Hypochondriac: an excessive preoccupation with and worry about one's health
I have come to the conclusion, after some six or seven years of worrying about having a crippling disease or being on the cusp of a major instantaneous health crisis taking my life, that I may be just a bit of a hypochondriac. Not full blown, mind you....just a little nuts in that regards.
There are several people in my life, a few former co-workers, and some friends who can probably attest to my weakness, which I put out there for consumption from time to time. I'm pretty certain that my mother always worrying that one of us was going to get some fatal disease plays into my mentality, along with this new found fear of death. And that's strange, because I've never given much of a piss about when I was going to die. Now that I actually enjoy who I am....I kinda don't wanna die yet.
I'm the kind of person who has been tough on their body. Not necessarily overly abusive, but didn't really take care of it properly, even when I was in the athletic phase of my life. I eat too much of the wrong foods and rarely eat the right ones. I used to get a lot of exercise, but that's been non-existent over the past few years. I used to drink quite a bit and don't anymore,but of course I fear that just that short time has done damage that can't be reversed. Factor in that I'm now 44 (just like ol' Hammerin Hank) and every ache and pain gets in my head.
When I was at my former job, my buddy Joe used to laugh at me all the time about it. He claims that I've beaten cancer eight or nine times, from my various trysts with headaches, back aches, and "other" pains. I've probably had the most success in beating back brain cancer. At least four times I've been convinced I have a tumor based on a perpetual ringing in my ears and various minor headaches. I also, apparently, have cured myself of bowel cancer by eating oatmeal and wheat bread for a couple of days. I petitioned Lance Armstrong to allow me to be the new spokesman of the "Live Strong" campaign and wanted my own colored wrist band. The reality was, I would have these various pains and after a couple of days I would always figure out what I did to cause those things myself or they just went away because they were just friggin' headaches!
I've probably had about two dozen heart attacks in the last two years alone with another 50 or so heart episodes. Throw in a couple of strokes and I'm a miracle of the human body. I just keep on going. No medical treatment or anything. I just don't eat bacon and cheese for a couple of days and I'm cured. I know exactly what causes the "heart attacks", but keep doing it anyway. Coincidentally, these heart attacks always happen when I'm alone. Go figure, right? Sort of like that guy who says he talked to god or was picked up by aliens. Always alone.
Most recently, I defeated diabetes. Headache? Check. Sluggish? Check. Thirsty a lot? Check. Urine smells like maple syrup? (a bonus by the way!) Check. I went with this for two days (even breaking the terrible news to Nancy) before I figured out that I had not drank a cola or any tea for two days and was having caffeine withdrawal. As you can see....I'm a full blown moron. I told my cousin Chris about this and before I even got to the part where I was gonna tell him I figured it out he blurted; "Caffeine withdrawal?" Wise ass. I should have called him and saved myself two days of angst and planning for my ultimate demise at the hands of sugar....that cruel, vile substance.
Oh, and I don't want to forget my shoulder and neck pain I have been experiencing for three weeks. I've been asking everyone what could be causing it. Heart episode? Rotator cuff tear? Some other life ending plague? No, none of the above? I forgot that a few weeks back, I worked my ass off (which I'm proud to report is all gone now) in the yard and used my left arm and a hand saw in an odd motion TRYING to cut some limbs off a tree. A few days later, I had kind of forgotten about that and the pain started getting severe. Whamo! Shoulder cancer! This arm is coming off! Then, just a couple of days ago, it all occurred to me that I had done this while working in the yard. Whamo! Dummy!
What doesn't really help me at all, is looking up my symptoms on the Internet. Not a week goes by that I am not self-diagnosing myself with Ebola, hook worms, sickle cell anemia, polio, or a ruptured gall bladder on Web MD or on some other idiots blog.
Don't think I'm making light of any of the above. I have friends and relatives that have suffered (or are suffering) from these various illness' and diseases. I worry for them and sympathize for what they have gone through or are going through. I just thought I'd give you a little taste of what the mind can do, if you are not familiar with its power already! I always go to the worst possible place when I am sick or hurting now. The thing is, it's not going to get better. I'm not going to suddenly pull a "Benjamin Button" and start feeling better as I work my way back to my quality athletic time period (which lasted about 10 years) or my sexual peak (which lasted about ten minutes). No, it's all over but the shouting physically and I'm trying to grasp that mentally. I truly feel like I am smarter and wiser than ever. I am more patient, forgiving, loving, and caring. Hooray for me....but the sad thing is, now that I am evolved into the human being I have always needed to be, I don't quite have the physical prowess to use those attributes to their fullest potential, and that is some bullshit.
The incredible irony, which is not lost on me, is that I am once again self-diagnosing myself with a disorder that's probably (see, I can't even admit that it's not) not real! My mind is like Charlie Sheen; it's WINNING!
Feel free to add any comments that you wish. I'm kind of interested in seeing if other people go through this stuff or am I truly an idiot in the wilderness!