The Diary of a Ginger Hypochondriac

Fear is a Luxury…..but so is insanity



The Black Death

And yet, and yet….some people have an almost autistic ability to not notice disease. Samuel Pepys made it through 1665 bearly conscious that, all around him, people were dropping dead from Bubonic Plague. Febuary 1665 was very cold-europe was in the grip of a mini-Ice age. The big discussion all middle-class london families were having was whether or not to leave the city. By June 1665, it’s obvious things are bad and only in August 1665 does he leave town, he boasts in a letter of having ‘stayed in the city till about 7400 died in one week,and of them above 6000 of the plague,and little noise heard day nor night but tolling of bells’.

The creation of a proper sewage system for london in the 1870’s did much to preserve the city from water-borne epidemics,but by this time the century had seen several waves of infectious diseases-two flu epidemics between 1831 and 1833,as well as the first  outbreak of cholera,which killed 52,000. There was another attack of cholera between 1836 and 1842; also epidemics of typhoid and typhus. Little surprise that Londoners were Jittery about their health.

Influenza pandemics generally occur three to four times each century.The worst in recent history was the ‘spanish’ flu pandemic of 1918-1919, in which 40-50 million people died.But there were also lesser pandemics in 1957-58. We are due another one.

So here we stand. Today the a report released says that up to 1.2 million people could end up in hospital and 750,000 killed if a flu pandemic sweeps the nation, according to draft Government guidance about an outbreak.

Flu pandemic ‘could kill up to 750,000 people in UK’, guidance warns.

As hospitals are “rapidly” overwhelmed by patients, doctors may have to begin operating a lottery system for intensive care, the blueprint from last year adds.

It also warns that a worst-case pandemic scenario of “catastrophic severity” could result in the “complete or partial collapse of some or all hospital infrastructures”.

Top medics have downplayed the predictions, saying factors like Britain’s high state of readiness and high immunity levels will lessen the impact.

The bleak forecasts come in “Pandemic influenza: Surge capacity and prioritisation in health services”, which was prepared by the Department of Health (DH) last September.

It says up to half the UK population – or 30 million people – could get influenza if the bug outbreak turns into a pandemic.

In the worst case, there would be 2,000 hospital admissions per 100,000 people – or 1.2 million people. There would also be 1,250 fatalities per 100,000 – or 750,000 people.

The report says: “Over the entire period of a pandemic, up to 50% of the population may show clinical symptoms of influenza.

“This could result in the total healthcare contacts for influenza-like illness increasing from around one million during a ‘normal’ season up to 30 million.”

There are also grim implications for the demand of the nation’s estimated 3,450 adult intensive care beds and 320 children’s.

Do we have a chance? ..we will have to wait and see, but as Samuel Pepys wrote: ‘I have never lived so merrily as i have done this Plague-time’

We are all Doomed…

We are in the middle of a Pandemic…hold on tight…dont breathe….get a mask..and stay indoors…arghhhhhhhh


ebolaI was woken this morning to find my child with an Outbreak of chicken pox.First i had to find out what the Bio-safety level was it an Ebola outbreak i was dealing with, after ruling out a level 3+4 event…….



i approached this small infected spotted creature,several thoughts entered my mind,these were:

  1. Have i had chicken pox?
  2. Can i get it again?
  3. What if adults get it??
  4. What about shingles?

These thoughts rapidly replaced any sympathy thoughts i had as a mother with a sick child…mummy i need a cuddle…aaaaaahhhhh……what do i do?

  1. Shall i go near this child and show my love?
  2. shall i first get gloves and possibly a mask?
  3. risk kissing this infected spotted creature and die of shingles and related complications?

Following a consultation at  and   i found out the following:

Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease that spreads from person to person by direct contact or by air from an infected person’s coughing or sneezing. Touching the fluid from a chickenpox blister can also spread the disease. A person with chickenpox is infectious from one to five days before the rash appears.

Infection in otherwise healthy adults tends to be more severe and active; treatment with antiviral drugs (e.g. aciclovir) is generally advised, as long as it is started within 24-48 hours from rash onset.Patients of any age with “depressed immune systems” or extensive eczema are at risk of more severe disease and should also be treated with antiviral medication.

In England and Wales, 75% of deaths due to chickenpox are in adults. Inflammation of the brain, or encephalitis, can occur in immunocompromised individuals…………..

