The Hypochondriac Lawyer by Lucas Davidson
It is time to face the facts. I worry too much and it is because I have too much access to information. Even when I try, I cannot avoid information about frightening issues and fodder for my worries. Every article I have seen today is about the coronavirus and how it is negatively affecting the stock market. While the stock market is of concern, I am more worried about the CDC’s recommendation to shave my beard so I can wear an N95 surgical mask effectively. I’m also worried about my fifteen minutes of fame coming from being the first person to contract the virus in Tennessee.
I am in my mid-late-thirties now and being in the mid-late-thirties is a strange headspace in which to live. I still have some of the nervous energy left over from my early thirties but my body is slowly starting to have the aches and pains that come from the forties. So, that means that I am worried about a medical issue all the time. Add on the fact that a great deal of my job consists of reading medical records from when everything went wrong for someone and you’ve got a great cocktail to create a solid hypochondriac.
Have you ever noticed that anxiety has the same symptoms of every major medical disease? Shortness of breath… dizziness…. confusion…. sweating….. chest pains…. yep, that’s all bad news when you are trying to play doctor on Web MD. It always recommends that you consult with your medical professional but when you make the appointment with the medical professional that means you are giving validity to the problem and making it real, so the true play is to let it live in limbo in your head forever.
Worse than Web MD are those weird message boards where someone is asking other idiots who are not doctors about their medical conditions. For a while, I started getting blurry vision after my workouts so I would get on message boards to research whether it was a serious issue. They would usually go like this:
March 3, 2014 – Blurry Vision After Working Out
Weightlifter823: Hey guys. So I was lifting last week and I PR’d on bench and then drank a protein shake. After I left the gym, I was on the way home and all of the sudden I started seeing stars and then I became somewhat blind in my right eye. Haven’t worked out since, any ideas?
Bestsupplements4u: That happened to my uncle and he died a day later. Get it checked out.
Ifyouaintcheatinyouainttrying: Happens to me all the time especially on squat day. It’s a potassium issue. Eat a banana. Fix you right up.
Ishotthesheriff: I know not about this issue particular but sounds like serious issue. Please go to emergency room in area immediately.
Makemoneynow42: Calling all weightlifters. You can make extra cash by talking to your friend at the gym and selling all natural supplements. Check out www.sellsupplementstofriendsatthegym.com
Weightlifter823: Hey guys. I broke down and scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor. Really nervous to go on Tuesday but will let you guys know what she said as soon as I get back.
August 3, 2018
IhaveaneedtoLIFT: Hi Weightlifter823. Just finished a high intensity cardio class and had the same issue come up. Just ate more bananas than all the monkeys at the zoo eat in a day combined and I still can’t see anything about of my left eye. Can you give us an update? What did your doctor say?
And then, nothing. No update from Weightlifter823! What happened to him? Did he pass on to do bench presses in heaven? Was he totally fine and forgot it was ever an issue in the first place? I’ve gotta get some bananas. I wonder if a banana smoothie would count. I’m going to get on Amazon and get banana supplements. Please Weightlifter823, let us know you made it out alive.
I once told someone that there should be a person that goes to medical school but has training in counseling so they could help people with both anxiety and talk them down on medical issues with their medical training. They told me those people already existed and they were called psychiatrists.
With all things considered, I am calling for the firm and my wife to put filters on all my internet access. These filters should tailor the information to my searches in such a way that I leave with a reasonable, calm answer to my frantic inquiries. I do not want to know these filters exist because I will then worry about what is on the other side of the filter.
I guess the other option would be to go see a therapist. That is a great idea and I tried that avenue. The problem was that my therapist was really cool and I told him that we should go get a beer sometime. He said that he would love to do that but that the ethical rules state that he cannot casually hang out with a patient until at least two years have passed from the last formal appointment. So, I am waiting him out. And when, September 27, 2020 finally rolls around, we are going to have a lot to talk about over that first beer. I hope the bar accepts HSA cards.
Lucas Davidson is an experienced litigation attorney based in the Nashville office.