The first time I believe that my hypochondrism ever showed itself was during the last month of my mission. During those last few months, I had developed what appeared to be a mouth fungus so rancid, so vile, so uncouth, my companion refused to have morning kisses with me anymore.
I went to three doctors, took countless drugs and even engulfed an entire regimen of healing herbs that some herbalist we were teaching gave me. He promised that the concoction of 12 herbs would rid the body of any fungus. The next day was P-day and we went golfing. I downed herb after herb after herb until my stomach was a residual, acidic herb garden. I threw it all up out the side of the car on the way to the course.
*Side note: Yes, missions are tough. Real tough. BUT my mission is the ONLY time in my life that I was able to go golfing once a week. I go golfing once a week now and I'd be wearing dirty shirts for the rest of my life. Ha ha - once a week - IN MY DREAMS! Now, back to our story...
With two weeks left on the mission I decided to do the unthinkable to kill this prickly monstrosity. I filled my mouth up with Listerine and just held it there. I held that Listerine in my mouth for a full 45 minutes. Yes, it stung. Yes, it burned. Yes, I was dying. My companion sat across the room from me, reading a book and laughing his guts out.
As my watch beeped, alarming me that the 45 minutes were up, I ran to the bathroom and dumped the mouthwash in the sink. I opened my mouth and looked in the mirror. The fungus was gone! Success! Unfortunately, the skin on the roof, the bottom and the sides of my mouth was gone too. I pressed my tongue up against the roof of my mouth and cringed in immediate agony. It felt soft and spongy and every time I brushed my tongue against my mouth, I doubled over in misery.
I could not eat solid foods for about 9 days and my companion could not have been more entertained. I returned home soon after and resumed morning kisses - thankfully, this time with Cathi.