The internet is a bad bad place.
I curse Al Gore for ever inventing it!!
Yes, the internet has led me to some lovely ladies who I am proud to call friends. And it has helped me immensely with purchasing Christmas gifts, and sending flowers to friends and family, and doing research for classes, and it's even helping me to finish my master's degree. But the internet has the potential to be evil and suck you in without even realizing it.
There is just way too much information out there. Allow me to elaborate.
I google everything. People. Places. Events. Topics. Diseases. Symptoms. Questions. You name, I'll google it. I actually google all of my doctors, especially the new one and the specialists to make sure that they haven't removed a wrong body part or inadvertently given someone bird flu. So, when symptoms pop up I google them or I head over to WebMD and see what they have to say. Most times, it's not a big deal. And it can even be exponentially helpful. When the husband came home with a red, puffy, itchy eye WebMD was the backup I needed to get him to go to the doctor and have his pink eye formally diagnosed. When I forgot to ask the important questions regarding my radiation treatment last summer, the internet and the Thyroid cancer web pages provided me with the research based and personal experience based answer I was searching for. When I needed an outlet for thoughts, feelings, words, anything, the internet beckoned me. Lately, it has driven me mad.
You see, for the past few months I've been having what we'll term "Lady Problems". Nothing major. Nothing too scary. But enough that I've decided I should maybe get it checked out. The logical answers are not solving the problems. The blood tests that I thought would indicate why certain things were happening, were perfectly ok. So, my doctor decided I needed to see a different one of my doctors. My Lady doctor.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Lady doctor. She is an incredible doctor and has seen me through two tumultuous pregnancies and taken care of me in every way possible. She even cried the morning my daughter was born because she was not there to deliver her. It was sweet. She then sat with us for a good hour and talked as if we were old friends. I guess we kind of were considering the nature of her profession. But getting in to see my Lady doctor is virtually impossible unless you are pregnant. She is that good. I would not even consider going elsewhere.
I called months ago and got an initial appointment but ended up having to change it because of work commitments. The next appointment they could give me was a month later. Oh well. Had to take it. The extensive waiting period offered me the opportunity to research. To read. To ask questions and find out more about my symptoms. And where did I turn to take advantage of said opportunity? The internet.
I went to WebMD. I went to Google. I searched and prodded. Looked at web pages, articles, message boards, all in search of an answer to what might be ailing me. WebMD has lost some credibility with me because it initially diagnosed me with Anorexia. WHAT?!? Don't misunderstand me here, I wholeheartedly believe that Anorexia is a disease and it is dangerous and maybe, just maybe, some of my symptoms may mimic side effects of Anorexia but it was laughable for me. I ignored that initial diagnosis and kept perusing. My symptoms didn't really change but they increased in number and as I plugged more in I got diagnoses that seemed more likely.
Let me stop for a moment and clarify something. In no way do I rely on WebMD to provide me with reliable medical diagnoses. I take their information and I read it and it freaks me out and I take it to my doctor and she or he, depending on the problem, explains to me why it couldn't possibly be that and then gives me an antibiotic and my problem goes away or ups my medication and my symptoms lessen.
So, yes WebMD provided me with a diagnosis, actually a few of them. And actually, some of them made sense. Some of them I could potentially hear when I finally get in to see my Lady doctor on Monday. But until then I have all of these things bouncing around in my head. And really I'm not worried. If I think about it too much, yeah I freak myself out. Yeah it bothers me. But really, I don't think about it all that often.
Until last night.
I could not get things out of my head. I could not stop thinking about the worst case scenario, which I don't even know if it is the worst case scenario because I don't actually know what's wrong. I had horrible thoughts of cancer, infertility, hysterectomies, oophrectomies, anything you could imagine I thought of. Then I went to sleep and dreamed of those things. I'm still not worried in an outward manner. I don't think I have anything to be worried about. But I guess subconsciously, I cannot get the possibilities out of my brain.
I curse you crazy internet and your mad hatter of a creator, Al Gore.
*I am well aware that Al Gore did not, in fact, invent the internet*
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The internet is a bad bad place.
Posted by Alison McGeary-Stella at 11:35 AM