HypochondriAARRGGH!

Posted: December 29, 2010 in Misc.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I think I would be correct in saying that I’m not one who shies away from his own fears. I wear my heart on my sleeve. My wretched, weakened and disease-infested heart that will probably be at the epicentre of my demise. There’s nothing actually wrong with my heart but such is the thought pattern of your average Hypochondriac.

Hypochondria – for the uneducated – is a mental condition in which a person is anxious about the threat of real illnesses and is usually (in my case at least) triggered by either the fear itself, such as being in the company of somebody with the disease or seeing it on TV, or by some meagre symptom which is unrelated. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better over the years but I have been known in the past to order a taxi to take me to a 24-hour medical centre at night to have a person (luckily a doctor) fondle my balls because I’ve been convinced that I’ve felt a lump. (The lump on my testicle turned out to be…part of my testicle. Thank you for your sympathy and kind words…) This was brought on by pain in my groin and so I added two and two together to get ‘FUCK I’M DYING’ but the problem with looking for lumps in your testicles is met with certain difficulty. To paraphrase comedian Dylan Moran, you have to find a lump in a bag of…lumps…

I’ll stop with the testicle story now lest I should succumb to some awful ball gag (like that one).

Here, look at this puppy instead...

See, the problem I’m having is fathoming whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing. I seem to be in two states of mind. Three if you include the section that’s constantly whispering to me about how I needn’t bother upgrading my Xbox to the new sleek, black one because I won’t live long enough to enjoy its full potential.

On the one hand it’s nice to know that at the drop of a hat I will, without haste, seek out medical advice if my body so much as hints at the possibility of pain and discomfort. It means I’m prepared to swallow my pride and stroll into my doctor’s surgery for some prescribed placebos or a slap on the face and a “Man up!” lecture.

I have the NHS Helpline in my phone for any such instances. And when I say ‘any’ I mean symptoms whose origin I am uncertain. A stubbed toe or singed foreskin from my sexual experiments with a Bunsen burner aren’t going to warrant a 2am phone call. But if it’s something I can’t pinpoint then I’ll have a nurse on the other end before I can finish signing my last will and testament.

Here is a rough conversion of pains and discomforts to what I think they may be:

  • Painful groin – Testicular cancer
  • Chest pains – Heart attack
  • Headaches / pain in eyes – Brain tumour
  • Pain or numbness on one side of my body – Stroke
  • Chesty cough with phlegm – Lung cancer
  • Out of teabags – Leprosy
  • Cleaning the toilet – Dwarfism
  • Feeling horny – Noel Edmonds

Papercuts...

On the other hand it will probably be my downfall. Imagine my psyche as a game of football. On the one side is Team Paranoia and on the opposing side is Actual Death United. The ball possession percentage for Team Paranoia is approximately 100%. Actual Death United is lacking in the skills department judging by this figure alone.

What I mean is: of all the illnesses I think I’ve had in the past just about every single one of them has been the result of my Hypochondria. Medically speaking that’s a plus, there’s no argument there. But over the years (and with a perpetuating intake of alcohol to go with it) this has caused me to drop my guard slightly. It’s meant I can lead a relatively care-free existence but it also means that eventually I will shrug off certain symptoms which may, ironically, turn out to be something that needs urgent attention.

My fondness for the Buddhist philosophy and it’s ‘not giving a shit’ attitude will also probably contribute to my lax attitude towards that pulsating lump on my abdomen. Fuck you Buddha! You will be the death of me!

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Comments
  1. feli says:

    Hey, that’s exactly how I feel.
    And nowadays, you can google symptoms so easily. Just type your pain in and google tells you how you are going to die.
    So, I started not thinking about what bad disease my little cough could be and now I’m worried that I’m going to get real sick and just don’t notice it on time.

    It’s a vicious cicle!

    (sorry for my bad English, I’m not a native speaker/writer)

    • Andrew says:

      I have this habit of using the NHS Direct web site. One day it will advice me to ring the hospital quite urgently and on that day I will write my last will and testament.

      And don’t worry, your English is fine 🙂

  2. So glad to know I’m not the only one …

    But I always try to convince myself it’s because of my super-high empathy-level. 😉

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