By NICK THOMAS
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: http://getnickt.blogspot.com.)