Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hypochondria is its own reward

The past week, I've had little twitches of pain located on the back of my head, the part that sticks out the most, on the right side. Just there. Just briefly - like a little spiderweb of electricity that starts in one spot and fans out briefly with a tickle of pain. In the same spot. Knowing how paranoid I am about diseases that feel like nothing, like a cold, at first, and then rapidly snowball into meningitis or mono or death, it's no surprise that I became convinced that I had either a brain tumor or, more likely (this is funny), an aneurysm. I consulted WebMD, every hypochondriac's best friend, and it told me that yes, I could have a brain tumor or an aneurysm. Aneurysms, by the way, are more common in women than men. Anyway, after a few days of panicking and explaining to my roommates what exactly this pain consisted of, I called the advice nurse at my clinic and left a message. She called back this morning, and I repeated my list of generic and mildly annoying symptoms: the weird pain, 15 times a day at least, but never for more than 5 seconds, occasional dizziness "like I stood up too fast" (alternately caused by: lack of sleep, caffeine, lack of caffeine, standing up too fast), and possibly some feelings of weakness or fatigue (alternately caused by: lack of sleep, lack of exercise, lack of caffeine). She said she had no idea what it was, and maybe I should make an appointment.

So I did. Today at 3:05 I rolled up to the Los Altos clinic, 10 minutes early for my appointment, and checked in. At 3:23, I left. Approximately 5 minutes were spent waiting for the nurse to call me, 7 minutes to have her check my temperature and blood pressure, 1 minute waiting for the doctor, 4 minutes having him type up my symptoms in the computer, and 1 minute me trying to explain my paranoia because I was too embarrassed to let him think that I actually thought I had a brain tumor.

Needless to say, I don't.

On the way back to work, I went by Starbucks and got a latte (decaf, non-fat because I am trying to avoid anxiety) because I figured I needed a treat after all of my stressing out.

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