You are not alone if you are a hypochondriac. Join me in my struggles and oft-times comedic look at hypochondria and life. It's a satirical look into hypochondria borne from my sporadic madness. enjoy the ride with a pinch of salt

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The myth about AIDS

There is much said about AIDS and its mode of transmission. Of course the 4 said ways that we are all too familiar with are:

  • Unprotected Sex - yes we all know that

  • From infected mother to child

  • Contamination of blood products or through blood transfusion

  • Sharing of needles usually common among drug related cases

Well, these data we have full knowledge of. However, for hypochondriacs like me, I feel these few modes are the publicly released modes of transmission and I know somehow, there are unspoken ways of transmitting AIDS thatwere all made hush-hush so as not to upset the public nor to create hysteria among the public. Of course, I hope I'm wrong but somehow I feel its all covered up. A big BS con job.

Here is my list of AIDS myth busters ( to my opinion ONLY):

1) Sharing food and drinks - Like hell? How can that not be? There are some traces of virus in the saliva, so how is it not risky to share food and drinks? What if there are cuts or sores, so small and not noticeable at the time you're sharing food and drinks? So, someone please tell me why is it still safe to share food and drinks

2) Kissing - They said, it needs to be like a scene from he- vampire meets she-vampire when kissing then it might be at risk. Even if you have a small cut or sores in the mouth, it is still quite relatively safe to kiss. How is that possible? It still puzzles me. Apparently, you need to have large quantities of blood in the mouth while you kiss someone and the partner also has a large quantity of blood in their mouth to enable that situation to be at risk status. I'm still baffled

3) Using public toilets - Here you are, baring your flesh and plonking your ass on the toilet bowl, shared by many others. You don't have the slightest clue what disgusting stuff could be on the toilet seat since so many people have been using it before you. Can someone please let me understand the logics as to why using public toilets are safe? Also, another scenario, what if someone were to wipe their blood (whatever reason it is that they have blood on them, I do not want to know. Brr, gives me the creeps already) on the door or on the seat and you unwittingly touch them? Is that not disgusting and icky and also put you at higher risk?

4) Sanitary bins - Sometimes the flap of those bins are smeared with blood from the pads. So, if you were to accidentally touch it, does it not mean you are at risk? I'm actually shuddering thinking about that. What if they were still fresh blood or even dried ones? What if you have a cut on your finger at the same time you touch them?

5) Dentist - Going to the dentist sucks more than ever. With hypochondria, its even worse. Imagine them prodding you with the same apparatus which they have stuck down another patient's throat just minutes before you. And, most times, after each visit from the destist, you are somwehat left bleeding from the procedures and all. In fact, I'm not too sure whether are all the apparatus autoclaved for safety and health reasons. What if....what if? I so hope its all just the hypochondriac talking.

6) Trasmission through insectbites, ie mosquitoes - You all already know how much I detest mosquitoes. So, why is it that mosquitoes can't transmit the virus? Is it all toned down so as not to create panic in the public or what? Other forms for diseases can be passed through mosquitoes such as JE or the Nipah virus, whereby the mosquitoes feed on the pigs, then they in return feed on the humans, thus passing the sickness to humans. I don't feel so well thinking about all these :(

7) Spitballs - Some people love to shower you with their dear holy water as they speak. What if a speck of their spit/saliva lands right straight into your eyeball or into your mouth as you guys are conversing? Is it not risky or it just doesnt sound right to publish it as a mode of transmission, lest everyonelse stops talking to one another for fear of the infectious spitballs. Gross. I'm feeling sick in the stomach as I'm typing.

8) Injections - What if the nurse or doctor forgets to change the used needles to a fresh ones?

9) Tattoos and piercing - Did the tattoo artist change the needles, autoclave his equipment? Wear gloves and be professional when doign his masterpiece? Put safety as his priority over making quick bucks over his clients?

Writting these down is not a piece of cake without feelign icky and grossed out at the same time. I hope these myth busters of mine are just the hypochondriac in me speaking and not the real absolute truth. I really hope so. Could you please share your views with me?

It's days like these I wish I lived in a giant plastic ball...

