Thursday, March 6, 2008

Paging Dr. Google

Hypochondriacs shouldn't be allowed on the internet. I know that perfectly well. In fact, I have pretty much totally managed to avoid googling anything about my boys' health. Well, except I broke down in the middle of the night when B-man was having his first asthma attack and became totally freaked out with all times "death" is listed as a complication of asthma. That made for a relaxing night with hardly any calls to our pediatrician!

Anyway, while I can keep myself away for the boys, I just can't seem to do it for myself. I've had a cough for the past few days. Why? Because I *always* have a cough if I get even the slightest cold. Why? Because I have asthma. Yes, Maggie, clearly my asthma isn't under control any more. I know. I should take care of that.

So, I've been coughing. And coughing. And coughing. Annoying, but nothing major. Then last night my elbow started itching and had a little bit of a rash. That's weird. Time to google! Cough and rash, what could that be? Of course the main hit I keep getting is "asthma and allergies", but that's far too boring and incredibly probable. I could have gone to a real doctor to get that information. Come on, I expect more from Dr. Google!

So, on, a site with a name that really fills you with confidence in their content, they suggest Alveolar Hydatid Disease, a rare disease caused by a microscopic tapeworms. Wow, that's pretty disgusting. Luckily, I don't fit most of the other symptoms, so I guess I can stop worrying that tiny worms have invaded my body. Way to go, wrongdiagnosis, you've totally lived up to your name!

On Medscape, I got an exciting hit for Monkey Pox. The fact that it is exceedingly rare in America and is normal only transmitted via a bite from an infected animal doesn't really slow me down from examining the other symptoms, which again, I don't present. I'm happy to report, that according to Dr. Google, I'm Monkey Pox free!

Medlineplus suggests Histoplasmosis, an infection caused by inhaling fungus spores. Sure, the fungus normally is found in soil along river valleys and I haven't been hanging out at any rivers recently. But, the fungus is transmitted via bird and bat droppings. I did see some bats at the zoo, and there were seagulls flying around the parking lot at the supermarket. Hmmm, I wonder. This site contains the especially great advice on prevention: "
Avoid contact with bird or bat droppings." I was going to run right out to find some bird and bat poo to touch, but this convinced me to avoid it. You can always count on the government; thanks, Medline!

Well, the rash is now gone, so I guess this is just a case of a plain ol' cold. But Dr. Google, I did enjoy our consultation. You're far more interesting than a real doctor, you never make me sit in a waiting room filled with sick people, and you don't even charge me a copay.

Totally related thought: Here's your chance, all you closet-hypochondriacs out there: what's the craziest thing you ever thought you had? I once told TK, way back in the day when we were in college and just dating, that I thought I had scurvy. I was serious. He laughed at me, but refrained from telling me I was crazy. Well, now that I think of it, he might have said I was crazy in between the laughs. But at least he was good-natured about it, and he did go out with me to get some fruit.


Maggie said...

Get thee to a pulmonologist!!! Don't get me started on asthma control...

This thread is right up my alley. What *haven't* I "had"? My most recent...I always think I'm pregnant!!! Not very exotic but wow is it mentally taxing. Now my dear husband has been snipped (and we've verified 3 times that the procedure was successful!) and I'm not otherwise why do I keep thinking this? I'll blame the breastfeeding hormones for screwing with my body!! I didn't take this many pregnancy tests the first 32 years of my existence!

What A Card said...

I knew my asthma comment would drive you insane! I do need to get to a doctor about this. I'm hoping it will be spring soon so it be better until next winter when cold season starts again.

I hear you about the pregnancy thing. Except I'd need a boat load of pregnancy test to ever reach the sheer volume of tests I took pre-twins :)