Living as a hypochondriac is a rough reality for me. As much as I'm a fan of IDGAF mentality, I still do give a fuck about my health... a little bit too much. It gets really stupid sometimes. Like, I totally realize that I'm over exaggerating things, but I can't do anything about it. So I end up freaking out for absolutely no reason. In other words - FML! By the way, if you're not sure what the term "hypochondriac" means, then you're definitely NOT hypochondriac.
I know a bunch of other people can relate to this ridiculousness. It's actually pretty comforting to know that I'm not alone in this. So here are 20 struggles of being a hypochondriac.
1. Googling different symptoms is a fun daily activity. "My throat is itchy, let me just see if I'm dying real quick..."
2. You've been paranoid about having a ridiculous disease at least once in your life.
3. You hate doctors. All of them.
4. You've experienced a panic attack because of something totally made up as a result of reading WEBmd for way too long.
5. Your family members have to constantly reassure you that you're fine and that you shouldn't google your symptoms.
6. You've once correctly self-diagnosed something and now you think that you're actually a doctor.
7. Every time you have a headache, you think you might have a brain tumor. Oh wait, nope, it's just a hangover.
8. You've probably freaked out once because you found a new birthmark that wasn't there before... or was it? Is this a random birth mark or is it skin cancer?!? Fuck...
9. If you've ever pulled a back muscle, you've for sure entertained the idea that it might be something more serious, possibly your kidneys.
10. You think you're having a legit heart attack every time you experience light chest pains or your left arm is a little numb.
11. If something doesn't go away on its own after a week, it becomes a terrible disease. "Oh, it's just an ingrown hair? Alrighty then."
12. When your doctor tells you that everything is fine and you think to yourself "What if they made a mistake and I'm actually not fine..."
13. When your doctor uses a medical term to describe something and you don't know what it means... you right away assume it's something horrible. "Just tell me how much time I have to say goodbye to my family. Oh, I'm not dying? Nevermind."
14. You get really excited when prescribed antibiotics, cause that shit cures everything.
15. You're an expert at different types of cancers and their respective symptoms.
16. A random bug bite can stress the hell out of you. "What if it was a poisonous bug from Africa that came here in a fruit container or something? You never know."
17. You've already self-diagnosed yourself on multiple occasions and taken respective medicine to cure yourself.
18. When the doctor asks you if you're allergic to anything and you think to yourself, "I'm for sure allergic to something. I just don't know what yet."
19. It's painful to watch Grey's Anatomy without freaking out. You think that you literally have every single disease they talk about.
20. Waiting for your turn to see your doctor is the most difficult wait of your life.
Being in tune with our bodies is important for many reasons. It's how we get in touch with our feelings, decipher our wants and determine our needs both physically and mentally.
The intuition that comes with knowing your body — what's normal and what's not — can be life-saving. Canadian beach volleyball player, Grant O'Gorman, knows this better than most.
Testicular cancer is the number one most commonly diagnosed cancer among young men aged 18-35. While the outcome for men with testicular cancer is often positive, early detection continues to be key. If it's caught early, it's both treatable and curable, but 62% of men who are most at risk don't know how to check themselves for warning signs. Men's health charity, Movember, is on a mission to change that.
By spreading awareness and educating men on how to self-examine at home, and encouraging them to get to a doctor if something doesn't seem right, this charity is leading a conversation that aims to change how men approach their health.
Since April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, Movember is teaming up with this young cancer survivor to spread the word.
In 2019, Vancouver-based Grant felt like a superhero. The then 25-year-old Olympic hopeful went from representing Canada at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour to being completely blindsided by a chilling cancer diagnosis.
Now, he's working with Movember to tell his story and help educate others on the risks of testicular cancer.
No matter your age or how healthy you are, Grant says it's crucial to be aware of your body and to go see a doctor if anything seems off: "You might think you're super healthy, but trust me, I was the healthiest guy and it happened to me."
In an exclusive interview with Narcity, Grant opens up about his personal journey and offers advice to young men.
Questions and responses have been edited for clarity.
Tell us about your journey with testicular cancer. When were you diagnosed and how did you find out?
