Understanding disease: the ninjas are with youBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c1388 (Published 11 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1388
- Joe Knight, year 10, Fortismere School, north London
Being a massive hypochondriac, I was apprehensive about reading what are basically detailed outlines of diseases I might get. Having convinced myself already this month that I have bowel cancer, diabetes, stomach cancer, tuberculosis, and malaria, I was wary of adding another four potential illnesses to my already abundant roster of life threatening conditions.
I practically lived in Great Ormond Street Hospital from the ages of 4 to 6 after I was given a diagnosis of the bowel condition Hirschsprung’s disease. It’s fair to say that dealing with illness has not been my forte: the false calmness of the hospital waiting room and any word ending in “osis” still send a fearful shiver down my spine. The hysterical media coverage of the recent swine flu pandemic has not helped, and after many sleepless nights filled with routine forehead temperature checks I was glad …