My Hypochondriosis

I am sick right now, which means I’ve been pacing around for the seven days that I’ve been sick worrying that something very serious is wrong with me. Of course everyone in my family has been sick, and I clearly just have a cold; but in the past few days I’ve self-diagnosed myself with tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, and lung cancer.

I’m sure all of you are like “well if you are so concerned, why not go to the doctor?” The truth is that I have fallen down that trap before, only to be laughed out of the office for being so stupid. Finally I forced myself into a “wait and see” approach – if it goes longer than two weeks, whatever it is, then I’ll go. I also have a great disdain for people that overuse their physicians, and I really dislike putting medications into my body. So wait and see it is, and while I wait I pace.

After the fact, I always get great entertainment out of the bizarre things I agonize over in my head. Typically it isn’t as cut and dry as “I have a cough, I must have pneumonia.” No, no faithful blog followers – my paranoias run very close to my impending psychosis. In fact, I’m sure once you read all of them, you’ll be starting a petition of some sort to get me to the psych ward.

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I Have a Headache

Most people get a headache and think they had a hard day at work, or they have been sitting in a room full of screaming kids for too long. Some people are a little more paranoid and assume they are developing a brain tumor.

I worry that I’m going to learn that I have a twin conjoined to the back of my neck that I am only now learning about.

I Have an Itchy Chest

Usually my chest gets itchy if one of two things is going on: either I’ve gotten sunburned on my upper chest (around my collar bone); or, I’ve dropped too many crumbs down my bra and my boobs are tickled.

Regardless, I never go to find the crumbs first, or check for aloe vera in the medicine cabinet. Well, at least I never used to – up until recently, I thought that an itchy chest meant I was growing another nipple.

I Have a Stomach Ache

I assume I’m pregnant.

I Feel Like I’m Going to Throw Up

I assume I’m pregnant.

I’m Having Mood Swings

I assume I’m pregnant.

I Have Cramps

I assume I’m pregnant and that shit’s gone ectopic.

I Have a Bad Taste In My Mouth After Eating Garlic-y Food

Completely forgetting about what I’ve eaten in the course of the same day, after eating garlic-y, onion-y, or any other mouth-tasting-of-nightmare food, I get a taste in my mouth that is horrid and just assume this means my taste buds are all dying in some rare, dramatic taste bud death disease.

I Straighten My Hair and Find Two or Three Strands on the Floor

Ignoring my incredibly thick head of hair; hair that has been described as “three times the amount a normal person has;” when I find a few strands on the floor after pulling hairs out with my hair straightener, I then obsess over whether or not I’m going bald.

And then there was that one time I thought I was developing crotch rot…

By “crotch rot” I can only assume that I’m talking about bacterial vagi-whatever-it’s-called; or maybe a yeast infection. I don’t know, I’ve never had either. Sure, I’ve had my share of bladder infections where flames shot out of my urethra and burned the ground beneath me, but the problems that inspire ladies to shove yogurt up their hoo-has have never been an issue for me.

At least not yet.

But there was that one time that I got two bladder infections in the course of three months. It ended up being all about using the wrong antibiotic the first time, and what my doctor so eloquently referred to as “honeymooner cystitis.” But I was so freaked out about the fact that the two infections were so close together that I ran the whole gamut of vaginal doomsday scenarios through my head.

“I must be getting crotch rot!” I thought to myself. That morphed into “oh my God, my cooter is going to smell like musty, old lady.” Then I spent almost an entire week trying to figure out if I could have caught chlamydia or some other venereal disease from a public toilet – that’s right, faithful blog followers, I thought that I had contracted a sexually transmitted infection through four layers of toilet seat coverings.

Because yes, I do place four toilet seat covers on the top of a public toilet. Sometimes I layer the seat at home too, depending on how many people have been hanging out around my house without me cleaning it. Don’t you?

So you can see that I’m a little paranoid on matters of health. Well, I’m not really paranoid, so much as I am a hypochondriac. And maybe I’m not even so much of a hypochondriac either as I am just insane.

Now I have to get back to nursing my cold-slash-TB-slash-double pneumonia-slash-insert lung disease here. Because now my conjoined twin is starting to make the back of my head hurt again and I need to go Google that shit to find out how to get it removed.

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Pig flu, pig head

The CDC just released a zombie apocalypse preparedness memo on their blog and hoards of Americans are now scrambling around in terror over the fact that the CDC would give credit to such a thing.

Okay, maybe it hasn’t been in terror, but a lot of people are most certainly taking it seriously.

Sad to say, but the post by the CDC was actually a joke.  Well, not even so much a joke as a backhanded way of trying to make Americans prepared for actual emergencies facing us every day.  And they said just that in the opening lines of the post:  “maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.”

What does this have to do with the pig flu you ask?  A lot.

By pig flu, I am of course referring to the 2009 H1N1, which raised a very serious issue in our culture, that being that in our paranoia over things we should not be paranoid about, we completely disregard the things that should actually cause us to worry.  The zombie apocalypse included.

The CDC recognized this when 2009 H1N1 made the news:  people were rushing out to buy HAZMAT masks and unnecessarily throwing away their pork products, all the while ignoring what they needed to do to actually protect themselves from the virus, and (more disturbingly) the more deadly Influenzas A and B.  In response to this alarming trend to ignore real concerns in favor of ones that we should not worry to much about, the CDC issued a statement in 2009 that hysteria over things that we should not be made hysterical about inspires us to ignore real issues that threaten the safety and lives of ourselves and others around us every day.  And boy does it ever.

Anyone remember when people were so paranoid about the possibility of a biological terrorism that they began buying gas masks and duct taping themselves into their homes?  Countless people across America fed so strongly on that paranoia that they ignored basic safety and closed off all of the air inlets to their homes, many of whom died of suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning.  And I’m sure we all know someone who has considered (dear God, please don’t say actually followed through with) not giving their child innoculations due to unreasonable concerns about the very rare, possible (and some unproven) side effects.  Daily we see horror stories in the news about situations like this:  someone is so concerned that they will get the superbug that they refuse to take their antibiotics and develop pneumonia and die; a couple is so worried over the BPA scare that they refuse to sterilize their baby’s bottles “to be safe,” only for the baby to get deathly ill with ecoli  poisoning.  Somewhere, at some time, we stopped listening to our professionals and our own common sense.

I recently read an article that old and previously dormant diseases are now cropping up again, such as old strains of tuberculosis and whooping cough; and that this was undoubtably a direct result of the decrease of people receiving immunizations out of a growing (unproven) concern that thermosil causes autism.  What is sad about this is that the people we want to protect the most – our children, our family, our friends – are so negatively impacted by unreasonable paranoia.  If the zombie apocalypse were to ever happen, I’m pretty certain it would not get out of control by some randomly occurring, bizarre mutant toxin.  No, it would come of people’s ignorance – of disregarding basic matters of safety and health in the name of having our dangerously close-minded and opinionated hysterics.