Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hypochondria

In medicine, we learn a lot. Every so often we become a hypochondriac, wondering if we have *that* disease.

A few years ago, a patient whom I was cathing told me I looked like I had Marfan's Syndrome. I laughed -- poor guy was under sedation. Yes, I am tall, I have long arms and legs and long fingers, but those are characteristics of many people in my family, and none of them have dropped dead at a young age, as often people do with the disease.

Then this spring, I got one of the throw-away journals in the mail, the journals with review articles that are heavily subsidized by drug compaines. The topic of one review article was Marfan's Syndrome. The disease has cardiac manifestations, so it seemed like a good article to read.

The article discussed the skeletal criteria for Marfan's disease..... arm span greater than height..... check. Long face and long fingers... check that's me too. Able to bend the pinky back toward the wrist..... check. Able to wrap thumb and forefinger around the wrist.... check.

I meet the skeletal criteria for Marfan's Disease!!! Could I have the disease????

So, I had to put the issue to rest. The next day, I was in the echo lab, and at a time when there was no patient in one of the rooms, I performed an echocardiogram on myself. Of course, while I'm doing this, one of the sonographers pokes her head in.... "Uhhh, I'm just looking at one of the machines," I said.

After about 20 or so pictures of my aorta and a few others of my heart just for good measure, I concluded that my heart and aorta look okay and I definitely do not have Marfan's disease.

Just a little knowledge......

5 comments:

The Urban Granola said...

I think that's the best Doctor story I've heard. It would be great to be able to proove to yourself that you are healthy when you're having a hypochondriac moment; for the rest of us, we leave it in the hands of Dr. Google - and that's never good

herself75 said...

reminds me of when Dr. Weaver gave herself an u/s on er. Abby cought her and ended up doing it for her..

not only do we have "Dr. Google" but we can pick out our own perscriptions from the TV commercials!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the power of suggestion. That's a really funny, honest story.

funwithyourfood said...

If i went to medical school i think i would never want to leave my house
i would have every illness that existed hahaha

Anonymous said...

Wow, the blessing and curse of being a doctor... Thanks for sharing this story, Vegan Doc!