The Hypochondriac Foodie
Have you ever caught yourself drooling about a meal you’ve eaten years ago? Does the taste of your grandma’s famous apple pie, pork roast, (enter your grandma’s specialty here) and or meals long gone by still resonate on your tongue? If you answered these questions in the affirmative, you’ll sympathize with my plight. I’m a foodie, and quite a die-hard one at that. Now what’s the worst possible scenario you can imagine for a foodie? Let me answer that question, before I digress (there I go again), it is IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. What triggered it in me, I haven’t the slightest clue. Was it the piping hot samosas, kebabs and other street food I have nonchalantly stuffed my face with the past so many years? Is it the disdain for my mother’s cooking? Is it the antacids I’ve popped with no regard for my colon’s well being? Or maybe it is the midnight snacking and complete lack of exercise! Whatever be the case, point is I do have IBS! Goodbye lip-smacking food! How I shall miss you!
Have I mentioned that I’m also hypochondriac? The Hypochondriac Foodie. Not the epithet I’d like on my headstone. And my road to hypochondria, well that journey is a fairly recent one too. You see about a year ago, my indolent, lazy ways caught up with me. Let me offer you some perspective. Working as a freelancer, was my dream and living that dream had made me a bit of a sybarite, while I wasn’t working off my bed. It was pretty close. I had little or no physical exercise. I’d work long, comfortable hours, and once I was done, it was the smokes, coffees and drinks (on weekends) that were my reward for another productive week! One week was particularly spectacular and as a result my blood glucose levels were at an alarming 400+! This came as a bit of a shock to me, but then having downed rum & coke after rum and coke, it shouldn’t have. Correcting my ‘lifestyle’ (coincidentally my mother’s favourite word) involved going on first line diabetic treatment and brisk walking on a daily basis. A mere month, and a frightening hypoglycemic instance later, I had withdrawn the diabetic medication, and was on diet control and exercises. And that was that…until of course the time when it wasn’t.
See the thing with me, is that I am not necessarily the most committed individual in the world. Once I knew that my health was more or less back on track, I’d backslide. Not to the level I once was at, but even the mildest of backslides does have its side-effects. In the winter of the same year I experienced shooting pains, coupled with almost paralytic numbness in my left arm. This kept persisting for a while, and this started playing on my mind. One night, I woke up in a cold sweat, my heart pounding, like it was going to rip my chest apart. My brother powered up his bike and drove me to a hospital nearby. Batteries of tests, EKG, 2D Dopplers, Ultrasounds and blood tests did not reveal diddly. Meanwhile, for two nights, I was sedated. A buddy of mine sat by my bedside and reported a pulse of 32bpm, as an average. The doctors suggested an angiogram, which revealed that my heart was as healthy as a horses. All I got for my troubles was a mark on my right wrist, where the dye carrying needle was introduced into my system.
Ever since that day though, this creeping fear entered my system. And while people laugh aside hypochondria as someone overly obsessed with their health, or paranoid about their well being, I completely sympathize. I understand the implications. While many hypochondriacs self-medicate and pop pills at the slightest of provocation, I haven’t yet done that. I’m paranoid, I’m afraid and this is the part about me I detest the most. I don’t seem to have any control over the way I feel. Daily niggles like a little ache in the tummy, or a momentary flutter seem to send me into a nervous tizzy. Sometimes all I think about is whether my heart will simply stop beating. And while I can say with some amount of certainty, that I am not afraid of death, but its the process that I’m scared shitless by!
This is where I am today, and while I’m not proud of what I have descended into, I’m hopeful that with time and a little psychological counseling, I will soon be able to drop the ‘hypochondriac’ tag from the HYPOCHONDRIAC FOODIE.
Thanks for reading!