Waiting for my diagnosis. What a perfect time for rampant hypochondria!

Unless you are some kind of Sadomasochist nut case you probably don’t enjoy reading about others’ aches and pains. Well, that is, unless you are looking for some kind of medical condition that you have. Believe me when I say I’ve been down that road before.

If one is prone to hypochondria, heaven help you, the Internet has the material for you. It seems that the access to this material could bump up your worries on health to a whole ‘nother level, something to near what is actually a real syndrome called “Medical Students’ Disease.” From the Wikipedia, a very worthwhile place to make everything a bit worse, is an explanation of the disease:

“Baars (2001) writes:

Suggestible states are very commonplace. Medical students who study frightening diseases for the first time routinely develop vivid delusions of having the “disease of the week”—whatever they are currently studying. This temporary kind of hypochondria is so common that it has acquired a name, “medical student syndrome.”

When I began studying for my EMT license, I found myself with such a phobia. Every time I would get a random gas pain I would think I was having pancreatitis or appendicitis or some type of -itis. Eventually, as I met other EMTs and nurses and other medical professionals, I would get them to admit to temporarily experiencing this hypochondria. Of course, I had a doctor who was a hypochondriac. Well, maybe he wasn’t filled so much with hypochondria than a medically-induced gasconading. The doctor was always one up on you in his back and cervical spine problems. I had a laminectomy, he went temporarily paraplegic. And so forth and so on.

I have noted here that I have been having knee problems of late, that I believed to emanate from a fall on all fours onto the pavement. After more than a month of walking around on a right knee with light to extreme pain, I finally went to a knee specialist who believed I might have a torn cartilage. The pain has intensified for the last few days and I lost a bit of sleep for at least two nights. Yesterday I finally had an MRI in which the technician put some kind of cap on top of the knee and I hurt like a sonofabitch the entire time. Good I said only that “I hurt like hell” in reply to the tech asking if I was okay. When I went into the next room to get the pocket items that had been locked up, this little bespectacled little girls in pigtails was sitting on a chair and said with a smile: “I hope you feel better.” Awww man!  I don’t know whether she was about to get a MRI as well, but I was actually kind of shocked, disarmed, as some would say.

Today, rather remarkably, my doctor’s office — this was a worker’s comp injury so I didn’t go to the VA — called and said my results were back and the doctor could see me in the morning to go over them. Well, I started hitting the internets, looking at and imagining what it is that is my problem that has caused so me so much distress. I just can’t wait for the doctor. Got to know, now! Figure out what I can do if it’s this or that. Will it require surgery? How long will I be laid up? Is it even worse than I imagine?

Well, all I got to say is “stay tuned’ because if I don’t know, I doubt any reader is going to know unless it’s a guess. Or else they are hacking my computer and looking to see what’s wrong with me before I know. And I got this other pain in my right side and my hair on the top of my head is gone and … Oh well, I shaved my head, didn’t I? But then there is this numbness …





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