"In the middle of 2019, my teammate Ben Saxton and I were at the world championships representing Canada, and I noticed that my nipple was feeling a little weird. I thought maybe I dove and scratched it or something. But a couple of weeks later, it started to get bigger. When I squeezed it, liquid came out, and I thought that was super weird.
When I got back to Canada, I went to the doctor and had an ultrasound done on my nipple. Nothing came up. They couldn't figure out what was going on.
I went to a couple of different doctors, and finally one of them suggested I get an ultrasound of my testicles, and that's where they found it. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer."
In what must have seemed like the blink of an eye, you went from being a healthy professional athlete to someone dealing with cancer. What was that like, and how did being diagnosed change you?
"I've always been very strong and healthy as an athlete. The discomfort in my nipple didn't affect my playing, so I thought I was totally fine.
But when they told me, 'You have cancer, you have to get surgery to get this removed,' I remember thinking, 'Why is this happening to me? How is this happening to me? I'm healthy and strong. I do everything I need to for my body.'
Being an athlete, I always felt like a superhero, and as soon as this happened, I just felt vulnerable."
What treatment did you have, and did you fully understand the support available to you?
"I just had my right testicle removed — I didn't have to get chemotherapy or anything else. Luckily, it hadn't spread.
Support-wise, I was lucky to have my whole Volleyball Canada team. I have a psychologist available to speak with me whenever I need, a physiotherapist, my teammate, and my wife, Isabela, so I was okay.
It was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic though, so we were sort of isolated from everyone, which made it a little bit tougher."
What do you wish you had known then that you know now?
"I wish I'd known to really be aware of my body and if something is off — even if it's a small thing — to get it checked out right away. Knowing your body is crucial.
Also, never be shy to go to the doctor, even if you think it's embarrassing. I probably wouldn't have gone to the doctor if my wife hadn't made me go, and then the cancer could have spread more."
For many men, it can be uncomfortable to talk about topics like this. What have you found is the general attitude towards testicular cancer among your peers, and how are you working to change perceptions and raise awareness?
"It's important to realize that there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It's a health issue. It's about remaining healthy and alive. You shouldn't be shy about it.
I was never really nervous to tell my friends or anyone, but I think if I was younger I probably would have because it's a very private area.
The main thing is checking yourself regularly, or if you're someone who wants to keep your partner or someone in your life safe, be sure to tell them to check themselves.
If you detect it early, you might only have to get the surgery, as I did. If not, it could be worse."
What is one piece of advice you have for newly diagnosed men, and one piece of advice for men in general?
"If you've recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer, know that there are a lot of other people who have gone through it. I spoke to another beach volleyball player who also had testicular cancer in the past, and it really made me feel more comfortable and that I wasn't alone.
For men in general, know your body well. Besides your testicles, know your feelings, know your hormones... if something's changing, get checked out."
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
"Testicular cancer is a young man's cancer, so check yourself regularly. But if you also have brothers, partners, husbands and fathers that are in your life, remind them to check themselves regularly too.
You can follow the YouTube channel my wife and I have created to learn more about our journey with testicular cancer."
To learn more about testicular cancer, visit the Movember website or check out Movember's Nuts & Bolts page for relevant and reliable tools to help you confidently handle the testicular cancer journey.
This article was originally written by Ashley Corbett and published on Narcity Canada.
We get it — choosing the right products to best take care of your skin can be exhausting. With so many skincare brands competing with some of the same or very similar products, how do you choose what's best for you?
Whether you're a Clinique, The Ordinary or Ole Henriksen fan, your regular routine might not cut it during Quebec's harsh winters.
Scroll through for some of the best tips on winter skincare that you can keep in mind for this winter in Quebec.
Which skincare products should people be using during Quebec winters?
According to Dr. Powell, as winter brings below-zero temperatures, harsh cool winds, low humidity, and sun-reflective snow, our skin becomes more prone to dryness, cracking, flaking, and ultimately, inflammation.
He says home heating can also make our skin dryer and recommends the use of a humidifier during Quebec's winter months.
(1) While skin tends to be oilier in the summer, he said a winter skincare routine may require thicker moisturizers such as creams and ointments (rather than gels and lotions), and cream-based cleansers, serums, and moisturizing toners, rather than drying astringents.
