Tuesday, October 5, 2010

If you can't cure it, name it

I have a new addiction!!!   It has only really developed as I was moving from my 50's to my 60's.

I'm not  happy about it and will probably have to work on breaking it.  12-steps will work on this one as well.  I'm addicted to "worst-case scenario self-diagnosing".

When I was in my teens and twenties, my head could fall off and I'd stuff it back on my neck with duck tape and keep going.   Now, if I break a fingernail, I immediately think osteoporosis.  So I had a ball over the weekend -- I was like a one-man self-contained emergency room.   Wrong on all counts, of course.  But, then again, I didn't bill myself outrageously.

Saturday I had a small pain in my back.  So far so good.  I usually try to find small backpain on Saturday in hopes of avoiding yard work.  But as I mowed the lawn.  (And I'm embarassed to say that I now have a  riding lawnmower -- probably because Karen figured it would take away the small back pain excuse.) 

But this time the pain was worse when I was sitting down.  And it was only on one side.  Sirens wailing in my brain, I instantly turn into WORST CASE SCENARIO SELF-DIAGNOSING MAN!   Faster than a speeding bullet, I decide that I have a kidney stone!   Oh my God!  Help!  I'm going to be in anguish!

I run inside (after finishing the lawn, of course) and lie on the couch to review symptoms.  But they are changing!  The pain is no longer in my kidney, thank Goodness!  But now it is all the way down my leg.

Heart attack!!!   WCSSD-MAN is leaping tall buildings!   But there is no nausea, no shortness of breath, and my chest is just fine.  But parts of my left foot are getting numb.

Blood clot!!  I limp very carefully upstairs to do some internet research, moving slowly so as not to dislodge the clot and suffer sudden death.   If it is in an artery, my foot should be turning white.  If it is in a vein, my foot should be blowing up like a balloon.  

Stroke?  Some rare jungle amoeba eating me up from inside?   Where is Dr. House when you need him?

By Monday, I had sucked all the fun I could out of this thing and took it to my family doctor, knowing full well that he would put me in the hospital for a week to run esoteric tests.   Instead, he just said, "Piriformis syndrome."  

Huh?   How had I missed that one?  Maybe because I never went to Medical School. 

Apparently my buttock muscles are squeezing on my sciatic nerve which responds by sending all sorts of weird signals to my brain.  

BAGMAN:  "In  other words, you're a bigger ass than we thought!"

So I get a prescription for muscle relaxants and I don't even have a good excuse not to go to work today. 

Wait a minute.  I have a small itch in my ear -- probably just wax.  Or maybe it could be....BRAIN TUMOR!! 

BUTLER:  "Hey, Mark.  Maybe you should just look up Hypochondria?"


  1. Oh this has me laughing, but in a good way of self discovery :)

    I never went to the doctor, no insurance until I was much older, and found out I did have golf ball sized stones in my kidney...my mom always said my pain was 'growing pains', but maybe my rear is too big...hmmm

  2. Poor Baby - so did the doctor give you any advice or just drugs? "my head could fall off and I'd stuff it back on my neck with duck tape and keep going" I love it.

  3. I never dwell on any pains or tweaks in my body. No sense rushing the fates. I refuse to get sick and will only go to the doctor after it becomes debilitating! (Now about that large rear...have you started your exercise program? It didn't work for me, but maybe....)

  4. The affliction of intelligent, imaginative types.

  5. HAHAHA! Sounds like my 9 year old on test day ;)

  6. This is hilarious, especially since it resonates with my own imagination. Well, I'm glad none of your personal diagnosis turned out to be correct.

  7. Well Mark, being a nurse I have had everything coming and going, so I thought. I found out that if I wait long enough it will get really bad or go away. The older I get the more I just lay down and rest and let it go away. I read your earlier post and after have my IT son explain watermarking etc, to me I am like you and decided who cares. I just like blogging. You always make me laugh.

  8. Almost mid-way through the 60s myself, I am finding that I have a great imagination when it comes to pain or other symptoms. Loved your tske on it.:)

  9. I am the carefree type whose body usually does exactly what it is told, and when I had to go to hospital a few weeks ago for an operation due to suspicion of cervix cancer, I simply went there, had it done, and trusted in my body to do the right thing. Sounds naive, I know, but so far I have not been let down, and I have now the "all clear" from my doctor :-)

  10. I was hoping you just had gas and you needed to knock a fart outta there. But, like you say, you're just a bigger ass ;)
    Step away from WebMD...B&B :)

  11. Funny stuff, sir, funny stuff. Well, except for the fact you had some pain, that is. Rest and heal.

  12. Rule # 1: Never ever go to the Internet for medical advice. You will be dead before you sign off. And if you live long enough to make it to the doctor you will be at least $100 poorer when you leave.

    I have a plan. Never get sick under you are ready to croak - then go really fast.

  13. I was going to say the same thing as Patty - the internet is a bad decision when you're feeling sick. I once looked up the causes of headaches and now panic every time my head hurts ;-)