure is hot this summer of 2007.”


“Should we go to the hospital?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Do you think that there will be a long wait?”


“It’s Saturday night in Manhattan, you get your standard gun shot wounds, bar fights-” Suddenly he’s Sipowitz.


“I don’t really feel like waiting.” I readjust myself on the couch. “Could you maybe call St. Vincent’s and NYU to see who has the shorter wait? Or maybe ask them what time we could come in that won’t be so crowded?”


“Are you insane? You don’t call the emergency room to make a reservation. If you’re having a heart attack, we should go now.”


“Ok, ok. Burp. Oh. Hm, I seem to be feeling better.  Can you take the ice cream out so that it can soften?”


(By the way, the line of the night went to my father who was consulting with me over the phone and asked, “When the pain stopped, did you by any chance see the image of the Virgin Mary?” and when I said that I didn’t, commented, “that’s too bad. We could have made a fortune.”)

But this whole thing got me thinking.  

I think that if you’re going to break the news to someone that they are candidate number one for a stroke, you should do it in a way that won’t give them a fucking stroke.  Like gently.  With some images of waves gently tossing a sea shell on the sandy beach in the background, instead of the opening scenes of Natural Born Killers.  And I really think that as the owner and queen of the magazine, Oprah could have done a better job of preparing me for this news.  She could have invited me over to her house, given me a few of her favorite things or a million and then, as we called Gayle to let her know that she’s been replaced as Oprah’s best friend, she could have whispered it in my ear. 
I hope that we both can learn from this experience.

One year ago ...

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Vodka Mom October 28, 2008 at 3:39 am

I am laughing my ass off right now. You are TOO Goddamn funny. I gotta say that your hubby is a damn good sport.

have I told you i love you lately? And the use of the word fuck in your disclaimer has me smiling like an idiot!

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Sonya October 28, 2008 at 4:53 am

So nice to start the day with a good laugh! Loved your subway post yesterday too!

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Melissa October 28, 2008 at 6:10 am

I have to admit, when I saw the title in my reader, this is not what I thought this post was about. 😉

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Kate Coveny Hood October 28, 2008 at 6:19 am

I love Marinka as the new Gayle. My friend Anastasia makes up hilarious stories about how she’s going to be the next Oprah – and she’s promised that I can be her Gayle. I think I’ll have to send this her way…but don’t get any ideas about taking my place in her talk show daydreams. I’M her Gayle – okay?

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Z October 28, 2008 at 6:52 am

The perfect story to start my day 🙂 Thanks for the laughs!

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Stella B October 28, 2008 at 7:27 am

I stumbled here awhile ago from Mama Ginger Tree’s place and I’ve been back every day – you’re hilarious.

And I completely agree about breaking news of impending death gently. People just don’t think about these things – *how* you tell people things matter as much as *what* you tell them! True story: I work in a bookstore, and we carry a title called “Anxiety Disorders for Dummies”. Duhhhh

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Kristine October 28, 2008 at 9:55 am

BWAHAHAHAHAHA

I feel for you. Right now I think I may be dying of some kind of undiagnosed brain tumor. It’s the only thing I can think of that would explain this kind of pain.

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WA October 28, 2008 at 10:06 am

Oh, so funny.

And can’t you just see Oprah on stage yelling, “Here’s my new BFF Marinka who’s just had a STROOOOOO—OOOKKKEEE!”

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Anna See October 28, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Oh yeah, the auras. I’ve got them, too. Thanks for breaking the good news to me.

Your posts are hilarious!

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Maura October 28, 2008 at 4:27 pm

I kind of stopped reading right around “Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream” AGAIN. If you want me to get to the end of these posts, you have to stop doing that.

Since you lived long enough to finish the rest of the post I didn’t read, I’m assuming you haven’t yet had that stroke. I’m going to go celebrate your life now. With some ice cream.

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Aunt Becky October 28, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I’m in love with you.

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anymommy October 28, 2008 at 5:18 pm

At least he remembered your concern that he would remarry too quickly. This was hilarious, but I had to read the subway one again while I was here. It was historic.

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the mama bird diaries October 28, 2008 at 8:12 pm

You always have such wisdom in your pieces… Like this tidbit that i will take with me always.. “I think that if you’re going to break the news to someone that they are candidate number one for a stroke, you should do it in a way that won’t give them a fucking stroke.”

I haven’t trusted Oprah for years. anyone who put herself on the cover of her own magazine every single month is a little off in my book.

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Heinous October 28, 2008 at 8:20 pm

LOL…I think you’ll be the most adorable corpse ever. But you can’t go. I will hold on this planet by sheer force of will so you can continue to write this blog which I enjoy so much.

You’re welcome. This will also save Husbandrinka from the dating scene.

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ShallowGal October 29, 2008 at 3:57 am

I was once visiting my Grandparents when my Grandmother had a stroke. She wanted to go to the ER and my Grandfather kept shouting “You’ll have to bring your toothbrush. Is that what you want?” Making it less clear exactly who was stroking.

BTW, She had a horrible headache but didn’t have any auras. So you’re good. (I howver, am scarred for life)

xoxo, SG

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butwhymommy October 29, 2008 at 6:37 am

Is it wrong to laugh about someone’s imaginary impending death? If so I am going to hell because that was so funny I got tears in my eyes.

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Kimberly October 29, 2008 at 10:28 am

I saw Obama in my toast this morning. Now I am convinced I am stroking. Before I just thought my thyroid was wore out because I am allergic to milk but refuse to stop eating icecream. Actually, now I’m relieved. I’d rather stroke.

Two minds, think alike.

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Shelle-BlokThoughts October 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm

one Hypochondriac almost always likes to hear about other peoples Hypochondriac tendencies!

Just saying

I was laughing so hard! 🙂

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Anonymous October 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

It’s possible this is my favorite post yet, but that might be because I share your hypochondria. Mr. sdl is sadly not as funny under pressure as Husbandrinka, though.

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PsychMamma October 30, 2008 at 7:59 pm

I totally adore chocolate peanut butter Haagen Dazs. That’s all I have to say.

Oh – except you totally crack me up. Every. Single. Day.

Today, (in the shower if you must know – it’s where I do my best/only thinking. Don’t let it weird you out) I was totally thinking that you and John remind me of Will and Grace. Only funnier.

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Scary Mommy January 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm

How am I just reading this?! As if I didn’t adore you enough, I do even more so now. Seriously, girlfriend, GET A SITCOM!!

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