Having freaked out to the point where i decided i am immunocompromised, i refused to cuddle or kiss this infection riddled carrier  i decided to take the following precautions:

  1. Contain the creature in its own habitat (lock door)
  2. wear fully protective clothing when in same area(facial mask)
  3. de-contaminate after every encounter (bleach)
  4. Resist the creature cry’s for help and save yourself (ear muffs)

Following this i may have prevented the following Outbreaks:

  • encephalitis
  • varicella pneumonia
  • cellulitis
  • shingles
  • Ebola
  • Lassa fever
  • The Plague
"beware out there.."
"beware out there.."

Sleep Coma Vs Survival Mode

I never really noticed it before, but my house is almost directly under the flight path for incoming and outgoing planes of the nearby Cardiff international airport. I’ve lived under this flight path for two years and the planes have never bothered me, I never really noticed them; until a couple a weeks ago.

Every morning, at about 6:00 a.m.—thirty minutes before my scheduled 6:30 a.m. wake up—I’m jolted from my state of comatose by what feels like a thirty ton meteor crashing into my house.
Everyday, as sure as shit, I find myself vaulting out of bed in sheer survival mode, as the sound barrier is broken above my house. Some days I know that earth-shattering sound for what it is: a plane crashing into my bedroom. Other mornings it’s a bomb, alien invasion or terrorists.
And, so my morning started today: in a state of pure panic, and that panic has somehow followed me into this evening. Mid-afternoon I developed a severe case of pneumonia and I hold that damn plane responsible.
For help in any major disasters please visit:












Chance’s of Survival…..

how20i20feel202I’ve always heard that you’re more likely to die from getting struck by lightning, than you are from a plane crash. Well, that’s not what the National Safety Council says! According to the NSC, the lifetime odds look more like this:
Lightning — 1 in 79,746
Air/space transport accidents — 1 in 5,051 And, who knew that you’re just as likely to die as a passenger in a car crash, as you are from falling down, or shooting yourself on purpose:

Car occupant — 1 in 237
Falling — 1 in 218
Shooting yourself on purpose — 1 in 222
Oh, these are my favorites:

Accidental suffocation/strangulation in bed — 1 in 7,541
Contact with hot tap water — 1 in 144,156
Bitten/stung by non-venomous insect/arthropods — 1 in 312,339
Drowning/submersion while in or falling into bathtub — 1 in 11,289
Bitten or crushed by reptile — N/A
The odds by accidental suffocation/strangulation in bed are pretty high! Which makes me very suspicious, and paranoid. I guess there’s more wisdom in the old saying “don’t go to bed angry,” than I previously thought. And I’m still trying to figure out how you die from contact with hot tap water.

On the bright side, at least we don’t have to worry about getting crushed by reptiles

Cider,Kebabs and Royal Mail……

Following a heavy night drinking cider and one large chicken shish kebab i have woken to find myself alive with a huge hangover.


I don’t know why alcohol is so instrumental in my happiness?


This is the first time i have drunk alcohol since my little episode,(during a quite session in a pub with a good friend and a glass of wine i had a funny turn and felt faint,obviously this was a mini stroke/cereberal embolisum)

It has just come to my attention, while mindlessly surfing the web this morning and wondering if my liver is still working, that you can obtain a do-it-yourself liver test. How remarkably ingenious!

You can find out the condition of your liver without even putting the beer down. All you do is prick your finger, send the blood and your Eight pounds to the lab, wait ten days, and voila, color coded results show up in the post.


“If it’s green, ‘your liver enzyme levels are within the recommended normal range.’

If amber, ‘your liver health is less than optimal and you need to look at making changes to your lifestyle.’

And if red, ‘even mild liver test abnormalities may be an early clue to liver disease. You must make significant changes to your lifestyle to protect your liver in the future.’”

 Having made this fantastic discovery i have now peeled open my purse and find myself purchasing this amazing test kit.

WHY? you ask…because i can,however i now have the joy of waiting for Royal mail and my new parcel to arrive…10 days in my life is a long time…second thoughts i might just pop down to A and E and ask them….

Oh, and you lucky UK residents can purchase a bloody kit:


There are two reasons I’m insisting on my liver test:



  • I don’t want to die a horrible and painful death caused by prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption; and
  • I don’t want to die a horrible and painful death caused by prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption.

However i have come to the conclusion that my fear of a horrible and painful death caused by prolonged and excessive alcohol consumption, apparently doesn’t outweigh my attraction to chilled chardonnay and a nice cold cider.

“Never give up your vices based on the results of a study.”







