If you looked up the word HYPOCHONDRIA in the dictionary- chances are you would see a picture of my mother. And while I have fought my every instinct and in doing so tried to bury my health worries-because truly the worrying part is such a waste of energy- as if by worrying that action in and of itself will change the outcome-(heads-up it doesn’t it merely saps you of your energy and focus and steals precious time)it seems in this 41st year on the planet they’ve come to haunt me with a vengeance. Each morning since August 25th, I wake up to some new ailment-my current one is this stuffy ear- it feels as though I am under water and can’t really hear clearly out of my left ear.
Here is just one reason why being married to my husband, who although he does not practice medicine anymore is a double board certified Nephrologist and Internist, doesn’t suck: #1 I make him give me a complete physical examination with all his doctor tools. Sure he wants to strangle me (which might be the reason he’s suddenly joined me in watching 48 hours and taking copious mental notes) but he checks my breathing, my ear canals and my throat. And he tells me don’t worry, everything looks good. I’m sure had he known what a RAVING hypochondriac I was- I’m not sure he would’ve said I do- but 15 years in- his stethescope hangs on our bedroom door (just for good measure) and I do ask him to regularly give me monthly breast exams.
So why does being married to a man who has been through the arduous process of earning his medical degree-NOT SUCK? Here are my three other reasons.
#2 After dealing with emergency dialysis treatments at 1 a.m. – my nudging him at 1 a.m. to check my glands is a cakewalk. Yes I have been known to wake up my husband and make him check my glands at 1 a.m. but I ALWAYS let him go back to sleep and don’t make him watch The Jefferson’s with me at 2 a.m.
#3 He has a very soothing and calming bedside manner. While I am the first one to run around screaming like a chicken without a head when my son nearly slices his finger off- my husband demonstrates all the calmness that must have gotten him through years of residencies and fellowships. he usually tells me to “GO AWAY and I’ll handle it” which of course works for me.
#4 He knows the drill, and knows how to talk me off the ledge. Whereas I am convinced every stomach ache might be a symptom of some kind of fatal cancer- my husband will counter my questions with fully researched answers to back up his claims.
And let me just add this disclaimer: There are also a TON of DRAWBACKS to being married to a doctor- it’s not all wine and roses, but for a hypochondriac like myself- it is pretty swell.