PROOF THAT HYPOCHONDRIA MAY BE CONTAGIOUS
Have you ever been reading about a disease and then realized, "I have all of those symptoms! Oh lord, I have dysplasiastic hemophobia!"?
It happens to me all the time.
It happens so often, in fact, that I have to be very careful about what I read in the paper. Because if I hear that West Nile virus has been found in my neighbourhood, it's only a matter of hours until I have contracted it and am flat on my back in the emergency ward. (They know me quite well now. I have my own cot in the far corner of a wing they're thinking of naming after me. Or so one of the nurses told me one night, but she may have just been trying to calm me down.)
Over the years, I have managed to afflict myself with dozens of disorders and diseases, including but not limited to dengue fever, SARS, dyshidrotic eczema, late-onset Tay-Sachs and Tourette Syndrome. (Those who work with me suspect I was never really cured of that last one.)
As a result, I make fairly frequent visits to my long-suffering doctor. A typical conversation will go like this:
Doctor: You again! Long time no see.
Me: I was here last week.
Doctor: I know. I was joking. So what brings you here this time? Dandy-Walker Syndrome? Asceptic Meningitis? Coxsackie Virus Infection? It's going around.
Me: It is? OMIGOD! WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Doctor: No, I . . . oh what the hell. Let's just do this. (Peers at clipboard.) Let's see. ... blurred vision?
Me: Yes! I have that.
Doctor: Dry mouth?
Doctor: Fingernail sensitivity?
Me: Now that you mention it . . .
Doctor: Have you ever heard of hypochondria?
Me: I . . . is it contagious?
I'm sure this all sounds very funny to you, but in fact it's debilitating. And it has only gotten worse since Google came along. Because you can type any wacky combination of symptoms in there and it'll match you to a fatal disease within seconds. Anyway, I'm going to have to cut this short. My fingernails are starting to throb and my bladder is feeling funny.
Editor's note: I'm no doctor, but I think we can diagnose her as "Bonkers."
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