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Monday, December 18, 2006

My best friend

Hand sanitizers are my best friend. They are cool and effective and they kill almost 99% of all germs in seconds. They are not soap based so you don't need to wash them with water and some even have moisturizing properties in it. How cool is that? You just simply have to squeeze some onto your palms and it feels nice and cooling and your hands feel soft too. Smells great to boot. Plus, you know you are not sharing germs with the rest. Wonderfully moisturized, great smelling and free of germs, now that's my best friend.

Meet my trusty friend, Cucumber Melon Hand Gel from Bath and Body Works :)

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Sharing food is fun....not

I work in a place where we have lunch together, as in everybody together. There are plates of food placed on the table like a buffet. Looks cool and all, a little bonding among friendly colleagues and alike. Happy banter as you tuck in to nice warm food cooked by the friendly cafeteria aunty. You can already smell the lovely smells of warm lunch whipped up by the aunty wafting through the air as you walk towards the cafeteria. Sounds like perfect lunch-paradise. Well I agree too.

BUT, being a hypochondriac that is, this is in fact lunch-hell. Imagine this scenario, we share food but we use the forks that we are also using to eat, to scoop food from the general plates to our own individual plates. There are no public forks to specifically scoop food out from the public plates of food. That's very scary for me, I do not like to share someonelse' saliva while having lunch with them. I especially feel icky whenever they use forks which they eat from to scoop out food that have some gravy in it. It's like the gravy is a swimming pool of bacteria from everyone's saliva. Also, there are some with very bad eating etiquette, they will be forking out food from the public plates, right into their mouths, licking the forks clean and then forking out food from the public plate again, repeatedly. The problem is, I have to eat with them and I can't possibly tell them to use a new fork when scooping out food, because that will be just too rude. To top off the nightmare, I know many of them are no saints, they have their own outlets of gratification if you know what I mean; single and lusty(SAL), married but available (MBA), you get my drift.

So, I have resorted to coming down alittle earlier for lunch so as to scoop the clean freshly cooked food before these MBAs and SALs dig in. Or worse come to worst, those tucking in to the food on the public plates after licking their forks clean, I will not touch those. Bleagh...just makes me feel too uncomfortable to be swapping saliva with them this way. Or, another way is to come down later than the rest, so the aunty will prepare new food for me after all of them have had their fill.

Don't get me wrong, the food is good and I like my colleagues, but no matter how much you like them, its never enough to be able to swap saliva like that through sharing food.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Not so instant 'instant noodles'

Instant noodles are what you call, instant food. Fast, easy to prepare and perfect for filling hunger pangs.

Coming from a small Asian country, we grow up eating Maggi mee and the likes, especially during our growing years where our stomachs are a bottomless pit. After a good hearty dinner, about 1 hour or so later, there will be sounds of pots and pans clanging as we cook our favourite instant noodles because there is nothing else to eat and mom is reluctant to cook again. Maggi Curry Flavour is my all time favourite and next is Maggi Tom Yum flavour - spicy and full of zing :)

Maggi noodles are also known as '2 minute noodles' because it only takes 2 minutes to get a piping hot bowl of noodles. Simply put the noodles into a pot of water, pour in the contents for the soup base. cover the lid and start boiling for 2 minutes and it's ready. You can also opt to add other ingredients such as egg or some vegetables for a a more robust flavour. Sounds too easy and good.

Well. as usual, nothing new coming from me, I do not cook my Maggi in this way. It takes me about 15 minutes just to prepare the noodles. Yes, and I tell you how I prepare it.

First, I fill the pot with water and I put it on the stove to boil. Just when it's starting to boil, I'll put in the noodles to boil them till they become softer. Then I cover the lid for awhile. Next, I will drain the water from the freshly cooked noodles. Why do I do so? Because the water after the first boil appears to be cloudy and yellowish and my mom always told me it's the colouring from the noodles that changes the water. Her source of knowledge - newspapers. Gross, I don't want any yelloow substance in my stomach plus newspapers are never wrong :P Then, I will give the noodles a quick rinse with filtered water to wash off whatever remnants of the colouring left on the noodles. Now, I feel its safer to eat the noodles without those yucky yellowish water.

