Self-diagnosis can save you a lot of unnecessary time in medical offices and those bothersome things like “medical diagnosis” and “prescription medication”. But it doesn’t always work in your favour. Trust me.
I am a big believer in googling any and all medical issues.
Wake up and can’t raise my left arm comfortably? Google it.
Suspicious my eyebrows are not symmetrical? Google it – there must be a serious medical condition causing that. Recent attempt at self-grooming is irrelevant.
Baby suddenly does not like bananas? We must check Google should it be a rare tropical disease he picked up at the park.
But even I draw the line at self-diagnosing broken bones. My bearded husband, however, does not.
“You know, I worked in a clinic for years. I think I’d know if it was broken.” Yes, I would think that. And I’d be wrong.
Last summer, in a fit of rage at the former owners of our house and their questionable gardening choices, he ripped up a metal rail (it also goes by some more colourful names). In disgust, he tossed it on the patio and did some other outdoor maintenance. A short while later, he jogged through the yard to get a tool and tripped over the cursed rail, landed face first with his left index finger taking the most impact.
Concerned about the swelling and immobility, I gently suggested he see the doctor, a real one.
“Nope, just gonna ice it, I’ll be fine.”
A few days later, I suggested it again, since this injury was seriously limiting his diaper-changing abilities. And dishwashing.
“It’s fine. See I can bend it a bit.”
The finger inspired imitations by the boys. “Look, I’m Daddy opening the jam.” “Look, I’m Daddy changing the radio station.” All this was done with the offending finger extended gingerly. It was top notch material that was lost on Bearded Husband.
A few months passed and finally he agreed that a visit to the doctor might be necessary. One x-ray later it was revealed that the finger was broken. Shocking.
That diagnosis was life-changing. Now we needed to schedule in time for Finger Physiotherapy. It’s a real thing. A “one hour, twice a week” kind of real thing.
Until they come up with google.com/bodyscan, trust me, go see the doctor.
2 thoughts on “Dr. Google”
Dr. Google is also an expert at over-diagnosis, coming up with only the most life-threatening outcome of any particular symptom you’re experiencing (anything less doesn’t seem to grab his attention)…so you may die many times over waiting for your REAL appointment with a REAL doctor, who ends up telling you that you’ll probably die of something else way before whatver it is that Dr. Google has had you agonizing over for weeks or months (I don’t know about Ontario anymore, but it can take a long time to see a REAL specialist in Québec, hence the popularity of Dr. Google!).
I’m married to a nurse, so I get professional medical advice whether I want it or not!
Overall, I tend to think real doctors need to be involved. I think this is a reaction to my parents, who think doctors are to be avoided like rabid badgers.