Monday, May 11, 2009

Is there a doctor in the house?

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 South Carolina is becoming hot and humid which makes yard work less fun.

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.


  1. Giggle. I'm with Karen BB!


  2. Good thing you are not over here! It is rare to find someone who can ignore my husband's crazy energy levels. Thanks for the post. I am going to print it out and put it in my nightstand. I think I am feeling odd...

  3. I'm not a fan of House or any of those hospital shows, I think they are worse than daytime soaps!

  4. Ohhhh I was, just yesterday, pondering what if I get ...or worse already HAVE ...a disease only HOUSE could solve!! TRULY I really was.

    Here I am in an aussie country town with no crazed british man faking being an american genius ..what to do what to do!?

    You made me laugh and laugh

  5. Just don't consult Dr. Google. LOL

  6. castor oil - that will fix you - it always did when my mother threatened us when we weren't feeling well right before a big test or an oral presentation.... I always felt better immediately. course a vaction in a tropical country during their winter might help also.

  7. House scares me....though I do find him rather sexy. I know, I know....just the right thing to say always, lol. I used to watch Hugh Laurie on the Black Adder which I truly love. Nonsensical entertainment at it's finest, no?
    Or The Vicar of that dry British humor (or is that humour??).....
    Is Bagman sick as well?
    I think I have the Rocking Pneumonie AND/OR The Boogie-Woogie flu.........
    Or, I could have Posion Ivy (ahhh.the Coaster's....sweet no?)

    Steady On
    Reggie Girl

  8. I have no idea what House is, except that I live in one.

    This must not have been any fun for Bagman.

    I still say you need to hang upside down on a regular basis.

    Perhaps you should move back to New England where the summers are not so nasty. In the winter, you can always "keep your feet in wool slippers and drink hot punch..." to keep warm.

    Cape Cod is always nice.

    Do take care of Bagman. We would not want anything to happen to him.

  9. Too funny Mark, not that I'm laughing at a (potentially) extremely sick man, or anything.

    But if House does come over, can you tell him I want a few minutes of his time?

  10. That happens to me from time to time, except with a headache. I'll have a beautiful, free week-end in front of me and I wake up with a horrible headache. "What?" I say to myself. "Looks like I can't do any outside work today!" It makes me angry. And I feel guilty.

  11. Ah yes the travelling pain. I think you may be allergic to gardening. I enjoy House.

  12. B&B.. Self Diagnosis can be dangerous,so please be careful! Although you may, be onto something with the hypochondria assumption...if I were you, further exploration is needed.
    Try to eat Honey Nut Cheerios next time, and see if they make a difference... truly, it could be something very simple.
    If I come up with any further suggestions, I will pass them the meantime, please take it easy my friend! ;)

  13. I admire your ability to be honest, funny and brave all at once. I really do. We need more of this in blogworld, especially at blogspot.

  14. Oh Mark you are a hoot!
    There are not many post that I read word for word right till the end.
    I do hope you are not sick, I hope you are just lazy, manipulative and a hypochondriac.
    Karen can then administer the three quick kicks in the butt and all will be right with the world.
    One of your funniest Mark, one of your funniest.

  15. its funny you know, when taking my evening classes assignments due all the time, i always started to feel under the weather too as deadlines approached or worse, have urgent house cleaing issues. interesitng that my husband usually perscribed me the same medicine as Karen suggestion......

  16. I hope Karen doesn't have big feet!

  17. I have had hypochondria before. Several times. I got over it after taking it easy for a few months and recruiting everyone around me to do everything I couldn't. Heh, heh. I mean, they were so sweet to help me out.

    Where is Bagman in all this? I bet Butler was rolling his eyes and tapping his foot.

  18. As a fellow hypochondriac- I feel your pain. LOL

  19. Mate, I've really enjoyed your writing style and the tone of this blog!

  20. LOL. I think we are all hypochondriacs sometimes! I am an avid House watcher as well, and am constantly amazed by how the smallest symptom can lead to the biggest disaster! Who knows, maybe by the end of the day my headache will turn into a brain tumor! lol.

    Love your writing style!

  21. Hi, I'm over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

  22. David sent me too and I think you and my son-in-law are both suffering from the same malaise. I hesitate to call it hypochondria, at least not out in the open, but my daughter and I are fairly certain, as we whisper back and forth over the symptoms her husband trys to display, are pretty lame to us but difficult enough to him to render him totally useless when they strike. Which is usually on a Saturday or Sunday unless, of course, he has some special event only HE is interested in attending on either of those days. An auction for example, he would rise from his deathbed before missing something like that. But the commode in the bathroom could be totally overflowing and he would most likely try to whine and/or sleep until daughter and I got the bulk of it cleaned up and then, he would get up and moan a bit about how sorry he was that he just couldn't get up and help! (No, that has not actually happened -yet. Well, the auction thing has, but not the commode. That was just a scenario I can see occurring at some date in the future!
    Great post though -love your subtle humor.

  23. You have made me laugh so, Sirs! Thank you...

    I prescribe a quick lie down and a listen to some Nick Drake, if you don't know of him... Try