ALL WORKED UP OVER NOTHING?

After last week’s post, I googled “funny epitaphs” and found these.

      Uh-oh…

Dozens of fellow hypochondriacs echoed Tippy Gnu’s sentiment:

Two-thirds of my long nursing career was spent in an office, caring for Internal Medicine patients that ranged in age from AARP to elderly.
A lot of that time was devoted to phone calls, including the triage of various symptoms.  It’s a fact that when you hit a certain age, bodies start to go haywire.  Your eyes go wonky; suddenly, your arms aren’t long enough to read a menu.  You forget things.  Your energy flags.  You get dizzy.  Your heart flippy-flops in your chest.  You get winded walking your normal route.  Your knees ache.  Your back aches.  You develop constipation.  You can’t sleep.  Etc.  It could be nothing, or it could be something.  I ended up scheduling a lot of appointments to
let the doctor sort it out.  Many of the patients consulted online sites like symptomchecker.com or diagnoseme.com before they called me.  (Who says older people aren’t computer-savvy?)  They knew what they had, or at least, what tests should be ordered.  When the results came back negative, instead of breathing a sigh of relief, they’d protest and demand a more intensive work-up.  I know from experience the flurry
of testing that one piddling complaint can set in motion.  That said, I
am hesitant to mention every little twinge.  My approach (one I do not advocate for everyone) is as follows:  if it’s minor or can be solved with a trip to the drugstore, I shut up about it.  The hours I have left on this earth are limited and I’d rather not while them away reading outdated magazines in some doctor’s waiting room.  This poem’s for you, Tippy.  Enjoy that Redbook circa 1995; the doctor will be with you shortly.

MID-LIFE HYPOCHONDRIA

Some ailments run in families;
it’s proven they’re genetic.
I’m ripe to have a heart attack
or wind up diabetic.

I found a scary-looking mole;
I’m positive it’s cancer.
But Doc will say it looks benign,
his standard go-to answer.

I’ve put on six or seven pounds,
my hair is falling out.
My thyroid must be out of whack;
too low, without a doubt.

I suffer from exhaustion
and my feet are always freezing.
According to my online search,
anemia’s the reason.

My allergies are flaring up.
I’m riddled with arthritis.
This sharp pain in my abdomen
could be appendicitis.

My check-up turns up nothing
but alas, my mind won’t rest:
I know there’s something wrong with me!
Please, Doc, just one more test?

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24 thoughts on “ALL WORKED UP OVER NOTHING?

  1. Joyce Robinson November 19, 2017 / 8:37 am

    Oh Joan I love this one. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 11:51 am

      Thanks, Joyce. All of us have a little streak of hypochondria, I think, especially as we age. Fun to write, a good use of my nursing experiences. 🙂

      Like

  2. Tippy Gnu November 19, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Thank you for the tribute, Joan. Yes this really is what it’s like to be a hypochondriac. It’s a real waste of time and copays. But my attitude has changed since I went in with a slightly bum leg about a year ago. For that I got several physical examinations, some sort of painful electro-shock test of the nerves, an MRI, and lots of puzzled looks on the faces of doctors. I gave up. Not going back until my leg falls off. And no more complaining about anything else unless the problem seems obvious and easy to diagnose. My only fear is now I will probably get cancer, and by the time it’s diagnosed the doctor will tell me that I should have seen him six months earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      Anytime, Tippy. With online diagnostic sites, hypochondria (and know-it-all-ism) are at an all-time high. I have been through experiences like yours, learned my lesson the hard way. I used to scoff at relatives who never went to the doctor, but maybe they were onto something. Most of them lasted into their eighties, managing to not just dress and feed themselves, but chop their own firewood and wash their curtains and stuff. Cancer is almost a given these days (1 in 3 chance, way better odds than you’ll encounter in Vegas), so get your routine screenings. Then, don’t worry, be happy. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Tippy Gnu November 19, 2017 / 2:03 pm

        Good advice. Okay, I’ll go in for those pesky screenings.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. indysligo November 19, 2017 / 10:55 am

    I love it – it’s the kind of poem I’d write, but you beat me too it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 12:13 pm

      Thanks, Scott. Like you, I’m a connoisseur of everyday truths and experiences. You can still write a poem on the subject… your perspective is bound to be different than mine. 🙂

