Monday, February 3, 2014

Worrywart: Hypochondriac Edition

I am a bona fide worrywart. My incessant anxiety issues will probably come up multiple times on this blog in various forms. I can find anything to worry about and often do. There is almost always something I can find to work myself up about. This weekend, for example, I had a brief episode of hypochondria.

My Myers-Brigg's personality is an INTJ. I thrive on logic and order and I value intelligence. However, because I can get stuck in my own head and I like to come to a conclusion before fully fleshing ideas out, sometimes I come up with the "worst case scenario" and assume that to be the truth. At various points in my life I have been afraid that I had botulism, a brain tumor, AIDS, and various forms of cancer (never mind the very obvious reasons why I would have none of these issues). Take, for example, this classic freakout about the brain tumor...

Me: I'm totally freaking out!
Best Friend: Why?
M: I think I might have a brain tumor.
BF: Why would you think that?
M: I've been having these weird migraine-type headaches for the last few weeks.
BF: You don't have a brain tumor.
M: I might!
BF: You don't have a brain tumor.
M: I could!
BF: You don't.
M: Well, I'm going to the doctor and I'm going to ask them and what if they tell me that I have a brain tumor?!?
BF: They're not going to tell you that you have a brain tumor because you don't have one. You are more likely to have a tumor on your ass.
M: Yeah!!! Well, what if I go to the doctor and they tell me that I have a brain tumor on my ass?!?! What then?!?!

Just a sampling of my ridiculous thinking.

Needless to say, WebMD has become a frienemy of mine. It offers hope in one paragraph ("Migraines can be a sign of the following: stress, lack of sleep, looking at the sun too long..." Excellent! I'll just take a nap everyday!) and life destroying damnation in the next ("...cancer, leprosy, and brain eating bacteria." Great, I'm pretty much dead.)

It also really helps that my mother, aunt, and grandmother enjoy watching true crime and hospital horror shows. They have a weird, soul crushing story for everything. Cut your finger? They saw a story about someone who lost the entire right side of their body after an infection seeped in through a paper cut. Feeling dizzy? They watched a program about an entire school of children who contracted a rare disease that caused them to feel dizzy and then suddenly drop dead two days later. If you are looking for comfort from them you are likely not to find it. The icing on the cake is mentioning an ailment to them and ending up in a 2 hour conversation about all the horrible and bizarre things they have heard about people who had the exact same thing that you did. Oh, and P.S. they all ended up dead. But you're likely to pull through! :::pat on the back:::

This weekend I was pretty sure I had contracted some awful disease. I won't even tell you my symptoms or what I thought was going on because, thinking about it in hindsight, I can see how it was all simply crazy-pants. I'm not saying that there isn't cause for concern when things do go wrong. But let's face the facts: I've had good check ups from my doctor for the last several years. I eat relatively healthy and work out 4-5 times a week. I take supplements and vitamins. This doesn't make me invincible by any means but I have managed to escape several rounds of respiratory issues and stomach viruses this winter.

So, no. I'm pretty sure I don't have pneumonia of the pinky toe. But since I've just proclaimed my current, healthy state of existence I'm pretty certain that next week I will come down with the flu.

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