Medical Diagnosis on Google
By edavis on January 15, 2012
Kawasaki's disease or dry hands? A tumor behind my right orbital cavity or some sinus pressure?
I go to Google all the time to self-diagnose. I think it's a pretty useful tool, but there are times when it's not always so helpful.
Like when I thought I discovered I was having a heart attack instead of some indigestion to blueberries. Given my age at the time and the fact that I had eaten an entire container of the blueberries, I gave my mom a call and asked her. She said, "You're not having a heart attack."
"Phew!" I closed the computer and picked up a book
Or when the plates on my son's skull had tangible ridges to them. I did a lot of Googling that day and discovered a lot of potential things to be on the look out for. Luckily, none of those things came to fruitition, but if they HAD, I was prepared.
And sometimes it's a good thing to have the information because the doctors and PA's and nurses at the local clinic (while wonderful dedicated people) only know what they know. And sometimes what they know isn't the right thing at all - like when they told me to stand on my leg that had three broken (broken like not connected at all) bones in my leg and I had to inform them of the diagnosis. "Oh, then you should sit", they sagely replied. (The diagnosis was not from google on that occasion, but from the radiology department).
But really, it is a good thing to have Google and to know what is going on with your body and with your medicines and it's a truly wonderful thing to have a doctor that sees you as a partner in understanding your health. Albeit, they must have to be pretty patient at times when calming the crazy fears that arise from some of those searches, but isn't that what a good doctor does - figure things out and explain it to you and, because it makes sense, the anxiety goes away.
I love that we can Google all sorts of crazy things and I'm pretty sure that it's just a little sinus infection above my right eye, but I'll keep Googling throughout the day just to make sure.
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