I was thinking that there should be a new degree, “PHD in internet medicating”.
I have a few friends who love to diagnose via the internet.
The fun part about this is even the most harmless symptoms can become terminal on the internet.
For instance I am going to Google “runny nose”.
Bet you thought there could not be scary stuff with that one.
“Rarely, tumors of the nasal passages or chronic medical conditions may be the cause of a runny nose.”
We all saw that word “rarely” right but if you are my very hypochondriacy friend that “rarely” word is immaterial.
My one friend will immediately be telling me that she has booked an appointment with her doctor because she has a tumour in her nose.
I have tried before to point out that it may be a common cold but it does not help .
She cannot possibly get anything as mediocre it has to be the worst case scenario with her.
Despite all the illnesses that she is constantly sure that she must have, she is the healthiest person that I know.
I also cannot tell her anything to do with my body.
Innocent statements like:
“I bumped my toe”
Surely cannot bring up any medical emergency?
I will get dire warnings about internal infection and gangrene.
I took my Mom to the Doctor last month when she was visiting.
She had a problem with a continuous cough.
She would suffer from the internet diagnoses disease, except that her computer skills are terrible. Instead she nagged me constantly to google her symptoms.
Of course the worst case scenario involving serious surgery had to be it according to my Mom. I tried to point out that there were some other scenarios that fitted her symptoms but she loves drama so I let it be till we went to visit our doctor.
Many years ago when my Mom lived with me we started going to Dr Kaka (yes I know but that really is his name). There is nothing kaka about him as far as GP’s go he rocks and I think of him as the best doctor in our city.
My Mom told him her symptoms and that she googled it (I always think, if I were a doctor and my patient had to say “I googled it” I would start cringing.)
Dr Kaka has however got the best bedside manner ever.
He asked my Mom to tell him all about the suggestions that the symptoms brought up with genuine interest (at least he fakes it well).
He then did his examination.
The diagnosis had nothing to do with what was on the internet. All it required was some medication as it was a reflux problem causing the coughing and irritation. The medication worked immediately.
Mom is cured but alas not from internet self diagnosis. I still get those calls.
Viv, I have my computer on, I have a stinging pain in my left pinkie, how do I google it?”