Someone once said in some ad on television about some product: “I don’t have time to be sick.”
The man flu epidemic hits and whirls on around me, while I dish out small doses of sympathy and decent doses of Panadol.
I do believe, in the case of Mr Woog at least, it is all in his head. He does not get a cough, he gets bronchiolitis. He does not get a cold, he gets pneumonia. He does not get the trots, he gets dysentery.
He is a total drama queen, sooky la-la and is a part of a growing epidemic – hypochondriacs.
Dr Google has made EVERYONE an expert in self-diagnosis.
If I were to Google all the weird and strange things that go on in my body, I would be a basket case.
My latest abnormality is a small painful split in the corner of my mouth. The pharmacist gave me a bottle of multivitamins and told me to get myself hooked. A few days later it had disappeared.
If a hypochondriac suffered the same ailment, they would have Googled the symptoms, joined a support group and a forum, looked at the links to cancer, seen a naturopath, a GP and a herbal medicine practitioner before fasting on coconut water and taking horse-strength antibiotics. They would also take to their bed, but not before telling you all about it. At length.
With the amount of information available about every ailment and condition, there is no wonder that my suburb boasts no less than seven chemists. And they are all busy.
Warts, shingles, the internet makes hypochondriacs worse. They bandy around fancy words like “deficient”, “abnormal” and “progressive”.
I used to work with a lady who was a hypochondriac. I would begin each day in the office asking how she was.
She was ALWAYS bad.
Having appointments with specialists, getting blood tests, suffering a dizzy spell, developing irritable bowel syndrome, scratching the top off a mysterious growth on the back of her arm and working herself up into a spin was the order of the day.
Over the years I worked with her, she never had a day off work and was never diagnosed with anything. She was addicted to the drama. She almost drove me to developing chronic fatigue syndrome with her constant rantings.
(So many times I was tempted to lick the rim of her coffee cup.)
Do you recall the amount of people who had Chronic Fatigue 10 years ago? It was the IT ailment of the 90s. I knew at least a dozen people who claimed to be suffering from CF, but with no way of really diagnosing it, I was left unconvinced. These were tired people burning that candle at both ends. (Apart from one girlfriend who was genuinely no good and had to take a few months off work to recover.)
In the naughties, if you do not have a personal trainer, a chiropractor, an osteopath and a dietitian you are really doing yourself a terrible disservice.
I am doing myself a terrible disservice.
I have survived years of being a primary school teacher then having my own kids at day care and then school – all without dying. It is a well-known fact that in the first two years of working with kids, your immune system takes an absolute hammering. There are a limited number of times your face can be coughed at without picking up some lurgy.
Given that I have put myself in environments such as schools and offices with central air-conditioning, it is impressive to note that I have probably only ever caught a flu half a dozen times, and only a few of those times resulted in me having to seek medical advice.
I am a warrior.
I do not have time to be sick.