My Interlude with Hypochondria

For some unknown reason during my childhood, I went through a period of hypochondria.

Every week I swore that I had some rare and horrible life-threatening disease.

I would sit in front of the television watching Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, and Marcus Welby, M.D., carefully listening to each symptom of an illness. And by the end of show…I was convinced that I had it.

At 9 years old, I informed my parents that I had: high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, arthritis, a heart murmur, kidney stones, gout, and malaria.

If I had known what a Merck Manual was at the time…I would have asked Santa for one and simply diagnosed myself.

My favorite pastime was spending hours in the bathroom, looking through the medicine cabinet and reading direction and warning labels on all the bottles.

And I was FOREVER begging my mother for a St. Joseph aspirin.

Not because I had a headache or anything. I asked for it only as a preventative means.

(and also, because I loved their delightful orange flavor)

But eventually she had to hide them from me, in fear that I would just start taking them on my own.

The final straw of tolerance…came, when I told my parents I had appendicitis and that it was going to burst and then flood my body with a poisonous substance, and possibly even kill me.

I remember that afternoon clearly….

I had just seen a movie that day about someone who had had appendicitis. I kept feeling my stomach directly below my belly-button; to the right. And each time I pressed on the area…I felt a sharp stabbing pain.

I ran upstairs screaming, telling my mother that she had to drive me to the hospital immediately or I would die.

(she threw back her head and laughed)

I then went to my father and screamed the same thing.

(he was much more sympathetic)

He told my mother that this time he thought I wasn’t kidding, and that maybe they should take me to the hospital, just in case.

So off we went to the ER.

After the doctor poked and prodded around my abdomen, he ordered some blood work.

When the results came back, he told my parents that the blood test showed absolutely no abnormality and that maybe I was just experiencing severe gas.

Well….

On the way home, my mother informed me that if I ever pulled a dramatic stunt like that again…she had every intention of dramatically killing me, so that I would never have to worry about disease.

And just like that…I was cured of Hypochondria.

It was that simple.




28 comments

  1. I got all my good stuff from Marcus Welby, too. ;-)

    I won't admit to Dr. Kildare or Ben Casey though.
    Maybe reruns? LOL

    And what's up with those 'oldie' stations that are playing MY era music?!

    *grumbling*

    Oh wait....I feel a case of appendicitis comin' on....

    *nodding* It's Wednesday and the sun is shining and who wants to work when they could be patio sitting and chatting with the critters?!

    :-D

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  2. Oh My Goodness Ron, this is hilarious!!!! I can just see your mother saying she would dramatically kill you!!! Classic!
    Funny that you post this, because I have several hypochondriacs in my life. My 8 1/2 yr old daughter drives me insane complaining about her latest illnesses. She always has something wrong with her.
    And my 12 yr old step daughter is a total freak about this too. But hers in a really long story....it is all fueled by the evil ex wife...her mother.
    The funniest is my mother in law. There is probably another word other than hypochondria for her condition....she constantly thinks there is something wrong with one of us. She worked as a medical transcriptionist for 25 years and now thinks that she can diagnose every problem. So if by chance she would happen to randomly call here and my husband said, "Mom, I can't talk right now, I have a headache." I would get a frantic phone call from her in about an hour saying that I need to rush him to the ER immediately. She will say something along the lines of, "It is unusual for a 36 yr old man to have a headache at this time of the day. I think he may be diabetic. Take him to the ER right away."
    I deal with this from her all the time. If it is not my husband who is "dying" then it must be the children. She is looney and drives me nuts!
    God help us all if someday she is actually right in her diagnosis, because then we will never hear the end of it.
    Anyways, have a great day Ron!!

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  3. OH MY, how funny. But what you must have gone thru if ever sick with anything. Did you ever have to live with a real issue after that figuring they wouldn't believe you??
    I remember Marcus Welby. And Emergency, with oooh, was it Randolph Mantooth???
    That name just popped into my head!

    I think I am going thru Hypochondria RIGHT NOW. LOL I have been to the Doctors lately for various things and while they are very kind and I've known the 2 I'm seeing right now for many years, I still wonder what they think because it seems I have alot of complaints.

