Jeff Pearlman

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Twitching and the hypo within

Sometimes I loathe the internet. I really do.

As I’ve noted multiple times on this site, I’m a major hypochondriac. Like, major. Nothing is merely a cold or merely an ache. It’s always a life-threatening disease. MS. ALS. Parkinson’s. Cancer. I’d say over the course of the past, oh, 15 years I convinced myself I was dying at least 20 times. Like, imminently.

Over the past few days, my right thumb has been twitching. It’s annoying, and irksome, and comes and goes. I’ve tried ignoring it, but can’t. I’ve tried pooh-poohing it, but can’t, either. The twitch arrives when I wake up, sticks around, leaves, comes back, leaves again, returns. Maybe it’s carpal tunnel. Maybe it’s stress. Hell, maybe it is parkinson’s. Whatever the case, I’m not doctor …

… but, thanks to the internet, I can pretend I’m one. So, even though I know it’s a bad idea, I Google “twitching and thumb.” Then, inevitably, I land on Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, etc. This results in the start of my own obituary, as I sit here in a Starbucks, listening to a new song by the Cars (Sidenote question: Save for the media, does anyone care about the return of the Cars? I disliked them in 1984, I dislike them now).

Man, it’s hard to break out of a pattern. Really hard.

Any advice?

PS: Actually my own advice: I’m a hypo. I need to remind myself of this—always. I’ve been down this road before … 1,000 times. I always think I’m doomed. Always. So shut the fuck up and live. Dammit.

  • shayes

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been real stressed lately about my business and especially dealing with my two teen daughters. The other day, as I was kvetching, by wife simply says “don’t take everything so seriously.” Since then, I’ve been a picture of calm. May not last, but feels good for now.

  • cjdahl60

    I liked the cars in 1984 and I bought their new album on iTunes. I think it’s pretty sweet. Now, let’s talk about Hall and Oates (ugh) ;-}

  • Arnold

    I liked the Cars first album (’78 or ’79?), but not much after that. Had the misfortune of seeing them in concert in 1980. Worst band in concert ever. Very little movement by band members. Next to no between song banter. All songs sounded almost exactly like they did on their albums. Basically, it was like watching wooden dolls perform the Cars’ hits. The Motels opened up for them and blew the Cars away in terms of showmanship. Hadn’t heard that they have new song out. Did Benjamin Orr dying heal the rift among band members?

  • Chavurah Member

    You do realize that twitching thumbs is also a sign of nervousness and stress, right? So, the more you worry about this, the more your thumb is going to twitch!

  • Kevin B.

    I feel you Jeff. I struggle with hypochondria as well and regularly convince myself that I am suffering from some neurodegenerative diseases. I wish I had some coping mechanism advice, but nothing seems to work for me save for the dissipation of the concern-causing symptoms.

  • jmw

    Twitchin’ thumb?
    You want to leave.
    No attachments.
    Hitchhike to Nebraska and get lost in Omaha.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life