I’m an extreme hypochondriac.
Every new mole I find is malignant, every sore throat is esophageal cancer from the GERD that I’m positive I have. If my leg hurts it must be restless leg syndrome, which, according to WebMD, means I’m doomed to have a heart attack, the heart attack that I’m sure I’m having after every Taco Bell excursion.
I could blame lack of control over stressful, negative thoughts or I could blame poor parenting, or even genetics, as several members of my family fall into the “hypochondriac” category.
Instead, I choose to blame TV.
I was only a mild hypochondriac, with aches and pains that I chose to worry about from time to time, until a little over a week ago. I remember exactly what happened the day I became an extreme hypochondriac.
I was sitting in my living room, watching TV, minding my business, laughing at King of the Hill, when this sincere-sounding, motherly woman hopped on my screen and told me that if I didn't talk to my doctor about my restless leg syndrome (RLS) I was sure to end up dead, like her dear, departed Hank.
Poor Hank. I grabbed a box of tissues and start to dial the doctor’s number when the next commercial came on and told me I have to ask my doctor about a different medicine than Hank had been given. I hung up. I’m listening. No sense calling the doctor if I can’t tell him what medicine to give me. What kind of system would that be? I wondered to myself if maybe that wasn’t the real reason Hank didn’t make it.
OH MY GOD!!
I'm So Confused!
It took a minute, but I began to realize that the medicine this new kindly sounding lady was talking about was for red eyes, not RLS. Hmmm. Well, since I’d been crying over Hank, my eyes were definitely red. I wrote down the name of the medicine so I could be sure the doctor prescribed the right thing. I noticed some guy talking fast in the background. I was sure it wasn’t important since I couldn’t see him and he didn’t sound all nice and motherly.
I was going to call the doctor at that point, but then I realized it was after 5 and my doctor was probably playing golf. Playing golf is important for doctors. If doctors didn’t play golf, they would be no good at doctoring. I know this, because all the good doctors I’ve ever seen have a set of golf clubs in the corner of their office. Being a genius, as well as a hypochondriac, I made the easy connection. I decided to wait until morning so I could be sure and get proper doctoring.
I went back to watching TV. In retrospect, this may have been a mistake. By the time I finished watching 30 Rock, Seinfeld, and a rerun of Star Trek the Next Generation, I had several more symptoms to worry about and a list of 17 medicines to ask my doctor to prescribe for me.
I did indeed have GERD, plus I had every symptom of early throat cancer, or I was using the wrong toothpaste, it was a little confusing. I also had allergies, tennis elbow, psoriasis, earwax buildup and this one really scary sounding disease, ED. I wasn’t completely sure what that was, the guy was a little vague, but I’m positive that I have it. The only thing I didn’t have was an understanding of the guy in the background talking really fast. He was in every single commercial, so maybe he was important.
Luckily, I have a DVR. It’s a really cool device that stops people on your TV in mid-sentence when you have to listen to what your kid is saying, make dinner, grab the clothes out of the dryer, take the dogs outside to use the bathroom, or clean up the mess because you didn’t take the dogs outside to use the bathroom. Since we bought this DVR thingy I can now do all those little chores that would typically keep me from having any clue what so ever as to what the people in my TV were saying or doing. Without this handy little device, I would certainly not have had the awesome list I had made to take to my doctor.
So, using this amazing technology, I went back to the commercials that were going to save my life, slowed it down and listened to Mr. Chatterbox. OMG!!!
Life Changing Decision
In order to keep my eyes un-dry, my sneezing to a minimum, my elbow from hurting occasionally, my knees un-psoriases filled, my ears from building up nasty wax, my legs from restless night activity, and whatever it was the ED was doing to me, I was going to have to risk the following: dizziness, nausea, irritability, blurred vision, no vision, liver damage, kidney damage, car rear bumper damage (I’m assuming this is a byproduct of the irritability), yellow toenails, heart murmurs, lung over-expansion, possible lung collapse, colon explosion, loss of hair, and hypochondria.
After I stopped hyperventilating, because a hypochondriac should never listen to a list of symptoms that long in one sitting, I made a life changing decision.
I cancelled my cable TV and ordered Netflix. Take THAT you commercial pretending to care, really trying to scare, lady who sounds all motherly. Now I can watch Star Trek ANY generation ANY time I want and not have to worry about my lungs collapsing and my colon exploding. I only wish Hank had thought of Netflix. I guess he wasn’t the genius I am. Sniff. RIP Hank.
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