Carte blanche to Olivier Niquet | The mystery of the liver is great

For some time now, I have noticed a trend in the choice of topics of discussion between my forty-something friends and me. Nostalgia for our shared adolescence has given way to more mature issues.

When we unscrew a few bottles to chat about the fate of the world, it’s about bathroom renovations, swimming pool openings and sump pump power (or pump pump, as they say in the pumping world) as we speak. Over time, the pump pump has become a staple of our evenings. We talk about it in the second degree, as if to make fun of our condition as suburban punks.

Above all, as a symptom of our decline, we talk about health problems. Ours, our children’s, our parents’. Lots of stories of postponed appointments, technological dead ends and files lost in a crack. A crack as big as the San Andreas Fault, if I trust the accounts. It must be said that I am now able to form my own opinion of our health system since I won the family medicine lottery a year ago.

I had no idea at the time that my first appointment would mark the start of a annus horribilis (I think we say “marde year” in French). It’s not that the system disappointed me. On the contrary, it was too effective. To mark our first date, my doctor invited me to take a little blood test. A sort of blood pact to seal our union. I’m quite athletic and eat mostly Budwig cream, so I didn’t have any bad blood with it until my doctor called me to tell me my blood was bad. “You have bilirubin in the ceiling, sir. »

According to Doctissimo, my reference in matters of hypochondria, bilirubin is a yellow pigment present in bile and in small quantities in the blood. High bilirubin levels can indicate cirrhosis, cancer, hepatitis and a plethora of other uncool things, as the jargon goes. Incidentally, excess bilirubin can cause jaundice, which would be very unfortunate for my legendary peach complexion.

The bottles consumed with my friends in the process of mononclization would not be in question. I’m often at the limit of Health Canada’s recommendations for getting drunk, with a margin of error of 2.6%, 19 times out of 20, but I don’t really go overboard.

Seeing this inflationary bilirubin, my doctor invited me to do a second blood test as well as an ultrasound. That’s when I started not feeling well. Between the time of the test and when I received the results which revealed that there was nothing serious about me, I spent most of my time imagining something serious.

So much so that I started having discomfort in my liver area. A discomfort whose magnitude was proportional to the amount of information I consulted about this fascinating organ.

Even today, I can’t tell the difference between the intestine, the colon and a hot dog and I am only able to locate my stomach when I have it in my heels. But I know all the secrets of the liver.

I could even recommend the most perfect food and wine pairing to Hannibal Lecter.

Had this idea that was looping around in my brain ended up making me sick? That’s kind of what my doctor suspected. “Have you considered, sir, that maybe it’s just in your head?” », he told me, but with much more tact. And what do you do to combat test anxiety? We insist on taking other tests, like a thick one. And why not a gastroscopy on top of that? I don’t hate cameras, but I wasn’t that excited about the idea of ​​someone filming my insides using a tube the same size. Everything was fine everywhere, except the bilirubin level which didn’t want to go down. Probably a benign genetic condition.

It’s for situations like this that we don’t do tests for the sake of doing tests, my doctor told me. The most pathetic thing about all of this is that I thought I was immune to this kind of situation. My father-in-law was a public health expert whose one of his struggles was overdiagnosis. Our society, which has less and less tolerance for risk, has developed so many screening tests that we have come to treat health problems that would have killed us at 138 years old or to make us sick from stress because of mild results. extraordinary. As a bonus, simpletons like me bog down the network.

I who thought I was imperturbable, me whose mind generally runs at the speed of a hamster wheel without a hamster in it, I understood what a spinning brain can do. Quietly, I begin to let go of my momentary hypochondria, but I still have to persist with myself to convince myself that this abdominal discomfort that I have in the back of my head is not worrying. When you’re told not to think about something, there’s a good chance you won’t stop thinking about it. Politicians use this strategy to plant ideas in our heads, but it also works with my liver. Common sense can do nothing about it, despite what Pierre Poilievre would say.

After all these years of finding anxious and stressed people who are not able to “take it upon themselves” mysterious, I now understand much better the destructive power of the brain. So much so that with climate change, I’m starting to get quite stressed about my sump pump…

Who is Olivier Niquet?

Olivier Niquet has training in urban planning. Radio columnist, who can be heard on the show The day (is still young) on ICI Première, he published two books: The misquoted club And The kings of silence: what we can learn from introverts to be a little less stupid and (maybe) save the world. He is also a screenwriter and speaker, in addition to contributing to the sites and

What do you think ? Express your opinion

source site-56