Confessions of a hypochondriac

Confessions of a hypochondriac

Marielle worries she might need to go to the hospital for the papercut on her finger that could lead to a serious infection.

Marielle Arostegui, Staff Writer

As a discombobulating pain in my torso left me paralyzed on the floor, I instantly feared I would never move again. I slowly gained enough strength to drag my perishing body over to the computer, where the one thing that could save me sat knowingly on my desk—WebMD. It was here on this extraordinary website that I had to face the reality that my appendix had ruptured and time was running out. When I broke the news to my mother, warning her that a life-saving operation was immediately needed or our time together may be numbered, all I got was a blank stare. Her stare morphed into her usual skeptical look until she told me: “Set the table Marielle.

Your appendix isn’t in your shoulder.”

Welcome to my life as a hypochondriac, where I am always abnormally anxious about my health. I am convinced that every little ache and pain that I suffer through may be a life-altering medical condition.

But what is so wrong with being cautious? No one yells at celebrities for having bodyguards follow them, and I have never heard anyone complain about getting a gift bundled in bubble wrap. So my cautiousness should be rewarded, not ignored. Right?

Take the time I found a large bump on the back of my head. I was seriously concerned that a malignant lump had formed, or even worse…worms could be living in it. Everyone told me this itchy bump was just a bug bite, and I should ignore it. But, my intuition told me to watch this enlarged bump closely, and warn the ones I love about my impending death. Sure the bug bite eventually went away, but if I don’t treat these potential death signs seriously, one day it might be too late.

My paranoia was taken to a whole new level the day I discovered WebMD, a whole website dedicated to telling people like me about the conditions they may or may not have. It’s sort of like a chubby kid in a candy store, only this time the kid isn’t buying candy, but discovering that he might have a thyroid problem.

WebMD is what brought me to the conclusion that I was having a panic attack one night. I wasn’t particularly anxious about anything, but all the signs were there: sweaty palms, a rapid heart beat, overheating, and I couldn’t sit still. I begged my parents to take me seriously because I knew something was wrong.

It turns out I was just hyper from the caffeine I had that day. So, as a result I learned that coffee after five o’clock is not a good idea, a life lesson I would have never learned had it not been for my overly concerned self.

While others might think I am crazy for assuming that my itchy skin could be psoriasis, instead of dry skin, I believe my over-cautiousness will save me when H1N1 makes its return, and I am the only one who notices.