Im double jointed therefore i am…

"Dont leave home without it"
"Dont leave home without it"

















I am proud to report that I sucessfully blocked a potential Accident and Emergency visit today.

It was somewhat ironic. I was  lay in bed this morning thinking about how focusing on the positive aspects of my life would be a better way of dealing with things when suddenly i moved and my shoulder popped and i experienced shooting pains in my neck and up to my head.

My first thought was, “Oh my god, I’ve got a humeral luxation thrombosis.” 

After several months of waiting to to my consultant about shoulder pain and having a MRI scan on it i was told i have shoulder laxity,a posh name for a loose shoulder.

I am double jointed ( hyperflexable),not to be confused with Hypertension and therefore it is expected for this to happen to some people,and now and again i get this pain..although i am convinced that it is probably spinal cancer and soon i will be bedbound.

Instead of hyperventilating and running to the bathroom,or telling marc to contact an Ambulance (which is on speed dial),  I paused to think about how unlikely it was and tried to tell myself I was being unreasonable, even though the statistics I looked up last night cite :

“a rare complication of humeral luxations, thrombosis of the axillary artery. Although humeral luxations are very frequently diagnosed in traumatological departments, vascular complications are rare. Therefore, thorough examination of every single patient is a must, taking the above possibility into consideration”

 The pain continued to shoot through the top of my head. It was more frightening than usual because I don’t normally get pains in that area, which fueled the part of me that wants to believe I’m constantly dying. I tried to figure out why I would be getting a headache when I was having what I thought was a relaxing day, and decided it was probably left over stress from work and the endless study completed yesterday on

To sum it up, I was much calmer than usual and hardly freaked out at all. I am also sure that the A and E department were extremly grateful because most recently when i had a visit down there i was almost banned for demanding a second opinion and a further MRI scan.


Internet symptom checking and Palpitations..

WebMD-My worst enemy

It never fails! When I’m not surfing “It Which Must Not be Named” (read WebMD) on my own accord, that bastard site tracks me down and pumps the fear of god into me. We’re connected like Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.

Now given, the connection could have something to do with me foolishly signing up to receive a newsletter from that ungodly organization, but is it really necessary to fill my inbox with subject lines that read “Are Your Arteries Headed for Disaster?” and “Sudden Death Gene Strikes Women Most.” No, I don’t think so.

So now, thanks to You Know Who,what started as a pleasant morning has turned into an afternoon obsession with Palpitations (again); apparently, “Palpitations are not seroius,but should be checked by a medical professional” are running rampant through my mind!

Ive been back and forth to the Doctors for the past few months and following a whole afternoon of refusing the leave the surgery i finally got a referral to the cardiology department and had a 48hr monitor fitted.

Having read every single article on what palpitations are and “can they kill you?”  i find myself wondering if i have some underlying heart disease and it wont be found until im lay on the cold slab in the autopsy room with some jumped up little butcher with a set of scalpals saying ” mmm thats what killed her”!!

As i write this i find myself checking my pulse,its going way too fast or is it??

So in the wonderful spirit of giving, you too can get the shit scared out of you by going to :

How To Tell if You are a Hypochondriac?

As a modern Hypo with access to the World Wide Web here are some questions that maybe able to help you in your self-diagnosis!?

  • Do you suffer from frequent, stabbing headaches?
  • After hours on end of looking at WebMD, do you start to hallucinate and/or envision floating thermometers?
  • Have you ever taken painkillers whilst still in the midst of an REM cycle?
  • Is your online screening test count number over that of five a month?
  • Do your hands involuntarily shake when first hearing of a newfound disease?
  • Have you ever had more than three blood tests a year?
  • Does the majority of your iPod contain health podcasts?
  • Is your free time spent researching different diseases, “just in case”?
  • Have you ever been hung up on whilest trying to have a serious conversation with a friend on the phone, insisting “But this time I know it’s real!”?
  • Do you think you may have diabetes?
  • Do you think you may have skin cancer?
  • Do you think you may have anemia?
  • Did the staff of your local hospital invite you to last year’s christmas party?
  • Do you know the names and coffee preferences of all staff members in the ER, Dialyses, Neurology, Surgical, and General Medicine wards?

     If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then, congratulations! You are a hypochondriac. But don’t fret: I have some tips to help you through this hard time in your life.

Tip One: Just remember, you can’t die from hypochondria… at least you can cross one off your list! (One down, five billion to go).322164579v5_150x150_front

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