This is how medicine works for me.
Last month (around the time I was living in the attic) I found a treatment that seemed to work. In this case I slept… all night… really well. The next day I felt great, except for a nagging ache in my right shoulder and tingling feeling radiating down my arm into my hand (like it went to sleep). I called my doctor’s office and they said, “you need to stop taking (that drug) immediately.”
According to The AMA Guide to Liability Mitigation, Twenty-Eighth Edition (Revised), this phrase is reserved for those circumstances when potential liability is greater than $999,999.
Sure enough (according to a thorough review of the internets), in extremely rare cases the drug can lead to sudden coma and death. Although the symptoms leading those poor, rare exceptions down life’s off-ramp didn’t exactly match mine (did I mention the extremely rare part?), try telling that to a hypochondriac. I needed medication to deal with the anxiety caused by a vivid imagination for poor prognosis.
It occurred to me the tingling could have been from sleeping soundly yet awkwardly, twisting and pinching tissues that would rather not be pinched – or twisted for that matter. Now two sets of doctors agree – on one hand proving my keen intellect and medical instincts, but also making it harder to ignore my inner hypochondriac. As a bonus, one doc says I may be developing a pinch of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Setting aside two Doctor’s reassurances (a degree, no matter how well deserved, is no match for irrational fear), we arrive at a hypochondriac’s dilemma: do I risk near certain death for a good night’s sleep? There are so many things left in life I want to accomplish. I want to finally buy a new pair of shoes for work. I want to follow through on growing a beard. I want to be the first man to swim across the Straits of Florida naked, while confirming the south Florida legend that a 24 hour marinade in alligator urine is an effective shark repellant.
It’s very likely the only thing standing between me and a good night’s sleep is fear, and it’s killing me. Not literally, mind you… I think you’ve got the gist.