Re: Hypochondria Porn

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That pain in my left calf, possibly a blood clot! Or phlebitis! I'm gonna die.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:43 PM
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It is a most extraordinary thing, but I never read a patent medicine advertisement without being impelled to the conclusion that I am suffering from the particular disease therein dealt with in its most virulent form. The diagnosis seems in every case to correspond exactly with all the sensations that I have ever felt.

I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch - hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into - some fearful, devastating scourge, I know - and, before I had glanced half down the list of "premonitory symptoms," it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it.

I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever - read the symptoms - discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it - wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus's Dance - found, as I expected, that I had that too, - began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically - read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright's disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid's knee.

I felt rather hurt about this at first; it seemed somehow to be a sort of slight. Why hadn't I got housemaid's knee? Why this invidious reservation? After a while, however, less grasping feelings prevailed. I reflected that I had every other known malady in the pharmacology, and I grew less selfish, and determined to do without housemaid's knee. Gout, in its most malignant stage, it would appear, had seized me without my being aware of it; and zymosis I had evidently been suffering with from boyhood. There were no more diseases after zymosis, so I concluded there was nothing else the matter with me.

I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to "walk the hospitals," if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they need do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their diploma.


Posted by: Jerome K. Jerome | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:44 PM
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(Psst, gswift.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:50 PM
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3 was supposed to go here.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:51 PM
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I have fibromyalgia! Or something that means that my spinal cord is narrowing and I'm going to end up incontinent and paralyzed!

Or maybe I just need to get some exercise and stand up straighter.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:54 PM
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Finally, an excuse to buy a vibrator.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 10:59 PM
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Postpartum depression, fabulous. But wait, I'm going to click the symptom where I would want to eat ice, dirt, and paper. I've got to see what that's about.


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:15 PM
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I don't need these cheat sheets, I choose to use serendipity and magical leaps of logic to diagnose diseases like my heroes on House and its forefathers.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:37 PM
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You can replicate that effect by clicking around randomly on the site.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-15-07 11:41 PM
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8: he's Ned, Jim!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:17 AM
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I have a reverse hypochondria effect. For three years now, I've been running a low grade fever. If I see a doctor about it, he's liable to diagnose me with something, at which point I will be very fucking ineligible for anything. I'm currently writing code independently. If some big company would pick me up, I could go see a doctor, and they'd be on the hook. As it is though, I'm not inclined to fuck up my eligibility, and I haven't died yet,


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 1:09 AM
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Also, I do not appear to be contagious, so do not worry about societal collapse. Nobody is suffering; the only effect of this condition that I can measure is the elevation of my regular body temperature from 97.2-7 to 99.4-8.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 1:41 AM
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Sweet. Some kind of chronic infection? I'm going to guess latent syphilis.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 1:59 AM
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Just this morning the muscle at the base of my thumb was twitching and I was wondering if I had ALS. I'd say I start about one in three mornings this way; during the others, I am too stupified from waking up at 2am worrying about (what appear to be) totally imaginary heart symptoms to concern myself with neuromuscular disorders. Which will get me first, I often wonder.

(You think I'm kidding, don't you?)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 7:39 AM
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Heh. I spent the weekend with a really unpleasant headcold producing an impressive sinus headache, and spent a couple of hours in the shower trying to steam the snot out while idly considering how to arrange my life around the chemo if the headache was from a brain tumor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:07 AM
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Finally, the mouse experience explained!

BitchPHd has Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:11 AM
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Yeah, my neck and shoulder are really bothering me, and I'm pretty sure that it's MS rather than the giant shoulder bag full of books, and water bottle, and camera that I carry around.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:27 AM
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I always have minor health worries, and asked my GP recently if he thought I was a hypochondriac.

Him: "How often have you seen me in the last year?"
Me: "About four times."
Him: "My hypochondriacal patients are in here four times a week"
Me: "Oh."

The crappy thing is that doctors always dismiss minor health worries. They play the percentage game. 99.9% of people with these symptoms aren't seriously ill, so they dismiss you. The problem is, if you are one of the .1 (or .001) of people.

I have an entirely non-life-threatening and non-sympathy-deserving but, nonetheless, still mildly annoying illness that, it turns out, is incredibly rare. If it wasn't for the fact that I am i) quite assertive, ii) someone who worries about his health, I'd never have been diagnosed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:32 AM
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Hey LB, have you tried this?

It has helped clear up some of my nastiest sinus infections when antibiotics were not doing the trick.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:33 AM
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Never have. I don't usually get long-drawn out sinus things -- this one hit Thursday and I'm mostly fine today, barring a little sniffling and a hacking cough, so I just mostly ignore them. But it does look as if it would work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:35 AM
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I think that neti pots are better used as a preventative measure.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:36 AM
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Actual quote: when a friend of hers died before he was 60, my Mom said "He always seemed perfectly healthy, except that he was sort of a hypochondriac". My mom was big on the stiff upper lip.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:37 AM
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My grandmother was a wretched hypochondriac. She was gravely ill every day of her 89-year-long life. She had her own copy of the PDR, which she used for a low-tech version of this very game.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:50 AM
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The Spanish Nobelist Vicente Aleixandre was deathly ill from about 1930 until he died in 1984 at the age of 86.

It was a real disease, but apparently not a life-shortening one .


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 8:56 AM
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We had two ratty dogs when I was growing up. They went senile when they were about six or seven and became un-housebroken, etc. Then they lived to be 14 and 15. They took forever to die.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 12:56 PM
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That's a tolerant family you've got. I love the pets I've had, but I think I'd have a strong tendency to interpret 'incontinent' as 'suffering and in pain' and have the animal put down, regardless of other evidence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 1:08 PM
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Don't knock the symptom checker! A couple of years ago it helped me identify appendicitis as a likely diagnosis for my spouse, even though she had none any of (to me at least) the classic symptoms. Without it we might not have hospitalized her before it burst.


Posted by: cdm | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 6:07 PM
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It just diagnosed me with a stress fracture, agreeing with the doctor I saw today but disagreeing with my personal assessment of bone cancer. Fraud!


Posted by: Mary | Link to this comment | 07-16-07 9:53 PM
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