Tag Archives: cancer

Are You Suffering from Hypochondria?

13 Sep

MayoClinic.com defines hypochondria as when a person is excessively worried that he/she may be suffering from a serious illness.

The site listed here several symptoms associated with hypochondriacs:

  • Having a long-term intense fear or anxiety about having a serious disease or health condition
  • Worrying that minor symptoms or bodily sensations mean you have a serious illness
  • Seeing doctors repeated times or having involved medical exams such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiograms or exploratory surgery
  • Frequently switching doctors — if one doctor tells you that you aren’t sick, you may not believe it and seek out other opinions
  • Continuously talking about your symptoms or suspected diseases with family and friends
  • Obsessively doing health research
  • Frequently checking your body for problems, such as lumps or sores
  • Frequently checking your vital signs, such as pulse or blood pressure
  • Thinking you have a disease after reading or hearing about it

My! I am raising a hypochondriac.

DECEMBER 2010.

Holiday break from school, teenage daughter swears she was feeling a lump in her left neck. After thoroughly and physically checking for movable lump, I found nothing unusual. I found none. All I feel were sort of hard tissues under her skin below her ear. Nothing unsuspecting. I assure her, it was nothing. Maybe, just muscle cramps due to (1) poor sleeping posture, (2) too much hours spent on computers, she hardly had any exercise.

Case closed.

JULY 2011.

I received a phone call on a midweek. Daughter’s voice sounded scared and on the verge of tears. She told me she went to a clinic near her University and the doctor advised she needed either (1) BIOPSY, or (2) CT SCAN. Shocked and fear enveloped me. Told her to pack her things and bound the first bus going home.

The next afternoon, I met her at the station. Again, I try “FEELING” the lump she was saying. I found nothing unusual. No rolling lump. Just a “hardened muscle”. I say it again.

A little disgusted, she nearly blurted out on me, “You wouldn’t know, you’re not a doctor. It’s best that I seek professional advise now, than regret later.”

So, off we went to a doctor recommended by my sister-in-law. A doctor specializing in cancer patients. Holy cow! I got more scared. Never felt scared in my life. Had witnessed two deaths in my family. My mom and dad blew their last breath while holding them in my hands. I was in deep agony. Agony is never the same as FEAR. And, so, I distinguished the difference NOW.

But, being a mom, I need to show not a single FEAR. I need to show, everything is OKAY. I need to show, “IT ISN’T A LUMP. JUST A MUSCLE STRAIN”. Deep inside, I felt like dying…then and there…

“IT ISN’T A LUMP. JUST A MUSCLE STRAIN”.

Felt relieved. THAT WAS EXACTLY WHAT THE DOCTOR TOLD US. The petite but friendly doctor “extensively briefed” us on what to look out as “suspicious lumps”. He gave medicine for a week to lessen the muscle strain. He also cite factors what might have caused the “lump”.

Daughter was not that “relieved”. She has another concern. What if the “lump” can not be “physically” felt? Should there be other ways to see what was inside? Since the doctor rule out the BIOPSY procedure (there is nothing to be biopsied about, he said), and a need for CT Scan is too much a price for the case, he instead, made an ultra-sound request for daughter’s neck and throat.

From there, the doctor said, if anything doubtful manifested in the test, he’ll have to advise further test. From there, too, the daughter seemed to stopped her infinite queries/worries.

“STOP BEING HYPOCHONDRIAC”, the doctor advised.

THE ULTRA-SOUND.

We didn’t understand much of the findings. But, the doctor’s final diagnosis: ALL CLEAR. NO LUMP.

THE CONCLUSION.

It’s been a month since the doctor’s visit. The daughter gets back to her “normal” mood. I guess, the feeling of being sick or the feeling that she has a serious disease caught her off-guard. Hence, HYPOCHONDRIA ATTACKED her.

THE BOTTOMLINE.

It does not hurt to be examined or tested. If it would help alleviate our fears or anxiety.

Case closed. I can :)