Monday, February 1, 2016

Hearty hypochondria

A few months ago, I developed this strange ache around the chest area. I was not able to exactly place the point of pain and it was a dull throb. It was a nag in reminding its presence throughout, and yet was not disrupting any of my routine.

We belong to the cursed internet generation(Yes,Yes Everything has Pros and Cons, I hear you!). Any small predicament, and we begin to trust that webpage that lists out everything under the sun that can cause a specific ache. Unless it states something obviously stupid, like you have a chest pain because the neighbors dog has diarrhea, you end up believing a lot of the stuff you read.

I do not know if Google spreads knowledge but it definitely spreads hypochondria.

Ignoring the intelligent voice in my head that is screaming "Don't Don't DON'T YOU DARE", I type followed by "Chest Pain" and Enter. Along with WebMd, scores of other websites  list out probable causes and solutions. To my dismay, the majority of the content is focused on cardiac ailments.

A heart attack is usually a crushing pain. I try to analyze my version. Is it dull? crushing? pressing? sharp? ....What on earth is the difference between a crushing and sharp pain? This is not crushing. Wait a minute, is that what you call crushing? Naah!!

Women are not supposed to be prone to heart attacks. Phew!   Okay, belonging to the feminine lot does have some advantages!

I decide to take a break and take a look at the nuisance I mean news channels. Some fifty plus woman celebrity breathed her last due to a heart attack. May her soul rest in peace. Heart Attack? Yikes!

Well, I am still in my thirties and so I guess its okay.

Oh yes, my father and grandfather had heart ailments. I am supposed to be genetically at risk right?

Go back to Webmd!

It says, A heart attack cannot last for more than few minutes. The ache is there throughout. Well, I am safe. Is this what Webmd calls Angina? the pain that is serious but not yet a heart attack! Do I have blocks in my aorta? Oh No! What do I do?

Maybe its just a muscle tear. Oh my dear Google, get me information about muscle tear...Open Sesame!!!

I know what you all must be thinking, WHY DIDN'T YOU GO TO A DOCTOR?
From a facebook post, No idea about source!

I eventually did when I came to India for vacation. Turned out it was just a muscle pain due to carrying my baby girl and yes sometimes in the not so right postures.

Well while I was waiting at the clinic, the receptionist started distributing some brochures.

FULL CHECK UP FOR WOMEN! Special New Year Offer, U.P 2010, now only Rs 1980. I think my chest pain had placed a heavy weight on my mathematical abilities. The woman in me jumped with glee. ( Somebody should have told me , Its not a METRO shoe sale idiot!) . My father in law who had accompanied me saw it and exclaimed " Just a 30 rupee difference,this is an offer??!" That is when I realized that 2010 is only Rs 30 more than 1980.

 I got reminded of the umpteen whatsapp forwards, "Spot the hidden leopard and consider yourself a genius!". The human brain tends to miscalculate with these numbers I assume and the psychology department must have come up with the numbers.

By the way my neighbors dog is hale and hearty and did not cause my chest pain!


  1. Internet really scares you. The more you search the worse it gets. More so if you are the anxious type. And half baked knowledge does more harm than good.
    Glad it was innocuous pain.

    1. It really does Alka and Oh yes I will fit into the high anxiety level club

  2. Ha ha... Don't worry, all is well:)

  3. Anything that relates to the chest and/or is near the heart area does cause a scare. And the internet is always there to overload us with even more scary thoughts. I am so glad that it was just a muscle pain.

    And yeah.. some of these offers are unbelievable and still draw our attention. :) Btw... keep an eye on that neighbor's dog. :P :D

  4. heheheh...same here....that's where I ended up in the emergency with a whooping bill of $1400...moral learnt, drink lots of is nothing but a UTI. Hope all is well with you and the lil one is not troubling you as much.

  5. Hahaha...Rs. 30 discount ? :)
    And the warning written in a clinic is so true. Even I have the habit of checking in Webmd. I got scoldings from my family doctor.

    1. Yes nothing can match their knowledge or experience

  6. thats why i dont search for anything :) or go to the doctors for that matter.. but i think soon i need to go to one.. for the first time in 12 years of working i took a sick :)

    and spot the hidden leapord.. THAT was easy for ME.. had it in the courtyard... he he he

    Loved that warning .. HEAR HEAR :)


  7. The best way to convince yourself that you're dying is by Googling your symptoms.

  8. BTW, Hi jaish hw r u?
    I think it's not just internet but entire medicine industry, is trying to make us nosophobic. We are, especially in India, are victims of diseases mongering.
    Take care.

  9. Ha ha. I can totally understand..being an avid googler and self-diagnosis person myself. In fact, many a times I dont ask my mom even though she's a doc.. but she did give me a valuable piece of advice once..If you see an animal outside your gate, it's probably just a cow not a tiger :)