(2) Dr. Powell recommends taking quick, lukewarm showers and washing only what needs to be washed.
(3) Post-shower, he suggested patting your skin dry rather than rubbing and immediately applying a moisturizer.
(4) He said it's best to avoid drying exfoliators, which tend to cause flakes of skin to rub off.
(5) Quebecers should also not forget to use sunscreen in addition to SPF skincare products on the nose and cheeks, he warned — especially during outdoor winter activities.
Which skincare product ingredients are best and which ones should we avoid?
Every Quebecer's complexion is different, but Dr. Powell says that moisturizers are key in maintaining healthy skin during dryer winter months.
(6) According to him, the best moisturizers are those that contain a "humectant," like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, which absorb moisture, and an "emollient," like petrolatum or ceramide, which create an oily barrier.
Dr. Powell says both ingredients prevent the evaporation of water out from the skin.
(7) He advised keeping in mind that when your skin is dry, it's best not to wash it too often so as not to remove your skin's natural oils with cleansers and he warned that even water itself can irritate already dry skin.
(8) The doctor said to consider splashing some lukewarm water on your face in the morning, and only using a gentle bar of soap or a cream-based cleanser in the evening.
(9) You can also apply a Vitamin C serum before applying your moisturizer, he said.
(10) Limit your use of makeup if you can, and consider using a tinted moisturizer with SPF instead, Dr. Powell recommends.
How can Quebecers take care of their lips during winter months?
The skin on your lips tends to be thinner than on other areas of your body, and is more prone to drying, cracking and bleeding.
(11) Dr. Powell recommends frequently applying balms or bland ointments containing petrolatum jelly during Quebec's winter months, and avoiding flavoured, coloured, or fragranced balms which can cause more irritation.
(12) He also says to avoid licking your lips, as this tends to create a vicious cycle of dryness and bacterial spread from inside the mouth, which may lead to infection.
(13) When moisturizers and balms are ineffective, you may require topical anti-inflammatory and anti-infective medications and should consult your doctor, he added.
How can people manage hand skin issues that result from excessive hand-washing and sanitizing?
With COVID-19 changing the way we behave when it comes to making sure Quebecers follow public health protocols, you may have gotten used to excessive sanitizing and hand-washing to prevent the spread of the virus.
However, each time you wash your hands, you're removing natural oils from your skin and in turn, the skin on your hands becomes dryer, said Powell.
(14) He recommends keeping a small bottle of moisturizer in your pocket, and immediately moisturizing after hand washing or sanitizing.
(15) Lighter hand moisturizers are better for the daytime, as we go through our regular daily activities, but he said you can also use an ointment-based moisturizer at the end of your day when you relax at home.
(16) If you're prone to eczema, the doctor stated that you may need medicated topicals, such as those containing cortisone or non-cortisone anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe skin irritation and cracking.
Which skin conditions are most commonly found in the winter in Quebec?
According to Dr. Powell, common skin ailments in the winter include xerosis (dry skin), asteatotic dermatitis (cracked skin eczema), and the worsening of predisposed or genetic inflammatory skin conditions that are prone to dry skin and stress, like atopic or seborrheic dermatitis in the form of chronic eczema and dandruff, as well as psoriasis.
Cold winds and fluctuating temperatures can also worsen rosacea, which can lead to inflammation, pimples, inflamed eyelids, and worsening of facial eczema.
Dr. Powell says some patients mention hair loss and brittle nail beds during winter months as well.
Outdoor winter sports enthusiasts like skiers are still prone to sunburn and sun blistering on the face, especially in unprotected areas.
(17) That's why Dr. Powell recommends using a mineral-based sunscreen (containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) with an SPF of at least 30 and reapplying when outdoors for long periods of time.
Anyone who went or still goes to McGill University knows that it is truly one of a kind. There may be some struggles we all face as students, and all those negatives do sometimes trump over the positives. Plus, it’s pretty damn funny to laugh at all the McGill problems we experience on the daily. So, I have compiled this article to share with you all the #McGillproblems!
On twitter and even Instagram, you can actually search the hashtag #McGillproblems and laugh at how true all these problems are and how relatable these tweets can be! So, here are 22 problems that all McGill students share according to #McGillproblems!