I’m coming down with something. When you’re going on 52 years old, you have to stay on top of this stuff. I’ve had the symptoms for some time so I did a little research. I consulted the Physicians Desk Reference, checked online sources and I’m now ready to diagnose me.
I am developing a nasty case of Pessimist’s Hypochondria.
Let’s examine the symptoms:
- blood pressure is fine
- cholesterol is pretty good
- no diabetes
- no heart disease
- no chronic headaches
- sleep just fine
- no allergies or hay fever
- not prone to colds, flu, bronchitis or pneumonia
- no arthritis
- have never broken any bones or other bits
- no cancer
- food goes in, goes down and goes out with very little fanfare
- no chronic aches and pains
Although heart disease and diabetes run strongly in my family, I have neither. My good cholesterol number should be higher. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with me.
In short, I am as healthy as a horse.
I’m not complaining – far from it. I know I have been undeservedly blessed. But the fact that I AM so healthy means I’m not used to pain or aches or weird stuff going on in my body. When something goes awry, I assume the worst.
Here are some of my recurring diagnoses that never materialized:
Headache: brain tumor or aneurysm just about to burst
Woke up an hour early and couldn’t get back to sleep: the start of insomnia and/or chronic stress disorder
Lump or bump: tumor
Bruise on leg: leukemia
Bites on legs: fleas
Varicose veins: phlebitis or blood clot
Brown spot, mole or new freckle: skin cancer, probably melanoma
Need a little extra time in the bathroom, if you get my drift: colon cancer
Need to get to the bathroom STAT, if you get my drift: colon cancer
Right hand a little stiff: carpel tunnel, will most likely never write again
Sore throat: strep, leading to heart valve damage
We did have fleas once, so that one was a good call.
I don’t quack myself for all this stuff. I don’t go to the doctor, or rush to get meds. I just worry. We don’t count the time I had my husband take me to the ER when I was sure I was having a heart attack. Diagnosis? Too much spicy salsa.
The sad fact is that the older I get, the more people I know and love who do have these terrible maladies. And sometimes they do not recover. It has become painfully obvious that bad things do, indeed, happen to some very good people.
But not to me. At least not yet.
Being somewhat of a pessimist, I can’t help thinking my time is coming. Nobody gets to skip merrily through life in good health.
In the meantime, I need to lighten up and enjoy my blessings. Worrying gets me nowhere. In fact, I’m probably developing an ulcer from all the worry. My stomach has been a little gurgly lately…
Some people DO get to skip merrily through life with no significant health problems. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair for them not to be afflicted in some way, so just to balance things out, they find things to worry about anyway. My non-professional recommendation: 1 – 10 bites of dark chocolate daily – it’s healthy AND will help with all that worrying.
I like your prescription, Dr. Sheep. I’ll get that filled today!
I’m with bigsheep on the daily dark chocolate recommendation. Frankly, peg, who wouldn’t be feeling some ache or pain or discomfort given all that’s been going on in the U.S. and in the rest of the world? I find it remarkable that I’m as well as I am. So, turn that frown upside down and be thankful you’re not a politician.
Good advice. One does of sunshine coming right up!
Oh.. I woke up this morning with a bruise on my leg…does that mean I can join in with bigsheep’s treatment plan?
That’s a really nasty bruise – better make it a bagful of chocolate.
Please pass the chocolate….
Do I sense a common thread here?
I can totally relate. I think it might be an “over 50” thing. I never used to think this way.
Maybe it’s not hypochondria – maybe we’re being realistic, hmm?
As one who is in the “over 60” bracket, I am finding the hardest struggle is accepting the “truly minor and more annoying than serious” symptoms that can only be classified as “the new normal.” Make the most of each day, eat chocolate, put some excitement into your life by chasing those items on your bucket list!
I keep meaning to make a bucket list. That’s on my to-do-list.
Too funny—and so glad it doesn’t hurt when you laugh! I agree with Big Sheep’s chocolate prescription, and, for extra feel-better relief get yourself an encore viewing of the movie “Chocolat” … it’ll have you up tra-la-la-ing faster than you can decide which kind of rich Italian Perugina dark chocolate to buy! (or which scene Johnny Depp is more gorgeous in … not that I’ve watched it a bunch of times or anything … ahem.)
I can’t believe I’ve never seen that movie. Adding it to my prescription for this weekend, Dr. Paula.
I’m struggling with this myself at the moment. Do you ever read XKCD? There was a strip last week about what it means to “recover” from cancer, which wrecked me for the weekend. I’m trying to love what I have–so much!–instead of worrying how long I’ll have it, or whether it’s illusory and something’s already brewing. I feel better having read your words and seen this isn’t unique, although that’s not to say I’d not wish for someone else to fret over these things.
I’ve never read that – I’ll have to check it out. I’m with you. I always worry about the what might be coming. I think worrying might be hardwired in some people. Aren’t we lucky?
I feel your pain (real and imagined)! I’m a pre-worrier and sometimes it has actually panned out. I say that like it’s a good thing. Oy vey!
Pre-worrier: that’s a good term for it. I sometimes think, though I know it’s stupid, that if I worry ahead of time, I’ll be more prepared when something bad happens.
I’m afraid the diagnosis is dire. You’re going on 52.
Prepare yourself, there’s more coming (or going, as the case may be).
That is a dire diagnosis, but I guess it beats the alternative – you have to stop at 51.
Yup, the joys of getting older. I recall Dad saying to me, oh some 30 years ago, “Terry, it’s hell growing older. Your body stops cooperating with you”. Now that we are 50’something, the reality has become oh too real. You are blessed with great health. Enjoy it and stop worrying!
Note to self: do the same thing. 🙂
I didn’t know that Dad said that. What a sage!
Stop worrying is good advice. It worries me that I worry so much.
Glad to hear to are so fit and healthy. I hope you continue to…er..wait…um…you know this blog was not quite as witty as usual….but I wouldn’t worry…hmm….I don’t think it has anything to do with dementia…no I’m ..uh.. sure it doesn’t. Forget I mentioned it.
That’s really my biggest secret worry. I have more and more trouble finding words and names in the overstuffed filing cabinet that is my brain. The good thing about dementia is, if I get it, I won’t know about it!
You weren’t supposed to take that seriously. What you’re describing is a very common trait for us “experienced” citizens. Your snappy repartee convinces me you’re going to have to deal with a sharp mind for a long long while.
The late Oscar Levant was famous for his hypochondria. When he died of a heart attack at age 65, some comedians suggested that his epitaph read “I told them I was ill.”
I loved him in An American In Paris. Just goes to show – even a broken clock is right twice a day!