Take It From Me (One Mom’s Experience with Dr. Google)

My husband and I got on this running kick about 7 years ago. We had never been runners prior to that, and we’ve never been runners since then, but for that year or so, we were RUNNERS. Somewhere in the midst of all that running, my husband begin to complain that his right nipple was bothering him.  Rubbed, raw, painful. Even some discoloration. So what did I do?

The only thing TO do, of course. I GOOGLED “painful, discolored nipple. Male.”  

Everything from “reaction to dry fit material” to “male breast cancer” came up. Guess which diagnosis I scrapped as “unlikely?” The reaction to dry fit material. Guess which one I decided, “yes, that’s it!”?  Male breast cancer.  

Why? Because on Google, the scariest possibility always wins.  

(Eventual Diagnosis: reaction to dry fit material. Cover your nipple with a bandaid when you are running, dude).  

(Number of people I had praying for my husband’s nipple, who to this day still make fun of me? Probably 50).  

Years ago, when my oldest son was only 3, he woke up one morning with a cold. He had a runny nose, runny eyes, a low fever, and…leg pain? As the day progressed, his pain became so intense, he couldn’t even walk. In fact, he could not walk for the next 4 days. Unlike the story above, which was kind of funny, this story was actually quite scary. The doctor ordered an X-ray, and the X-ray technician ordered an MRI. There was a good two weeks of waiting around for results, so what did I do during those two weeks?  

The only thing TO do, of course. GOOGLED “unexplained leg pain, child.”

Oh Lawd. Prognosis: not good. During the next week, I learned every single fact a person should NEVER need to know, about leukemia, bone tumors, and childhood cancer statistics. I promptly disregarded all articles having to do with strains, injuries, viruses, arthritis, or anything that WASN’T terminal.

Why? Because on Google, the scariest possibility always wins.  

(Eventual Diagnosis: a sprained muscle, causing inflammation)

(Number of years my life will be cut short, due to the intense panic I experienced, courtesy of Google, during those two weeks? At least a decade)

A few months ago, my middle son had a diaper rash that got gnarly. It just looked BAD. No cream seemed to cure it, so I decided to take him to the doctor. The doctor tells me, “I think it’s scabies” (Uh, yeah. That’s body lice. Like BUGS burrowing into your kids SKIN, you guys. Every mother’s dream diagnosis). So what did I go home and do?

The only thing TO do, of course.  Googled “scabies, child, pictures, contagious.”

Google cheerfully informed me that if one member of my family had scabies, no doubt, all the rest of us did as well, and I was convinced that must be true…

Because on Google, the scariest possibility always wins.

Strange, because I hadn’t FELT scabie-ish until this very moment. Hadn’t FELT itchy. Hadn’t noticed any peculiar bites or sores or rashes. But you know what, Google? Now that I’m reading you, I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. I DO feel itchy. And that red mark on my hand…that looks EXACTLY like the images you are showing me for “scabies”.  And holy s**t….why did I never notice all those bites and sores on my other two children?? S***T!!!!!!! Our house is infested. Oh, and icing on the cake, Google tells me that once you have experienced an infestation, it’s likely to happen again. So I’m already picturing the diminished quality of all of our lives moving forward. No one will want to be friends with us, and risk the exposure.

(Eventual Diagnosis: not scabies. Let me say that one more time…NOT SCABIES. That’s right, my kid didn’t have body bugs. It seems I’m #winning at the personal hygiene game after all. Rather, a staph infection for the middle son, and nothing more than an assortment of ant bites and boo-boos for the rest of us)

(Dollars spent on wide array of homeopathic scabies repellants…500. Oh…and “homeopathic remedies” because Google also kindly informed me that if I used the medicine the doctor gave, it was sure to give my kid cancer. Thanks for that.)

Do I need to keep going?

Want me to tell you about the time Google convinced me that my son’s stomach virus was liver failure?

How about the time Google grimly delivered me a maliganant melanoma diagnosis?

I mean, I’m not sure who is crazier, me or Google, but the thing I want you take from all of this is…

Google isn’t a doctor.  A doctor is a doctor. Stay off of Google. Go to your doctor.  

The end.  

Peace, love and (mental) wellness,

Hayley AKA WebMd

 

 

 

 

 

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