      Like

  4. K E Garland November 19, 2017 / 11:06 am

    lol this is so timely for me. I recently had a gastrointeroligist (sp?) appointment because I thought I had some gut situation going on…turns out to not be so. Then, I had a gynecologist appointment because i thought I had some lady parts situation…turns out to not be so. LOL I’m going to have to stop using WebMD, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks, KE. There is something to be said for reassurance, but if the symptom continues, then what? I had headaches for years. Knowing I didn’t have a brain tumor didn’t make my head hurt any less, but at least I could take my meds and hide out in a dark room with a cold cloth on my head in peace, satisfied I hadn’t ignored something more serious. Web MD and similar sites can be a blessing or a curse. Sometimes both. Good luck with your situations. If you wind up back at the doctor, bring your own magazine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. chevvy8 November 19, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Nice poem Joan and so true in many respects. I guess we’re definitely more prone to Hypochondria as we get older. Somehow, I think modern lifestyles have something to do with it. My experience is that the older folk around me who live simple lives and old home remedies are likely to outlive some of us. Have a great week Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 6:45 pm

      Thanks, Chevvy. I think you are right on both fronts. Our lifespans are starting to get shorter, a thing that was unheard of up to now. Older folks ate chemical-free food from their farms and gardens and they were active, doing hard physical labor. They treated their ailments with common sense remedies and didn’t make mountains out of molehills. Maybe we have to go back to go forward. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • chevvy8 November 19, 2017 / 11:02 pm

        Sometimes, I do think we might have to reclaim some of what used to be. I’m reminded of Wordsworth”s “the world is too much” “Little in nature we see that is ours”
        Yes, I think our diet and level of activity have a lot to do with it. Then again, I wonder if they ever suffered from stress.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. L. T. Garvin, Author November 19, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    I love this one too, Joan. I think I found my headstone now, I’ll go with: I have nothing further to say…. LOL! I also would not choose to wait in doctors’ offices reading magazines circa 1995. I only go when I’m near death, mainly for that reason, and also because I am one of the however many zillions of us that do not have health insurance. Luckily though, my family genetics are pretty good when it comes to health. I hate the hair thing and the allergies thing but I’ll accept the go-to answer 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 6:38 pm

      Thanks, Lana. Do writers EVER have nothing further to say? LOL. Lacking health insurance is as good a reason as any for not going to the doctor; I suspect that was part of why my grandparents and their kin didn’t. There is little that cannot be cured by walking it off, getting a good night’s rest, or sipping a hot toddy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 19, 2017 / 6:33 pm

      Yep. But as my team doctor used to say, you’ve got to triage them just the same, because even hypochondriacs get sick now and then. 🙂

      Like

  7. Peter Klopp November 20, 2017 / 12:34 am

    I am usually not in the habit of reading the comments in responds to a post. But your wonderful poem I would have entitled Ode to a Hypochondriac compelled me to read all the comments. I am impressed how you take the time to respond to them all. Your comment about what your team doctor said reminded me with some trepidation of the Cry Wolf story. Thank you, Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 20, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      Thanks, Peter. Hypochondria is apparently a hot topic, and one I have much experience with. It was always a temptation to blow off the chronic complainers, the ones that cried wolf, but I didn’t dare, just in case they weren’t bluffing. I enjoy the dialogue with my readers. Sometimes the comments that ensue are better than the original post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 20, 2017 / 11:22 pm

      Thanks, Snoozin. Those worked out nice, didn’t they? Actually there are a ton of symptoms to pick from, so finding a rhyme isn’t too hard. Rhymezone.com is a big help, too. Want to know what rhymes with hemorrhoid? Just type it in their search box! Hmmm, lots of good ones: overjoyed (not really!), paranoid (yep), Sigmund Freud (whose couch you might sit on to discuss it), Polaroid (a retro selfie), trapezoid (the butt shape most likely to be afflicted). 🙂

      Like

  8. kamunde November 24, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Nicely put Joan. This poem is too honest, makes one go through the elderly’s mind (They are often quiet). So i bet ran through a maze of my grandma’s thoughts (Currently over 90yrs and getting sick quite often…and yes tests come out negative!) I bet its really frustrating

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan November 24, 2017 / 5:24 pm

      thanks, AK. People tend to worry about a lot of ailments as they get older and their bodies and minds don’t work like they should, or like they used to. Better safe than sorry, but it can be frustrating. Some of them are quiet, others are very vocal. I sometimes wonder if NOT knowing you’re sick allows you to live longer and better, without so much fussing and worry. ??? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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