    The latest problem I won't even go into, but suffice it to say that when my Doc called me personally yesterday to say that he's going to have someone in his office make a pre-authorization to my insurance company for an MRI of the area, I felt good but also bad. Sorta feel like a bother and saying that if it comes out to be some silly minor thing or even nothing they can find, I will on one hand be very glad of course, but on the other horrified for wasting people's time. He was very cool about it though and said....
    'It's up to US to prove that there's nothing wrong' and because certain tests are not always complete and only see certain areas we've got to keep looking. So I know he's trying but at the same time is a little confused about my symptoms.
    Also, I saw a heart doctor a few months back too, not even 44 years old and I'm hanging with the cardiologists already. It was after a 911 call had half the towns paramedics in my home within minutes of the call. The squeezing pain I had in my chest and the racing heart and sweating had subsided fairly quickly upon their arrival, but it was freaky enough when it first happenend to be quite concerned. Nothing was happening at the time, just watching some t.v. and it didn't feel like a panic type attack or anything so my son said I should call as I went into his room to say I wasn't feeling well.
    So with the on site ekg reading normal and vitals calming down, I declined a ride to the ER but they said I must follow up with the Doc. I did. I was sent for a workup and the cardiologist said things looked pretty good (anemic, but have been most of my life) altho my symptoms were a little unusual and because heart disease ran in my family and women are very underdiagnosed he still wanted to do one other test. I had had enough by that point and didn't go back. I still can, but since this other issue has become more prominant I've been working on that.

    I'll tell ya, it's hard not feeling well with things that aren't classic.
    You know, something like a headache that you can just take a tylenol for.
    Maybe I just have a very very low tolerance for discomfort and things that wouldn't bother some, are magnified with me.
    I swear sometimes it's because I live near a cell phone tower. Seriously toooooo close to a cell tower. You know, we get lots of emf's in a normal day... computer, t.v., cell phone, etc. etc. so to add to that might be enough to aggravate someone who has a sensitive system? And on Wednesday you can smell the diesel in the generator building from whatever is running on that day. It's not all day, but just enough in the morning that if I'm at the computer on in my bedroom I can notice it even when the windows are shut!
    Of course mentioning this to my family Doc met with disagreeance. This stuff is everywhere and we use it in daily life. He said if I didn't like it, move.
    Moving is not an option at this point. So I have a little Angel sitting on my front door for protection and don't think about it most days if I can help it, trying trying trying to LIVE IN BLISS.

    So I don't know. If my issues are caused by anything specific or just family DNA, or if I'm just overly sensitive. But I have wondered lately what the heck is going on.

    Well, today I am going to pamper my blah self. I'm going to start with a pedicure and some yummy oils in the bath. Even tho there are days I don't feel so great with one thing or another I do try to counteract that with good music, and heavenly smells, a little chocolate indulgence, and some other feel good things. It's a balancing act, but I'm trying......

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  4. Morning Nica!

    So glad you enjoyed!

    Thank you for your visits...it's nice having your here!

    Enjoy your day Nica!

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  5. Good Wednesday Mornin' Mel!

    Wasn't Marcus Welby the BEST???

    I always thought, "Ya, know...if I ever have to be ill and have a doctor...I would always hope to get Marcus Welby!

    He seemed like the nicest man.

    (and he also CURED everyone!)

    Now Dr. Kildare (Richard Chamberlin) and Ben Casey(I don't remember his name) were from the early 60's I believe...(black and white TV days). I was at the peak of my hypochondria at that time.

    They were good, but Dr. Marcus was more updated with the last diseases!

    tee, hee.

    Thanks for droppin' by, Mel!

    And when you get home from work, tell all the critters I said HI!

    Enjoy your day!

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  6. Good thing you didn't have WebMD back then, right? I've googled so many symptoms and been convinced I had the worst things that showed up immediately in the search results.

    I'm also the daughter of a doctor. You hear a lot of things that way. I've been worried about tape worms for as long as I can remember.

    LOVE the picture with this post.lol

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  7. OMG Nicole...talk about HILARIOUS!!

    Great story!!!

    Your mother-in-law sounds hysterical!

    I think people like that are called, ALARMISTS. I once worked with a girl, who like your mil, always thought there was something physically wrong with everyone.

    I mean it...

    She looked at me once and said, "You spine looks crooked...I think you may have curviture of the spine."

    She had this way of "scanning" your body (like an exray machine)everytime she talked to you and would ALWAYS find something wrong with you!

    I was just talking to my mother a few days ago, and was telling her about how I was going to post on my childhood hypochondria.

