Hypochondriac humor

It took me years, but I can freely admit my hypochondriac tendencies today–certainly in a non-face-to-face-blog. But rather than elaborate on that topic, I would like to tell you about an interesting telephone call that I recently had.

We are on the infamous “Do-Not-Call” list that here in the US is supposed to stop or at least decrease the frequency that we receive unwanted solicitations over the phone. Always at dinner, of course.

“Hello?” Rough and wary edge to my voice.

“Mr. Chapman? How ya doin’ today, sir?”

I can tell that this isn’t an immediate family member–it’s the Chapman-rather-than-Caplan that gives him away–so I answer. “Actually, not too well, my back is quite sore, and my neck is rather stiff.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I—”

“…and I may have an ear infection, not to mention that my throat feels inflamed and I’ve had some nausea earlier on…”

“Well, I’m really sorry about that, sir, I just—”

“No, I’m not done. My heart has been beating rather rapidly, and I’m somewhat concerned that with my high blood pressure that this might be dangerous, but I just can’t seem to relax. I also have a pain in my knee, but that’s from chondramalacia patella, as I used to run marathons before I hurt my knee–in fact both knees. My ankles, on the other hand, are somewhat weak, and my achilles heel aches when the weather is cold–Hello? Are you still there?”

Why bother with the “Do-Not-Call” list, this is so much more fun…

About Steve Caplan

I am a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska where I mentor a group of students, postdoctoral fellows and researchers working on endocytic protein trafficking. My first lablit novel, "Matter Over Mind," is about a biomedical researcher seeking tenure and struggling to overcome the consequences of growing up with a parent suffering from bipolar disorder. Lablit novel #2, "Welcome Home, Sir," published by Anaphora Literary Press, deals with a hypochondriac principal investigator whose service in the army and post-traumatic stress disorder actually prepare him well for academic, but not personal success. Novel #3, "A Degree of Betrayal," is an academic murder mystery. "Saving One" is my most recent novel set at the National Institutes of Health. Now IN PRESS: Today's Curiosity is Tomorrow's Cure: The Case for Basic Biomedical Research (CRC PRESS, 2021). https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B006CSULBW? All views expressed are my own, of course--after all, I hate advertising.
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4 Responses to Hypochondriac humor

  1. Frank says:

    Haha! I like this approach. A good way of fighting back.

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    I’m going to try this next time!

  3. Mike says:

    Bingo! Sure you’re not related to Graeme?

  4. Iain Mars says:

    I have a friend who is a serious hypochondriac. Every day he’s taking different medication for conditions he clearly doesn’t have. I used to think he was an attention seeker but recently I think he has a serious problem! I want to help him but he takes things very seriously so every time we talk about it he thinks I’m being horrible!

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