A Riddikulus Diagnosis

What I learned from a visit to a new doctor this morning: I may be dying from a disease found only in the fictional world of Harry Potter.

I complained to the doctor about this weird thing I’ve had for a few weeks now that makes me feel like there’s something interminably stuck in my throat, or maybe that there’s some sort of lump there. He poked and prodded and asked a few questions, then took out his pad and started writing something down.

“I hope this isn’t too offensive..” (always a good way to start) “but this is what I think the case is. You can Google it.”

This is what he wrote down: globus hystericus.

My first reaction was to look towards the door, as I assumed he was instructing me to banish an approaching boggart by turning it into a basketball.

This was, sadly, not the case, which was just as well as my wand is in the shop. But I looked it up when I got to work and, truth be told, it is real:

The sensation of having a lump in the throat when there is nothing there. Sometimes simply called globus.

Globus hystericus is a symptom of some physical disorders such as reflux laryngitis as well as a psychosomatic disorder characterized by a change or loss of physical function (such as blurred vision or paralysis of the legs) that suggests a physical disorder but instead is an expression of a psychological conflict or need.

The “lump in the throat” sensation that characterizes globus pharyngis is usually due to the inflammation of one or more parts of the throat such as the larynx or hypopharynx.

Here’s the kicker:

It may also be caused by hysterical neurosis or anxiety disorders.

Merlin’s beard! Here I expected to find out I had some inflamed tonsils or a gigantic wedge of tofu blocking my esophagus, and instead I’m informed I’ve finally pitched myself over the edge and descended into hysterical neurosis. If it is anxiety, I wonder what could be causing it?

The doctor’s prescription for this? “Well, the more you think about it the worse it gets.” So stop thinking about it? You try cramming a wool sock down your throat and see how easy it is to stop thinking about it.

I should have gone to see Madame Pomfrey instead.

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