Some years ago I noticed a lump under my eye. I wondered if it was a growth of some kind, so I went to see the doctor. She looked alarmed, and didn't know what it was either, and sent me to a specialist. (thank goodness for HMOs) The specialist looked at it and told me that what I had was a case of bags under my eyes. We all have a layer of fat around our eyes, and in some people, that fat oozes out in to the pockets under our eyes. She said that for a price she would cosmetically fix that for me, but I declined. But I left that day feeling that I looked like a hypochondriac.
These past few days I noticed a very swollen gland on the back of my neck. It's about the size of a quarter. It is very sore to the touch. I have ignored it, and figured it would go away on it's own. But tonight I noticed that it seems to be spreading, and worried that I have some kind of infection. I decided to call the advice nurse and ask her opinion. She suggested I go in to the minor injury clinic which was open late until 11:00 pm.
Two hours and $30 later, I was told that basically it will go away on it's own, (might take as long as 2 weeks) and there is no treatment they could give me. If I start having more severe symptoms, then they would advise a treatment, but as for now, I look once again like a hypochondriac.
I think I'm going to wait until I'm on my deathbed before I go to the doctor again. Some months back I was very ill with what I now feel was a kidney stone. But I toughed it out because of the fear of looking like a hypochondriac if I went in to urgent care. Maybe I'm just not a good judge of when I'm seriously ill, and when I'm not. But tonight has made me think I'll just doctor myself next time.