Authors

  1. Straus, Marc J. MD

Article Content

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Figure. Marc J. Stra... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Marc J. Straus, MD

Hypochondria

Sunny day, the magnolias in full bloom

 

and I am in the mood to be optimistic. Today

 

my cholesterol will be one-sixty, my PSA

 

will be under two, and my three-day cough is not

 

lung cancer. Let's face it, every doctor is a

 

hypochondriac. My cardiology colleagues

 

all jog, all take Zocor, desperately staving off

 

their inevitable heart attack. The GI docs all

 

have colon cancer every time their bowels are

 

irregular and psychiatrists - they are all crazy.

 

For me every swollen lymph node is lymphoma, and

 

every headache is a brain tumor. There is no cure

 

for a hypochondriac. If there were medication then

 

I would be the one to get a full body rash, a seizure,

 

and anaphylactic shock. They'd pound on my chest

 

for over an hour and I'd never recover.

 

MARC J. STRAUS, MD, is an oncologist and former Professor of Medicine and Chief of Oncology at New York Medical College. His poems have appeared in many of the leading literary journals, and three collections of his poetry have been published by TriQuarterly Books-Northwestern University Press. He also wrote a play in verse, Not Good, which has been staged Off Broadway, and has two characters-a hospitalized woman with cancer and her oncologist.