Monday, November 23, 2009
The hypochondriac quiz - I thought I would have scored higher.
Some back-story: I occasionally suffer from heartburn and other stomach issues. This is fairly frequent, maybe once every week or 10 days. I've been taking a prescription strength antacid every day and it helps. But I still get an upset stomach or some burning behind my chest plate occasionally, and usually when I am nervous. Like when I'm on an airplane. I hate to fly these days, especially alone. Which is both weird and annoying because my latest United Airlines mileage plus statement says I have flown 300,000 life time miles with them. I think that's to the moon and back plus around the earth for good measure. And that's just one airline. I have no idea about other airlines. I should be fine with flying. I know it's safe relative to other modes of transportation because I've done the research. I'm like that.
So what does my brain tell me when I'm at 35,000 feet and my chest starts to burn a bit? Heart Attack. Mild to moderate panic sets in. It sucks. And you know what's weird? It usually happens on the way home and not the way out. That one I can't figure out.
It also happens once in awhile when I'm not flying. I get a bit of discomfort and lose all rational thought. And of course the panic makes it worse.
My doctor gave me an EKG a few months ago. No problems. He kindly suggested I learn how to control my anxiety. If he where a triathlete he may suggest that I HTFU. He's probably right.
I like to test it, to prove to myself that it's nothing. If say on a Tuesday I have an episode, Wednesday I'm going to go out and run really far to prove that my ticker is OK. And of course it always is.
I had a little pang in my chest tonight while swimming laps, so I cut my workout short. "What a wuss!!" I thought as the other half of my brain calculated the shortest route to the emergency room. When I got home I Googled "hypocondriac". The 3rd or 4th link was this quiz, and I only scored a 40%. I'd hate to know how someone who scored 80% would react.
Posted by Patrick Mahoney at 9:29 PM