Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Illness and Anxiety

I have a general phobia for doctors. I am pretty sure I've always been a little uncomfortable around doctors, but it got worse after my son was born. He was born 7 weeks early and so was in the hospital for 3 weeks before we could take him home. During that time he and all the babies around him would have periodic periods of bradycardia (where the heart stops beating or doesn't beat often enough) and apnia (where breathing stops or gets too slow). When this happen we, or the nurses, would just rub his feet and then everything would return to normal.

All in all it was a trying experience what with all the beeping and equipment and fuss, but he came out of it fine and is now almost 4 years old. I am thinking about this again as I reach an age where more and more people I know are in hospitals. My Aunt was admitted into the hospital a couple of weeks ago and is, I gather, not 100% conscious. This came as a shock and when I thought about the hospital I felt uncomfortable. Now tonight I've learned that my wife's step-father has been admitted with double-sided pneumonia. His condition is severe and has apparently begun to pass out now and then.

What I want to know is why is it when I hear about other people's health problems I immediately start worrying about my own? I have high blood pressure, but I take medication and check it often. I run a couple of times a week, am hardly ever sick and generally have more energy than most people I know... Still, when I hear about other people's ailments it makes me worry. The whole thing seems so self-indulgent and egotistical as well. Wouldn't it make a lot more sense if I were just worried *for* these other individuals instead of pointing the worry back at myself? Oh and it's not like I'm worried I have pneumonia or something...

I really hope both of them make full recoveries. I always felt I had a special connection with my Aunt, especially during my High School years, and I just cannot imagine my Mother-in-law without her husband around.

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