I admit I am a certifiable hypochondriac.
Every ache, every discomfort, every sneeze to me is a symptom of a deadly disease. I spend endless hours surfing the net analysing my symptoms and trying to fit them to a horrific ailment.Despite the doctor's reassurances and other pathological tests, I genuinely believe at times that I am fatally ill.
In my defence I must say that there are reasons for these obsessive compulsive beliefs. Our family boasts of some really gruesome illnesses. Mind you, I am not talking of malaria, typhoid, jaundice or ordinary pneumonia.... kiddie stuff all of them. what we have is hard to pronounce and harder to acquire diseases. Between my mother's family and my father's I have every base covered. There have been cases of Myasthenia gravis, Alzheimer's, Guillain- Barre syndrome, Parkinsons, liver and pancreatic cancer, epilepsy... There also have been cancers of the brain, stomach, blood, and breasts. There has been a simple gall-bladder surgery gone horribly wrong where the patient had to put in a stent in the bile duct to rectify the situation. Needless to say there have also been standard stuff like paralytic strokes, heart failures and diabetes. There has also been one retinal detachment which has resulted in blindness. But who considers them serious these days !
So you see, there is a genuine cause for my concern here.Often I have found myself going to a hospital for various tests. Once I dragged my husband to the hospital emergency because I was convinced I had a grievous neurological issue. I could not swallow my food. My throat had refused to cooperate with my tongue and the food went the other way. My poor husband had to leave his food uneaten and escort my brainless self to the 24 hour emergency. The doctor there diagnosed a severe throat infection but I was not really convinced. Just an infection? Definitely it was more severe? Like throat cancer perhaps? The doctor had a glazed look in his eyes and I didn't think he trusted himself to speak.
So despite medical evidences to the contrary, I have had a brain tumour, blood sugar, kidney disease, stomach cancer and high blood pressure so far. When I went to my third sonogram in as many months to detect any abnormalities in my stomach, my doctor took me aside and asked me what exactly my problem was. "Cancer runs in my family you know and I keep thinking I am next" My doctor turned serious and held my hand. " I know exactly what you mean. You see death runs in mine. So far nobody has been able to defy it. I am sure one day I am going to die too..."
I came out of the clinic and a minute later started laughing outrageously. People perhaps thought that I was stark raving mad but who cared? You see self-deprecating humour also runs in the family. We can admit that we are morons and have a good laugh at our own expense. And I have been laughing since then. Though at times I am troubled by a potential problem. Has laughter killed anybody so far? There's always a first time, right? Can excessive laughter cause an abdominal tear that can turn into an inflammation of the intestine that in turn cancerous? I must google that one...
Meanwhile if any of you have any information on that one then please let me know. I am worried sick...