Tuesday, January 18, 2011

If Boober Fraggle Had WebMD

One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was Fraggle Rock.  In fact, as soon as I finish watching all of The Muppet Show, I think I will be seeing Fraggles for awhile. My obsessive nature led me to the Muppet Wiki where I can follow along with the episode guide and determine the puppeteer behind, or below, each Muppet. (Yeah, I know it's a bit much, but if I like something I like to dive in and learn as much as possible.) While I was clicking around one day I stumbled on Boober Fraggle's page and realized that aside from taking joy in laundry and being overly superstitious, I am the human version of Boober Fraggle.

A bit about Boober from the character page at Hensen.com 
According to Boober, anything that can go wrong surely will, and when it does, it will inevitably happen to him. Boober denies that he is a hypochondriac; he claims he is just practicing the symptoms because he’s bound to get the diseases. But Boober’s negative attitude has a big plus – he can see real trouble coming a mile away, a useful attribute in a land of eternal optimists. 
While I fancy myself an optimist, I am always prepared for the worst, convinced that it will happen, because it usually does. I think that inner Boober is what keeps me alive, keeps me safe. But, if I'm honest I'm a big ol' Boober with a touch more optimism. That's not what I wanted to talk about though, my favorite bit was the part about denying being a hypochondriac.

I am sick a lot, really, properly sick. I have severe allergies and chronic migraines and a list of minor ailments that is rather long. Because of this, I am constantly convinced that I am dying. It's a logical leap I'm willing to take. Also, I hate going to the doctor as I'm seldom taken seriously.  My mom says it's because I don't cry and I leave out things that are wrong with me if they aren't happening at the precise moment I'm being questioned. She's at least half right. Anyway, being chronically ill has lead me to being overly aware of any changes or symptoms. WebMD doesn't help either.

A couple of nights ago I was brushing my teeth and noticed something dark on my toothbrush. I decided it was from the glass of pomegranate blueberry juice I'd had a few minutes before (let's pretend I was civilized and used a glass, it could have happened). The next night not only was my toothbrush dark red, but my gums hurt, when I looked in my mouth there were rather large open sores. I was fairly certain I had leukemia. Because I couldn't call my mom (she's in the hospital) I did the next best thing. I pulled up WebMD's symptom checker.

As I was putting in my symptoms (some of the first options that came up were toothbrush irritation, hemophilia, and pre-leukemia) I realized that I was experiencing chest and leg pain. Not only did I have leukemia, but I was having a heart attack! I knew if I survived Oprah would want to book me on her next show about medical miracles, well maybe not Oprah, but surely I'd at least get a segment on a Discovery Health (which is now the Oprah Winfrey Network, really?) special.

Then, I remembered that I suffer from (officially undiagnosed) panic attacks. Also, I brush my teeth harder than I should, I always have. I wear through toothbrushes at an alarming rate, and I really don't remember what I ate that day, so that may have been what caused the sores (I also had some enamel loss on one tooth, that's still a bit of a mystery). But, now I know how to react when I do get leukemia or have a heart attack.

Until then, I'll be waiting for my call from the OWN people, surely they will do a special on overzealous brushers or rash hypochondriacs (I forgot to enter rash into the symptom checker, I probably shouldn't...). Boober and I could easily fill an hour, we could take Dr. Phil's slot and make the world a slightly better place.

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