    (I needed to get the details from her)

    GOD...did we LAUGH!!

    She's a miracle worker....

    She CURED ME!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Nicole! TOTALLY enjoyed it!

    Have an awesome day!

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  8. Morn'in Crystal Chick~

    No...thank GOD!

    I've always been blessed with health.

    Little things, here and there...but nothing major.

    I honestly think that my reason for this interlude with hypochondria, was because of my BIOLOGICAL mothers' (not the mother I speak of in this post) illness with cancer. I was very young at the time, and there were always doctors and nurses at the house taking care of her. I think seeing that for 5 years, just scared me into being overly sensitve to illness.

    By the time my father remarried...my present mother, then had to deal with my DRAMA!

    And what's totally weird...is that SINCE THEN I very rarely even think of illness.

    I feel blessed for that.

    Hey, listen...I think I would have to agree with you, on your thoughts and feelings concerning health. I DO believe that some people are EXTRA sensitive to the environment (physcially and energetically) and it can really affect you.

    I think it's so wonderful that you combined medical with alternative support. I do the same thing. There is great benefit in BOTH!

    Thanks so much for sharing yourself, M!

    It's always good talkin' to ya!

    Hey...and enjoy your PAMPER DAY! It sound wonderful!

    (especially the part about CHOCOLATE)

    Later, gator!

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  9. Howdy Rhea!

    OMG...you said it, girl!

    I can't even IMAGINE what I would have been like, if I had had access to the INTERNET!!!

    OY VEY!

    Hey listen, funny you should mention TAPE WORMS...ME TOO! For YEARS I kept thinking I was going to get one. I went through a growing stage, when I was hunger all the time...

    I was SURE it was a tape worm!

    WOW...your father is a DOCTOR??

    And your husbands a LAWYER??

    Now if one of your children becomes a plumber...you'll have EVERYTHING taken care of!!

    tee, hee!

    ALWAYS fun talking and sharing with you, Rhea!

    Thanks for your visit!

    And again...I LOVE your new blog template!!!

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  10. Thanks for your sweet comments on my new site (and on my avatar picture a while back), I really appreciate it!!

    My dad's a doctor, my mom's a lawyer (and a judge) so I was the Cosby family growing up...only white and not as cool. lol

    Then I went and married myself a lawyer, goodness, what was I thinkin?!!

    I have two grandparents who are vets.

    Get togethers are fun!! hehe

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  11. Oh, I loved Marcus Welby!

    Funny story, btw.

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  12. Greeting Louisiana!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    It's so nice meeting new people!

    And ALSO someone who loved Marcus Welby, M.D.!

    So glad you enjoyed the post!

    Stop by anytime...the doors always open!

    Enjoy your day!

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  13. Howdy again, Rhea!

    You're so welcome!

    I mean it...your new site is SO awesome. As you already KNOW...I'm a HUGE fanatic about my template design. For me...it's all about presentation, and giving my readers something neat to look at. I want my template to tell a story.

    WOW...and you have VETS in your family too!!

    I actually, at one time, thought about going to school for that. It was just a FLEETING thought, though....

    After I realized how MUCH schooling it takes!

    And I've heard from several medical people, that vet training is actually harder than becoming a people doctor.

    Thanks for stopping by again, Rhea!

    Always fun!

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  14. I wanted Dr. Welby to be my Dad and I just plain wanted his hunky sidekick - remember young James Brolin!?

    You were a handful.

    My son used to call me at work trying to get me to come home early. He wasn't very creative though. He'd call and tell me he was paralyzed or he fell and was in a coma. I just kept asking over and over "how did you get to the phone?" and hey'd mutter "fine" and hang up.

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  15. ron...just imagine if you were 9 years old and watched the shows that are on TV now. Impressionable. You would walk with your pants hung low, underwear showing for all to view.

    Thank mother for pulling you through...lullabys and wiping your eyes when you cried.

    She loved you and one look in her eyes...showed you it was true. But there are times...you went a little to far and it was NO more...ha!

    I like your mother. Now that would get my attention especailly seeing my mother meant everything she said. GULP! Amd Ron...when a mother says...she will dramactically kill you...that was worse than saying I will just kill you. I think the word dramatically kill you means...with a sharp object...knife or ax. Anyway it sounds like it would hurt. I mean what would you tell your school mates?

    *Monday at school*
    school mate...Hey Ron what's that ax doing on your head?

