I Am Hypochondriac

Sadness PillsHypochondriacs are people who worry excessively about contracting an illness. Upon experiencing the slightest physical discomfort, they will often overreact, becoming absolutely convinced that they have some kind of serious disease. I am one of these people. For example, If I were to get an abnormally bad headache, I would not think "Man, this headache is worse than usual!" I would think "This headache is caused by a monstrous brain tumor. I will die in 3 weeks." and immediately begin hyperventilating while scrawling out a makeshift will on a restaurant napkin.
 
Also it is also an extremely bad idea for a hypochondriac to look up illnesses online. One specific no-no is symptom checkers (pages where you enter your symptoms and they tell you what disease you may (DO) have). So obviously I'm always checking those. I'll enter a bunch of nonspecific symptoms like headache, lightheadedness, upset stomach, whatever, and then about 40 terrifying diseases will come up. I'll eventually narrow it down, cutting out the more physically obvious ones like gangrene or black lung, until all that's left are the most horrible-and-yet-not-readily-apparent diseases. This is usually done right before I go to bed, which means I usually spend half the night moaning and wondering how I'm going to break it to my parents that I have somehow managed to contract thyroid cancer, cystic fibrosis, jaundice, and sudden infant death syndrome all within the span of a week.
 
And that's only the beginning. Here are just a few of the instances in which I was absolutely certain that I had contracted a major disease.
 
 

Testicular Cancer

CrotchI am 12 years old and I decide I have testicular cancer. This is because I have just heard about testicular cancer.
 
Obviously I can't keep this to myself, but what am I gonna do, walk up to my mom and say "Hey mom, I have batch cancer, take me to the doctor". Not a chance, I'm 12. So instead, I make up some lie about how my stomach is hurting me (hey, it's close to the same area). She takes me to the doctor, to whom I tell the truth. He snaps on a glove, feels me up, says "Huh." and sends me off to a specialist, who squeezes them harder, takes another bite of his Charleston Chew, and says "Huh." and sends me to some kind of imaging room where an elderly nurse proceeds to disinterestedly slather my area with some warm gel and scan it with some kind of child testicle imaging paddles, or whatever.
 
Obviously the end result of this was that they found nothing at all, and I sort of shrugged and went home never to think of it again until now. But most importantly, this served as the beginning of my descent into Hypochondriacal madness.  
 
 

Stomach Cancer (Or Whatever)

Soon after I was cured of my testicular cancer I went with my dad to what I assume must've been "Take Your Fat Neurotic Kid to Work Day". Surprise, surprise, I went willingly. Not that I was especially eager to learn about the inner workings of a software development company, but hey: Free day off of school, right? Anyway, after a great day of playing minesweeper, spinning around in a chair, and pretending to be asleep, I get home and instantly begin getting terrible stomach cramps. Like the worst I'd ever experienced; absolutely unbearable. So I'm was writhing on the ground in tears, screaming for what was obviously stomach cancer (or whatever)  to stop. My mother (the one from whom I have inherited many of my mental disorders) is going sort of insane.  
 
FetalSo she drags me out the door, tosses me into the trunk of the car, and we drive to the ER. I wait for the doctor, lying on the carpet and sucking air in through my clenched teeth, wondering what treatments are available for stomach cancer (or whatever).
 
As it turned out, I didn't really need to worry too much about that because, according to the doctor, the intense, SEARING abdominal pain I was experiencing probably had less to do with stomach cancer, and more to do with the approximately 6 packs (120 pieces) of sugarless gum I had chewed in a row from the vending machine at my dad's office, or, as my mom put it: The 6 goddamn packs of sugarless gum he "gave me the money for and allowed me to chew consecutively" from the vending machine at his office. Yeah so anyway, I guess you aren't supposed to chew that much gum (ASPARTAME!) in such a short period of time, but what can I say, gum tastes good.
 
 

Neck Tumor

More recently I got sick with the flu (or something like it). I almost never get sick (hilarious for a hypochondriac, right?) so I'm usually not very sure what normally happens to you when you get different illnesses. So when I rubbed my neck and found that one of my lymph nodes there was enlarged, I almost passed out.
 
