1. You go on WebMD pretty much every day, mostly out of habit. Sometimes, you don’t even have any “symptoms.” You just go on there and scroll through stuff to make sure there isn’t anything you could possibly be missing.
2. You secretly hope you will end up marrying a doctor. Not because it means you will live an affluent lifestyle. But because you will have someone on-call 24/7 who can reassure you that no, you cannot get Chicken Pox twice and yes, it’s okay that occasionally you sneeze 5 times in a row.
3. Anytime you hear about someone having some kind of illness, you’re convinced that you have the same illness. If your roommate’s aunt has lung cancer, you probably have lung cancer too. If your friend’s friend’s friend just got diagnosed with mono, you’re like “Yep. I knew it. I probably have mono too. It makes sense. We kind of loosely know each other.”
4. …and when a friend starts talking about someone they know being sick, you’re half-tempted to plug your ears and start singing a song to block out what they’re saying. You know you have to find some way to prevent yourself from going crazy and convincing yourself that you have whatever this person has.
5. A stomach ache is NEVER just a stomach ache. It is ALWAYS probably appendicitis. You wish your appendix would just hurry up and burst so you could stop worrying about it. Because even though it’s rare, you know that in your case, it is inevitable.
6. Due to the fact that you obsessively read “supposedly legitimate” medical-related articles online, you feel like pretty much everything can give you cancer: ketchup, Diet Coke, cell phones, microwaves, Teresa Giudice. The list is never-ending.
7. The slightest headache means you’re about to have a brain aneurism. A mere pain in your foot means you’re going to have to get your entire leg amputated. You drive yourself crazy all day, or week, or month every time you have even the slightest abnormal sensation or pain in your body.
8. Your solution for everything is Advil. Oh, you’re hungover? Take advil. You’re sore from working out? Advil. You’re confused about who you are as a person, as well as your place in this world? Advil.
9. When you go through an entire day without thinking that you’re dying of a rare illness, you are actually shocked. And extremely proud of yourself.
10. You often convince yourself that you will be the one person to come down with an illness that’s only known to be active on an entirely different continent from the one on which you reside.
11. Your friends know that to you, a paper cut is so much more than a paper cut. In your eyes, it means the possibility of a deadly bacteria infiltrating your bloodstream and slowly but surely destroying you.
12. You never know how to feel after a visit at the doctor’s office: Did they catch everything? How can they be sure? What if my doctor was having an off day? How do I know my doctor was even a real doctor? What if they missed something huge?
13. Every time you have a hangover, you convince yourself that it’s never going to go away and that you must be having some kind of severe, allergic reaction to whatever you drank last night. And you should probably go to the Emergency Room.
14. …and then you do go to the Emergency Room and they’re like “Reason for visit?” And you’re like “I’m… hungover?” and then you feel really awkward and stupid. But you still ask them to take an X-Ray of your chest because you’ve been “breathing weird” lately.
15. You can drive yourself a little nuts sometimes (read: all the time). If you don’t drink 8 glasses of water a day, you’ll die of dehydration. If you miss one night of brushing your teeth? Boom. Gingivitis. If you feel even the tiniest bit nauseous one day? OMG. Pregnant. It’s an ongoing cycle of driving yourself, and your friends, and your family, crazy.
16. We’re not even going to talk about Ebola.
17. Anytime you have any kind of symptom, no matter how small, you immediately type it into Google because you’re sure that this time, it really is deadly.
18. Anytime you meet someone who works in a field relatively close to medicine, you think, “I must make them my new best friend immediately.” You love the idea of having a friend you can annoy with texts like “Should I be concerned that I just had a weird twitch in my arm?”
19. You have had to force yourself to stop watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy, because every time you’ve watched it, you’ve thought “Oh my God, I think I have what that person has.” But let’s be real, you would have probably given up on Grey’s Anatomy at this point anyways. Eleven seasons? Let it die, Shonda.