bacon soup for the hypochondriac soul

I have always been a hypochondriac. The earliest instance I remember was when I was in 4th grade. I had been getting really bad headaches for a few weeks in a row. Was I sick with a mere cold? No! Of course not! I was dying! I had a brain tumor! It was setting up home in my brain and unpacking its bags! I remember calling my dad and telling him that I wanted a cat scan so that we could get the tumor before it spread. He said “sure, Lyss,” to appease me, but also to make me feel like someone actually believed me. In the end, I suppose, that’s all I needed. I dropped the scare and accepted the fact that I would be traveling the long and endless road that most humans face at one time or another: pollen season.

Then there was a time when I was in 6th grade. I had just watched the evening news and they ran a story on spreading cases of salmonella poisoning found in poultry. Some people died, some people were hospitalized, and some people, like me, became a freak about raw chicken. I remember running downstairs to the kitchen where my mom was unloading groceries and nearly grabbed the cold chicken cartons from her hands and said, “Do you know what could be in this? Mom, did you even look at this before you bought it?” To her, it was just her psycho daughter on another germ rant, but to me, it was life and death!

Long story short: then it was anxiety attacks, stroke scares, heart palpitations, worries over skin cancer, chest pain…you name it, I experienced it. I should probably just become a vampire, and let the whole thing go.  So you can imagine how bad I’m flipping out over the swine flu. Last I heard, 66 cases in the US, and out of those 44 are in New York. I feel like we’re all set up to fail here. I mean, come on, the end of times movies are all set in New York! Everyone is always on top of each other here, everyone mass-transports here, and there are endless surfaces that are touched every minute by countless amounts of people. I’m flipping out!

some of the students at Hunter

some of the students at Hunter

But maybe some good will come out of it. Today in my media studies class, my professor, Stuart Ewen – published author and chair of the media department at Hunter, had us all come in with face masks today. Having connections with CNN and the New York Times, he created a photo-op of us all wearing the masks. The pictures, wherever they end up, will act as a comment on universal health care. In his words:

“As long as health care is seen as an issue of individual access, we lose sight of the fact that health is an issue for all of us for part of a collective organism.  While being sick seems personal, each of us is only a small part. Epidemiology is a reminder that illness is not an individual affliction but something that relates to all of us. Again: Protect Everyone and Protect Us All. Without universal care, we all are at risk.” – Stuart Ewen

The photo shoot was fun and silly and took my mind off of death for a few minutes. But then, you know, I got on the subway and people were sneezing and coughing and seemingly more than usual. Now my back hurts. Is it “aches and pains?” I fell asleep last night with the fan on my face and now my throat is sore. Is it a “sore throat?” I don’t feel hungry, I don’t feel full, but I feel something is not right. Is it “general discomfort?” I’m just looking at myself, now, measured up against the symptoms. Can’t wait until this passes!

But what if it doesn’t? My immortality awaits…


(…although my boo doesn’t think this is about vampires…i always thought it was. whatevs!)

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~ by angiesyounglover on April 29, 2009.

3 Responses to “bacon soup for the hypochondriac soul”

  1. Just because you are paranoid it doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.

    And just because you are a hypochondriac doesn’t mean you aren’t sick.

  2. Here’s my childhood hypochondriac story: When I was a kid, I had a sore throat, and my mom told me to gargle some peroxide to help it. So I got the bottle and started reading the label, realizing peroxide is poison, and not to be ingested. So, I instantly thought my mom was trying to kill me. I refused to gargle, even though she insisted it would help. Of course, she was just trying to help, and gargling peroxide won’t kill you. But to the mind of a hypochondriac, anything’s possible.

  3. Swine flu scare of not, I’m not giving up my BACON!! =)

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