Oh my God, I think I may have contracted hypochondria.
Saturday morning, I woke up with fatigue, a dry mouth and a slightly sore back. When I stood up, I felt momentarily light-headed. When I went into the kitchen, the idea of eating Cheerios was not appealing. I narrowed my self-diagnosis down to heart attack, esophageal cancer (which I’ve recently added to my on-going long-range early warning system for reasons most of you will guess), and kidney failure.
This was confirmed for me a few minutes later when Karen reminded me that we were planning to spend the day at my sister-in-law’s house weeding the yard, planting bushes, and putting out pine straw.
I took one large bite of Cheerios and threw the rest of the bowl away. Karen asked me if I was feeling all right. I said I was fine but made sure that I paused for a very long time, pressed the small of my back, winced, stood up extremely slowly while swaying a little bit so she would ask, “Are you sure?”
“I’m not sure,” I said going over and lying on the couch.
“Do we need to take you to the hospital?” she asked.
“Not yet,” I said. “Give me a few minutes,” I said, shutting my eyes.
Yes, I think I may have contracted hypochondria. I have become more susceptible to hypochondria recently for several reasons. A: We’ve been watching lots of old episodes of “House” recently. (If you don’t know the show, it is about a weird genius of a doctor who deals with strange weird diseases). B: I am at an age when many of my friends both in real life and on Blogspot are dealing with life-threatening illnesses. And C: the weather in
Driving over to my sister-in-laws house, my symptoms worsened. I became convinced that I could not eat and I managed to discover several other places where I had pain, including one in my chest area which made the diagnosis of heart attack more probable. Unloading tools from the car, I added sweats to the symptom list, ignoring the fact that it was 85 degrees and humid.
Several members of my sister-in-law’s family were there a big lunch was served before the work party began. I was afraid to eat much since I decided that if I had trouble swallowing, the diagnosis of esophageal cancer might gain over heart attack. My sister-in-law is not a nurse but went to nursing school for awhile and is the family's resident expert. She wanted to take my blood pressure.
I declined but, after not eating either breakfast or lunch, the nausea increased which convinced me it was a heart attack and I needed to lie down.
I slept all afternoon while wife, sister-in-law, and cousins worked in the yard. When we returned home in the evening, I went to bed and had trouble falling asleep. Must be some kind of insomnia, probably based on some rare tropical disease. Swine flu?
Sunday, I moved as slowly as possible all day so as not to stress my cardio-vascular system.
This morning I have to go to work where I sit behind a desk in an air conditioned office and drink coffee. At the moment I have no symptoms that I can find except for an intense guilt about not having done anything all weekend except whine.
I think I have hypochondria. Of course, it could just be laziness, but I would hate to think I am that manipulative. So tonight, I will come home and watch House and see if I can scare myself some more.
Meanwhile, I think that Karen is considering that the best course of medical action might be to administer three quick kicks in the butt.