When health anxiety set my mind (and heart) racing

From ABC Health and Wellbeing, 9 December 2014:

“You’re too young to be in here.”

I couldn’t agree more. I look around the cardiologist’s waiting room, guessing that I’m the youngest person by at least 20 years. Everyone else is slightly crumpled; soft, wrinkled and grey.

But, despite my youthful vigour – well, maybe slightly worn around the edges after 39 years – I did need to be there.

You see a month or so prior to my walking into the waiting room, my heart had started doing something weird. Every now and then – roughly every 10 or 20 minutes – it would do an extra big beat, or an odd beat, or something like that.

I discovered that it’s hard to listen to your own heart. It’s a bit like a quantum physics problem: the act of observing it changes its behaviour. For a few weeks, I ignored it, thinking it was probably related to the horrible cold I was experiencing.

But it continued. And continued. So I did what all internet-equipped hypochondriacs do, I consulted Dr Google.

Being a health journalist whose search history tends to demand the good stuff, I like to think that I found some slightly more authoritative and less hysterical sources than your average search would hand up; but it was still enough to make me decide a trip to the doctor was in order. Read more.

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