Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The World Revolves Around Me

Last Thursday, Sara’s cousin was pronounced brain dead.

Before her family could decide whether to pull the plug, she died.

She died on Saturday as a seemingly healthy forty-year-old woman. She died as a mother of three young children. She died from a bacterial infection.

She died!

I can’t get it out of my mind. My heart breaks when I think about the pain her two year old will face in the future. My heart breaks even more when I think about the pain her husband is facing now.

But, back to me.

I think I have the same bacterial infection. Last night, I was able to link the pain in my side, with what felt like a sore throat, and my contact with Sara, (who may be carrying the bacteria), to equal the infection. I was up until midnight in a fit of panic, debating whether to go to the ER.

I hate to be this way, so self-centered and weak. The woman dies and it’s about me dying.

A part of me knows there’s no way I’ve contracted the bacteria; another part of me knows that people would’ve said the same thing about Sara’s cousin.

Like I said, the world revolves around me.


Trish said...

You're right. The world does revolve around you. Except when I'm here, and then it revolves around me.

Self-centeredness is part of the human condition. Some disguise it well and some actually rise above it (something to shoot for), but mostly we react to these things with more than a little concern for how it affects us. We hypos tend to take it farther than that, of course.

Show of hands: who wasn't scared by that story?

It certainly did nothing for my already shaky confidence in the doctors who keep telling me there's nothing to worry about.

Leila V. said...

I suppose you're right. I just feel so guilty for spinning the focus from someone’s death into a personal crisis.

As far as doctors go, mine tells me I’m fine before she even checks for the damn lump! I think they just play the odds.

Lacy said...

Hey friend!

Listen, it's seriously okay to be aware of our health and take control of our health. These are stories that should remind us that we should really be our own health advocates. For us, that poses a problem, but I'd rather be extra sure than dead.

Leila V. said...

Hey Lacy:
I wish my doctor would take the extra sure approach! And it's definitely good to be "aware" of your health, I just wish I could leave it at that level!

Trish said...

Yes, it's that extra awareness we struggle with.

And as a practicing wimp (hmm... person with social anxiety sounds better), that business of being my own health advocate is a real bi*&@.

Good luck with that lump. Get doc who will order the mammogram! (Doctors do seem to go into an exam with a very clear idea of what they are going to find, don't they?)

Anonymous said...

Hey Leila

I don't mean to be too forward, but I've been browing your site for the past month now, keeping track with your posts.

I am writing an essay on how Hypochondria has progressed due to the Advantages of the Internet, what is your take on this, understanding the notions of ease of accessibility, stigmatization of hypochondria and the Internet as a source of media.

I'd love to hear your response

-Mike Kuziw
Queen's University

Barbora said...

Hey Leila,

Your post did start with an expression of sympathy for the family of Sara’s cousin. You are not entirely self-centered.

The fact that you share your intimate and sometimes embarrassing thoughts with other (though partially selfish) is not entirely selfish.

The fact that you are becoming our poster child by acting as a resource and answering questions from folks like Mike of Queen's University is not entirely selfish.

The fact that you experienced fear of contagion is simply part of being a hypochondriac.

Don’t beat yourself up.


Trish said...

Nicely said, Barbora.

Bea said...

Leila V why shouldn’t the world revolve around you? You’re awesome!
No but seriously, you thought about and felt pain for her family. Just because you’re a hypo and it causes concern for yourself doesn’t mean you’re selfish. It’s a disease and it’s hard to stop yourself from thinking those things.
Anyways, remember my AWFUL fear of the doctors, I was convinced my routine blood tests were going to come back infected or cancerous?
I couldn't be healthier!
And I wasted two months OBSESSING...

..it's sad, we are too young to worried our lives away! =(

Leila V. said...

Barbora & Trish:
Thanks. I guess we’re all partially selfish.

Glad to hear the tests came back negative! I was beginning to worry for you. And we are definitely to young for all this worrying and obsessing on health, hopefully it fades with age, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't necessarily say poster child, but you are definately an inspiration to those who seek comfort in the same fashion.

I am not being scrutinal- for there is no reason to be. I will admittingly say that the majority of individuals have used the Internet as this type of vice

Even though I am not a hypochondriac, nor do I place judgement anywhere, I am actually fascinated with the topic, more-so the Internet and its power to draw in everyone... look at youtube, wikipedia, its all about the necessity to gain knowledge, like Leila has said