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?"