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You might be a hypochondriac if…


The older I get, the more anxious I become about personal illness. When I was in my twenties, I never gave much thought to every odd ache or pain—it was mostly just “a muscular thing.” But today when I experience a sudden twinge, I’m sure its major organ failure.

So, if I may channel Jeff Foxworthy along these lines, you too might be a hypochondriac if ….

• You’re afraid to go fishing in case you catch something.

• Every birthday, you treat yourself to a spa, massage, and MRI.

• You continually pester your pharmacist to email you when the FDA approves a home colonoscopy kit.

• On vacations, you check into the hospital before the hotel.

• Your favorite reference web site is Sickipedia.

• You plan on attending Hypochondriac Anonymous meetings, but always phone in sick.

• You dread going to the supermarket in case a cashier asks if you’re ready to check out.

• When offered TicTacs, you explain that you can only take two every four hours, after meals, with a glass of water.

• You have more doctors than friends.

• There are some TV shows you can never watch, like “Deadliest Catch.”

• You swear you heard the doctor whisper to the nurse “we’ll know more after the autopsy.”

• Your cell phone plugs into a stethoscope.

• For recreation, you touch up your X-rays with Photoshop.

• Drug dealers regularly visit your home, but they’re from Pfizer, Merck, or Johnson & Johnson.

• Your favorite bedtime story to read to the kids is “Goldilocks and the Three Bayers.”

• You wear a medical gown to bed.

• You live in fear of back injury whenever you jump to conclusions.

• You don’t believe laughter is the best medicine; it’s morphine.


• You’re too scared to use Preparation H because you wonder what was wrong with Preparations A-G.

• You believe you suffer from several previously unknown ailments including: Mississippi Ladybug Fever, Fatal Late-night TV Insomnia, Bookworm, Lemon-Lime Disease, and Irritable Spouse Syndrome.

• You avoid roofers for fear of shingles.

• Each Valentine’s Day you send a card to your cardiologist.

• Your family has to eat meals off a physician’s examination table in your dining room.

• And, you might just be a hypochondriac, if you ask to be buried with a first aid kit.

(Thomas’ features and columns have appeared in more than 270 magazines and newspapers. He can be reached at his blog: