The older I get, the more anxious I become about personal illness. When I was in my 20s, I never gave much thought to every odd ache or pain – it was mostly just “a muscular thing.” But today when I experience a sudden twinge, I’m sure its major organ failure.
So, if I may channel Jeff Foxworthy along these lines, you too might be a hypochondriac if ….
- You’re afraid to go fishing in case you catch something.
- Every birthday, you treat yourself to a spa, massage, and MRI.
- You continually pester your pharmacist to email you when the FDA approves a home colonoscopy kit.
- On vacations, you check into the hospital before the hotel.
- Your favorite reference web site is Sickipedia.
- You plan on attending Hypochondriac Anonymous meetings, but always phone in sick.
- You dread going to the supermarket in case a cashier asks if you’re ready to check out.
- When offered Tic Tacs, you explain that you can only take two every four hours, after meals, with a glass of water.
- You have more doctors than friends.
- There are some TV shows you can never watch, like “Deadliest Catch.”
- You swear you heard the doctor whisper to the nurse “we’ll know more after the autopsy.”
- Your cell phone plugs into a stethoscope.
- For recreation, you touch up your X-rays with Photoshop.
- Drug dealers regularly visit your home, but they're from Pfizer, Merck, or Johnson & Johnson.
- Your favorite bedtime story to read to the kids is “Goldilocks and the Three Bayers.”
- You wear a medical gown to bed.
- You live in fear of back injury whenever you jump to conclusions.
- You don't believe laughter is the best medicine; it's morphine.
- You’re too scared to use Preparation H because you wonder what was wrong with Preparations A-G.
- You believe you suffer from several previously unknown ailments including: Mississippi Ladybug Fever, Fatal Late-night TV Insomnia, Bookworm, Lemon-Lime Disease, and Irritable Spouse Syndrome.
- You avoid roofers for fear of shingles.
- Each Valentine’s Day you send a card to your cardiologist.
- Your family has to eat meals off a physician’s examination table in your dining room.
- And, you might just be a hypochondriac, if you ask to be buried with a first aid kit.
Thomas' features and columns have appeared in more than 270 magazines and newspapers, including the Washington Post, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, and Christian Science Monitor. He can be reached at his blog: http://getnickt.blogspot.com.
Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.
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