By Lara Bonner
Charlie Hanson is not your average man—in fact, he has what Dr. Harold Baum at the Cayuga Medical Center has declared “the most severe case of hypochondria I’ve seen in years.” Hanson had an appointment with Baum Tuesday, where he first expressed concerns about having a rather unusual ailment.
“He told me he thought he was menopausal,” Baum said. “I had to try really hard not to laugh.”
Hanson, 32, of Cayuga Heights, has reportedly made 83 visits to the Cayuga Medical Center this calendar year. Illnesses he believes to have plagued him include mad cow disease, lung cancer and lupus. Menopause, however, is certainly the most curious condition Hanson has claimed to have. He described his symptoms to officials in a press conference Wednesday.
“I’ve been having hot flashes and night sweats,” he said.
Halfway through the question session, the press conference had to be cut short. Hanson had inexplicably burst into tears, apparently overcome by emotion. He was seen being led away from the scene by a sympathetic Baum.
Gerald Parker, Hanson’s supervisor at Kinney Drugs, where Hanson works full-time, expressed concern about Hanson’s ability to continue working.
“Once, he was halfway through filling a prescription of Roxithromycin and he suddenly started weeping uncontrollably,” Parker said. “I was extremely confused, but then he said his dead dog’s name was Roxi.”
Parker has also seen Hanson fall asleep on the job several times this month—fatigue, Baum said, is a big symptom of menopause.
In addition, according to Baum, Hanson was under the impression that he had menstruated last month.
“I was walking through the park when a couple came up behind me and informed me there was red on the back of my jeans,” Hanson said.
This raised the question of whether it was possible that Hanson was intersexual.
After conducting extensive hormonal tests and physical exams at the relentless insistence of Hanson, however, Baum declared with certainty that Hanson was, indeed, a typical male.
“He has all the proper genitalia,” Baum said to a suspicious crowd at the press conference.
Thursday, following the press conference, Baum sent the aforementioned stained jeans to a lab to be closely inspected, once again at Hanson’s request. Lab technicians ultimately declared that it was acrylic paint.
“He probably sat on a wet park bench or something,” Baum said.
Baum informed Hanson of this assessment, but he is currently in denial, due to all the other symptoms he is experiencing.
The public has expressed concern about Hanson’s mental health. Baum, however, feels that the line must be drawn between diagnosing a patient as insane and as a severe hypochondriac. But does this regionally acclaimed doctor truly believe Hanson, only in his thirties, and more importantly, a male, is sane if he thinks he is menopausal?
Baum was unavailable to comment on the issue of his own sanity, for he is currently attending the two-day Moose Dropping Festival in Talkeetna, Alaska.
Authorities are to perform a background check and psychological assessment of Baum later this week.
Lara Bonner is a freshman writing major who doesn’t think she has mad cow disease but is seeing a doctor just to make sure. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.