Hypochondriac Husband

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Dear Joel,

My husband is a hypochondriac. If he catches a cold, he thinks it’s pneumonia; if he pulls a muscle working outside, he is convinced he has arthritis. Even when he’s just plain tired, he is sure it’s a symptom of something really wrong. I had to block most of the health channels on the TV. Last year when I sprained my ankle, he even started limping! Now with cold and flu season upon us, I am preparing for the worst. How would you go about convincing him he’s got a lot of living to do?

Betsy, Lakehurst

Dear Betsy,

I don’t mean to chuckle about your problem, but it reminds me of that funny old Rock Hudson and Doris Day film, “Send Me No Flowers.” Maybe you could rent a copy and watch that together. Sometimes seeing yourself through others is a real eye opener. You said it best when you said, “he’s got a lot of living to do.” As a the owner of a company that works with people facing serious health challenges, you realize how very precious every minute of good health is. That being said, he may still not want to give up his hypochondria because he has made it his defining drama. He is looking for an audience, so don’t be too available to ‘sick’ conversations. Maybe all he needs is a new obsession. Try some new activities together, and keep lots of hand sanitizer and wipes everywhere. It will calm him down and keep you healthy too.

Joel Markel

Write to joel@preferredcares.com. His radio show, “Preferred Company” airs Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. on preferredradio.com and 1160 & 1310 WOBM-AM.

If you or anyone else is in need of home health care, call Preferred at 732-840-5566. “Home health care with feeling.

Joel Markel is President of Preferred Home Health Care and Nursing Services Inc. serving all of New Jersey in adult, senior and pediatric home health care.”