01 November 2006

It's not just a headache

I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, I admit. I've had a nagging pain in my left arm and shoulder for a couple of months now and one of the explanations I've come up with for it is that I - clearly - have bone cancer. Well, probably not. Of course, a pain that hangs around for this long probably should be checked out, so I'll make an appointment with my GP because maybe it's something he can fix right there in the office. Or maybe he'll refer me to a therapeutic masseuse, which would be even better.

(For the vast number of shoulder and left arm pain experts among the devoted readership, it feels like it's in the muscle (sort of) and it hurts when I try to touch my left arm to my right shoulder, reach behind my back to unhook my bra, or stand with my arm around someone's waist as we do before every performance of Boy Gets Girl.* I can't sleep on my left side because that hurts. Some nights I need to prop my arm with a pillow or it will hurt. And it randomly hurts with a sharp pain. Sometimes the pain hangs around for a while and sometimes it disappears quickly. Sometimes it feels like is a muscle sometimes not. See? Probably bone cancer. Or a pinched nerve. Or osteoporosis. Or the vapors.)

But for the real hypochondriac, the sort of person who never thinks "Oh, I'm sure it's nothing," there's always the internet. Via AOL WebMD provides the sort of health news that Brett dislikes in local tv news, what he calls "Scare You News," like "Tonight on Scare You News: Can using the ATM harm your family?" And today in WebMD Scare You Health News, we have 7 Pains You Shouldn't Ignore, but which should really be called "You're Gonna Diiiieeeeee." Because the classic example of hypochondria is, of course, that it's not a headache, it's an aneurysm and that's the first thing they discribe. These guys should write for House.

I read through all seven pains and, of course, have had pretty much all of them in the last couple of weeks. Hell, I seem to major in vague, undefined pain. So I'm just a goner. Good thing I updated my will recently. Especially as each of these is the sort of thing that GPs aren't going to get all that excited about unless they are faithful readers of WebMD. Well, except for maybe the chest pain stuff.

That's not to say that one should not follow up on something that seems to be amiss (says the woman who wandered around for a week on a sprained ankle), but I think WebMD might be shooting with a larger caliber than is actually required here. But in terms of ramping up the hysteria, I'd have to give them a 10.

*We gather into a circle before we go to places and do a little chant, which I needn't repeat here because it's only meaningful to us. I hope. Well, the other day in order find a way to stay in the circle but not wince all the time because my arm hurt, I kept shifting how I was holding my arm. This pretty much resulted in my accidentally groping Tommy. Which is no bad thing, but if I'm going to grope Tommy, it should be on purpose, you know?


Jim A said...

And of course almost all deadly diseases have"flu-like" symptoms. So if you get head-achey with a sniffly nose, you're going to die. I for one think you're comming down with kuru. --Simon

J. Luc Pitard said...

Any word?

Ayisha said...

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