According to this news story, Arkansas is one of the most unhealthy states in the U.S., ranked 48 out of 50, narrowly beating out such luminaries as Louisiana and Alabama.
I guess we’re number 40 when it comes to fruit and vegetable intake. Which doesn’t seem right, since most meals down here come with a vegetable. Then you remember that macaroni & cheese is considered a vegetable in Arkansas. As are french fries.
The health rating is particularly alarming to someone like me, who tends toward the hypochondriatic.
I go through imagined illnesses more often than I change my socks. In the past week alone, I’ve had two imaginary heart attacks, mono, and grave’s disease. And I don’t even really understand what grave’s disease is.
Also, whenever I smell toast, I’m convinced I’m having a stroke.
My penchant for over-diagnosing is so bad, my lovely and vivacious wife no longer allows me to go to WebMD. A couple years ago, I accidentally bit the inside of my lip so hard that scar tissue built up, causing a slight bump. Even though it was only scar tissue, I became convinced that I had somehow gotten lip-cancer.
The strange thing is that when confronted with actual illness, I’m strangely non-committal. I was once misdiagnosed with Lyme disease. The nurse telephoned me late in the afternoon, and told me that the tests had come back positive for the disease. I remember thinking to myself “huh,” and then saying to the nurse “Huh.” And I hung up and went back to watching cartoons. It was only later, when my then-girlfriend started crying with concern, that it occurred to me that I should possibly learn more about the illness.
It’s the unknown that frightens me. Confirmed lyme disease? Meh. Assumed lip cancer? Complete panic.