    You...Oh that! Mother dramactically killed me.

    school mate...hey ron, that looks like it hurts. Want some St. Joseph aspirin? They're orange flavor.

    hehehe.
    Ciao ron...Stay away from medical shows...you might have a replapse.
    :D

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  16. Evening Dianne!

    OMG....your son and me sound like two peas in a pod!

    That is SO FUNNY!

    PARALYZED???

    Damn...I wish I would have thought of that one when I was a kid!

    That's one of the ONLY things I DID'NT use!!!

    Yes...I WAS a handful!

    Being born an actor...I think I was just using my imagination and getting ready for my FUTURE on the stage.

    My mother and I laugh NOW...but THEN it was NOT funny!

    Hey...I totally forgot about James Brolin in the show!!!

    GOD...not he's with BARBRA!

    (but you're MUCH prettier)

    Thanks for stopping by, Dianne.

    Always GREAT talking to ya!

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  17. Dear Miss Jones....

    NEVER!

    Whenever I see those kids with the pants hanging down and the underwear showing (which is like 10 times a day here)....I want to SCREAM!

    OMG...the sight of that makes me CRAZY!

    I'm always trying to figure out wear their ass is!?!

    YES...honestly, my mother was a saint for putting up with my DRAMA. And she had every right to want to dramatically kill me!

    I was a DEMON child!

    Hey...and do you know what's weird? I actually went to school to become a Medical Assistant and then had thoughts of going on to become a PA.

    But the STAGE called me!

    "I vant to be alone!"

    Thank you Miss Garbo.

    GREAT talking to ya, Spiky!

    You always make me smile!

    Ciao bella!

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  18. *GiGGLeS* You are sooo cute!

    Oh my heck though I was just as bad when I was little!

    I was ridiculously paranoid of having all sorts of diseases!

    I was even convinced that freckles and glasses were contageous so I would steer clear of the geeks in primary school :-P Teeeheeee!

    Gees I was so bad, I could have even convinced myself into having something as unlikely as testical cancer! TeeHee :-P xx

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  19. Mornin' Giggles!

    I have a feeling that if you and I had gone through school together...we would have been in the nurse's office asking for St. Joseph asprins and freckle prevention cream!

    tee, hee!

    And do you know what's really strange??? I ALWAYS wanted to wear glasses! And I couldn't wait to get my first tooth filling!

    What the hell was WRONG with me???

    Thanks for stopping by, funny Giggles!

    You always make me giggle!

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  20. That was a cute story! Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great holiday weekend!

    Bekah

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  21. Afternoon Bekah!

    So glad you enjoyed it...thank you!

    Hope you and your family have a WONDERFUL and HAPPY holiday weekend!

    Always nice talking to you, Bekah!

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  22. LOL that was so funny Ron!

    I used to work at a pharmacy supplies and had access to MIMS, in which you can look up drugs and what they are intended for including contra indications and side effects - I read it so much I almost became an expert!

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  23. Afternoon Akelamalu!

    I was a STRANGE little lad, wasn't I?

    ooooh...I wish I would have know you then. I could have called you up and asked you to diagnose me!!

    That's weird...cause I worked at a pharmacy too. I had the job of delivering the prescriptions to peoples homes.

    (of course...AFTER I read the direction and warning lables)

    Thanks so much for stopping by today, my friend.

    Always HAPPY to see ya!

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  24. Trying to catch up will all my friends today.

    Sounds like your mom was ready to give you some honest to goodness symptoms. You must have been quite a handful growing up.

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  25. Howdy Jeff!

    Good to see ya, bud!

    Yes...I was a handful and just FULL-OF-IT in general!!!

    God bless my mother!

    Thanks for stopping by, Jeff!

    Always nice seeing ya!

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  26. We were separated at birth... I felt the same sharp stabbing pains! You're my LONG LOST TWIN!

    Did you fake a cold just so you could get a rubdown with Vicks? *shuffles feet innocently and whistles*

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  27. HOLY SHIT, ANNDI!

    What did I tell you...LIBRA'S are ALL twin babies!

    We were all given the DRAMA gene!

    And YEEEEEES!!

    OMG...Vicks vapo-rub was like one of my favorite things in the world. Even if I didn't have a cold...I would go into the bathroom and just SNIFF it!

    Weren't we "special" children?

    Thanks for stopping by, fellow Vicks lover!

    Always a HOOT talking to ya!

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