Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I diagnose myself ... with Hypochondria

My family has a terrible habit of eating. Can you believe they expect it at least 3 times a day? Unfortunately, this was true even when my oldest two were young and we were suffering the broke days of Peter’s medical school. Back then, in an attempt to indulge this habit, I transcribed medical lectures for extra cash, if you can call money for food “extra cash.”

And that is how I became, temporarily, a hypochondriac. I listened and typed out lectures on sundry diseases, and I would mentally check off the described symptoms. Then, when Peter would come home from studying, I would greet him at the door: “My dearest, I think I have prostate cancer.” (These lectures assumed a basic knowledge of anatomy which certain transcribers did not have.)

Another day I would be quite certain I had developed a rare tropical disease from drinking the water in northeast Missouri. Or perhaps a second away from a brain aneurysm? Heart attack? Broken toe? The psychology course was especially troubling as I found I might be living undiagnosed with every mental illness imaginable, although I did almost convince myself I had all the traits of a total genius. I loath to point out I used spell check to see how to spell genius.

Luckily the pharmacology class was over my head. Otherwise I might have decided I was experiencing side effects from all kinds of medication I’d never taken. Instead I learned to listen carefully, rewind tapes over and over and question why a native of India was given the job of teaching students how to pronounce and prescribe drugs.

In short, the job gave us a little more money, I survived all my imagined illnesses, and I learned a little bit about differential diagnosis. As a precaution I never check WebMD with questions, instead checking HubbyMD (technically it is HubbyDO, but that is a different post for a different day). Although, truth be told, I still worry about my prostate now and again.


  1. You are so funny, thanks for the early morning laugh!

  2. Grandpa did have prostate cancer so you know it runs in the family....watch out....I hear it comes with frequent urination....not that you have that promblem.....and not that it has anything to do with 6 kids ;)

    Very funny!! For those that have trouble using HUBBY.DO, they might try BIL.DO, or UNCLE.DO, we find them quite useful as well!!

  3. We also are big fans of BIL.DO and UNCLE.DO
    Oh and you are only a hypocondriac if you don't have the disease, you I think may actually be certifiable in a couple of areas (not that 6 kids has anything to do with that either)

  4. You crack me up. You are so funny. Thanks for that lift.

  5. After reading about how long you keep banana's I wonder how much of a worrier you truly are???

  6. I too am a hypochondriac! Or maybe I just THINK I am...I can't really be sure.
    Unfortunately, WebMD is bookmarked on my computer. I mean right at this very moment I am suffering from Celiac Disease, kidney failure and a broken vertebrae. It's a good thing I know a good doctor and his knowledgeable wife.

  7. I agree with Kim and Brenda although they forgot about sil.do. He works really well also. Funny post.

  8. Lol. That was funny, but I'm wondering how I can get hooked up with a sweet transcription job. That sounds AWESOME.

  9. Brenda, it must have been the mention of family history that 1st caught my attention.

    Kim, you mean I can get certificates proving my insanity? Sweet!

    Andrea, if you're good at typing, there are all kinds of transcriptionist jobs out there. I did it for Peter's whole med school class, so I'm not sure how you go about getting real transcribing jobs.

  10. Mom at Our House, that is the funniest part. I am an anti-germophobe, so it was funny that I would become a hypochondriac.

    Emma Jo- we should start an "obviously this is what is wrong with me" club. Maybe we could open our own clinic.

    Momzoo, Vee, and Mom- Thanks! I enjoy making people lol. It makes all the craziness almost worth it...

  11. Hey! My dad is a DO, too. That's all. Oh, and I did transcription work for him when I was in high school. Now he has one of them new-fangled voice recognition thingies.

  12. I'll take your hypochondria and raise it. Or something like that.

    I would be like, "whatever female prostate cancer is, I have it!"

    And I wouldn't be joking.

  13. Jane- my husband did his last 2 years of medical school in Utah and worked with (or met) tons of DO's in the state. They might have met.

    Nobody- you can come work in my clinic. We'll cure female prostate cancer together.