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Which Disease It Is I Surely Have

Am I a hypochondriac? You be the judge.


Created on November 3, 2019. Last updated on November 7, 2019.

A month ago I thought to myself, "I should get a doctor."

You know, a regular doctor. Somebody who documents what's wrong with me over time to provide holistic and preventative care. I need a medical expert who can see the forest for the trees: connecting the dots between the fleeting itch on my belly from seven months ago, and the muscle spasm in my right buttcheek on Saturday. Clearly I am diseased and need help, but no doctor will tell me which disease it is I surely have.

How would they even know if I am the first to be afflicted with the disease? Someone has to set the precedent, right? The first person with hyperthyroidism must have waltzed into the local shaman's mud hut and said something along the lines of, "Hey, my heartbeat's irregular, I'm sweating profusely, and I have a goiter. Do you know what's wrong with me?"

The shaman probably looked at that poor, hyperthyroiding soul, and said, "Son, I honestly have no idea, but I have a couple treatment options we can try anyway. One is to drill a hole into your head to let the demons out. Another is for us to eat these mushrooms."

Well, the other day at the doctor's office, nobody asked me if I was interested in trepanation or hallucination.

I was, just for your information.


Crop of The Extraction of the Stone of Madness by Hieronymus Bosch via Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

I walked into the doctor's office, nervous about the results of lab testing performed on my blood. This would be the day that I would learn, hopefully, that my THC levels were too low, and that I required more in order to survive. I signed in with the secretary and promptly sat down. Then I watched someone enter the office who was probably dying. At that point I kind of felt like an a-hole, but I had to stick to my guns that I was dying too. In the time I spent waiting, I constructed a compelling, speculative narrative associating symptoms that I voraciously read about on the Mayo Clinic's website at 2am.

Finally, a nurse called me in, weighed me, and took my blood pressure. Ha, my blood pressure was high! But, unfortunately, I recently learned it's only high when I have it measured at a medical facility. Otherwise, it's well within the healthy range.

Okay, whatever, there would be something else wrong with me, I just knew it. Eventually, the physician's assistant entered the room and told me that my lab results were fine. In fact, she said that my cholesterol levels were fantastic. Then she asked me if I had any questions.

Oh, I had questions, all right. Why do I have this symptom, I asked, and why do I have that; her eyes glazed over while listening to my monologue on mortality. Then she took out a piece of paper and started scribbling on it.

"What is that?" I asked, pointing at the paper.

"These are two anti-anxiety medications I want you to consider," she said, "assuming that you choose not to get therapy. But I would definitely recommend therapy."