Then, I start to put the noodles in the pot agand and cover it up in fresh new water and start to boil again. Luckily, I like my noodles soft. When it reaches boiling point, I will have to separate the noodles from the soup into a bowl. Because right now, it's the perfect time to beat an egg in it. I hate the egg yolk to be broken plus I'm more worried that the eggs were to cling to the noodles and thus not cooked fully. I'm a hypochondriac, you know, and I'm worried I might get E. Coli or other bacterias in non well-cooked food. Then, I pour in my satchet of soup base at the peak of boiling and close the lid for awhile to simmer the soup. Why do I pour in the soup base at the end, well, it's simple, my aunty read in the papers again (yes, again) that the soup base ingredients can turn toxic if we boil them for too long. So, there you go, I'm safe to have my wonderful 'instant but not so instant anymore' noodles. Total time taken to cook my 'instant' noodles - 15 minutes.

Yup, I am quite a specimen of its own. I rather go through a longer cooking time than to worry about what bacteria or other scary stuff I might be ingesting while I'm enjoying my warm snack. The aftermath of worrying over it is much worse than taking a little longer time preparing it. I know that very very well by now.

So, anybody care to share with me their own special ways of preparing their instant noodles, be it instant or not so instant :)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

The small winged blood sucker vampires

When I was very young, about 5 or 6 years old, I had the biggest detest for mosquitoes with all my heart. I don't detest it so much for sucking my blood, making me itch, making me scratch till I'm sore or even bleed at times, or even the irritating high pitched buzzing of the mosquito hovering right by the ears. Maybe you can guess it, it's the fear of the disease transmitted by the mosquitoes to me after each bite.

God forbid, I hated them and are terrified of this small creature - incarnate from hell. I would zealously try to kill them when they are within my reach. My onlyrelief from the dreaded mosquito bites is the trusty Mopiko cream. I'm not too sure are they still in the market, but Mopiko was my best friend then, in times of turmoil :P

Well, so you're wondering why a 5 or 6 year old toddler knows so much about mosquitoes and the potential diseases that they are carrying with them from each bite. Well, it's all thanks to my Mom. She would always update me on news about diseases in the neighbourhood and at that time, the hottest topic was Dengue Fever - the much dreaded disease brought on by mosquitoes. For crying out loud, you can even die from it!! Almost everyday, she will remind me that mosquitoes are really bad and they make you sick. Hence, my hatred for these winged creatures has been born.

So, being a young kid, mosquitoes just favour my blood over the people around me. So I will constantly cry whenever I get bitten by mosquitoes and will pound my parents with a million questions whether would I be suffering from the dreaded Dengue fever. I was quite obsessed over it and on the other hand, they have mastered the art to tune off my irritance. Imagine my annoyance! For being ignored, I have resorted to houding them and following them wherever they went so as to get my answers about my dreaded disease.

So one day, I was bitten by mosquitoes, yet again. I was hollering about it endlessly and haunting my dad about whether would I be dead soon for that damned mosquito bite. Finally, after many rounds of pleading and cajoling with my dad, my dad calmly said, "Better say a last prayer for yourself, ok?.... before it's too late"

That shut me up real good. But I still fear mosquitoes.

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What is hypochondria?

Hypochondria is a phobia, not as widely recognized but still very invasive. When one suffers from hypochondria, it means he or she has an irritational unfounded fear of suffering from a terminal disease. The inflicted will think that he/she is diseased, dying, suffering, or even harboring some diseases inside them. They are also very obsessive about any slight changes in their body functions, rendering even small changes in them as a signal of doom - they are inflicted with a terminal disease or are dying from it. Hypochondriacs also have a fear of going to doctors for they believe the diagnosis will turn out to be exactly what they fear most. It's actually quite ironic. They rather prefer to find out the sources of their changes through other channels like searching for symptoms on the net, past experiences and even making up their own hypothesis. As you can see, it's a vicious cycle, the more they think they have a grave illness, the more anxiety they feel and thus, will feed their hypochondria even further. So, as this goes on, they keep worrying and perplexing over what they assume they are inflicted with.

People inflicted with hypochondria are called hypochondriacs. I'm guilty as charged for it. I've been a hypochondriac for ages since I was a very young kid. Everyone who knows me well would know I'm a big big hypochondriac. It is not very easy most times, but it does have its comical moments too.

Join me in my adventure as a hypochondriac in a disease ridden world :P (well just joking but maybe for me only) Here, you will find real life encounters as a hypochondriac and sometimes with a twist of humour.

I'll keep you posted.

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