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[Perspectives] Metaphors and medically unexplained symptoms

Her job entailed looking at diseases under a microscope in a hospital laboratory. At some point she started to have vague symptoms. Nausea, fatigue, malaise. She looked that up online. She began to obsess about food. Dizziness, ringing in the ears, back pain. She saw her doctor repeatedly and underwent scans and blood tests—the results were always normal. Jaw tightness, shortness of breath, sleep problems. She had an itch on her arm and was certain that meant pancreatic cancer. A persistent lump in her throat was suspicious for a thyroid malignancy.