"Jesus christ! Fucking NECK cancer!"
 
Now anyone who knows anything about anything knows that the enlargement of lymph nodes is one of the most common things to happen when you get sick, but obviously this didn't stop me from overreacting.
 
Neck Tumor"Tumor! Tumor! Tumor! Tumor! Tumor!" my brain screamed throughout the day.
 
So I forced my mother to force my father to drive me to the afterhours clinic (seeing as I could barely even walk), and once I got there, I crawled up to the counter, pulled myself up and mumbled something about a nurse "ordering me to come in because of this lump on my neck" which was not even remotely true. The girl shrugged and said "alright, it should be about 12-14 hours", at which point I stumbled across the room and collapsed into the lap of a withered catatonic who was sitting in a nearby chair. She smiled and began to stroke my matted hair, ever so gently.
 
When I was finally able to mutter feverishly about my tumor with the doctor (a cherubic midwestern soccer mom in a patchwork bluejean overall skirt), she laughed in my face and explained to me the concept of illness as if I were a four year old (which was entirely fair), and said she would give me a blood test to see if I had mono. I knew I did not (from kissing the cat?), but I accepted anyway because I love blood tests. After it came back negative she scribbled off a note to get me 3 days off work and flounced out of the room, chuckling under her breath. To this day I still do not know how much of this experience was a dream.
 
 

And Recently...(Condensed Version)

Here is a shortened timeline of all the conditions I have had within the past few months, along with how long I thought I had them. Also included on the righthand side are mildly amusing photos which have little to do with anything.

 

April 12th 2009: Full Blown Stage III Cancer

Attacked!Shortly after returning from my doctor visit, I decide to believe the doctor that instead of a tumor, it is simply an enlarged lymph node. To me, this signifies stage III cancer, because hey: I saw it on Gray's Anatomy once that cancer sometimes spreads to your lymph nodes and stuff. I continue to live in fear until the swelling subsides a few days later, at which point I become slightly less convinced that I am dying.

May 1st 2009, 3PM: Brain Tumor

Got a migraine. Brain Tumor!

May 1st 2009, 10PM: Cured

Migraine gone. Tumor Subsides.

June 13th 2009 ,2PM: Brain Tumor Again

Tumor returns when I decide to decide again that my migraines are caused by a brain tumor.

June 13th 2009, 2:30 PM: Optic Nerve Tumor

Bear Ball"It may not be a brain tumor. My eye hurts when I get these headaches so that must be what it is. Wait, does an optic nerve tumor even exist? Who knows. It doesn't even matter. I have one."

June 13th 2009, 2:31 PM: Revert to Brain Tumor

I decide against the optic nerve tumor and go with brain tumor again.

Aug. 21st 2009: Lung Cancer

I notice a tightness in my chest and throat when taking breaths. Also sometime I cough. This one of the surest signs of cancer yet! Unfortunately, it soon goes away and I am forced to downgrade my diagnosis to "probably just mild heartburn".

Aug. 23rd 2009: Lung Cancer Again

The cancer returns again a few night later when my side starts to hurt. I turn over on my side but the pain is still there!

Punched By HitlerOne Week Ago: Someone Must Have Broken Into My House And Slipped a Mickey In My Drink While I Was In The Bathroom

As I was sitting at home on the computer, I began feeling lightheaded and faint. I informed my sister (who I was talking to on the internet at the time) of this, and told her that either I was becoming sick, or I had been drugged (with emphasis on the latter). As I couldn't very well explain to her my theory that someone twisted vagrant had likely broken into my house, poured a vial of rohypnol in my drink, and was now scowling at me through a pair of binoculars just outside and waiting for me to swoon and drop to the floor so he could break in again and savage me, so I just said "nevermind", signed off, deadbolted the door, and went to sleep.
 
 
 
In closing, I have to say that the only thing worse than being a hypochondriac is being a hypochondriac who turns out to be right. Let's just hope that never happens (although it almost certainly will). But hey, I guess I'm supposed to end this with a meaningless joke or pointless reference to some early 90s kids movie or something. I guess it doesn't really matter, since I'm positive nobody will have read through even half this piece of crap, but just in case:
Little Big
That's it.


Photo Credits
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