Most days, I’m a completely normal person, and I deal with minor aches and pains like a regular human being. And then every so often, the Google Fever takes over, and then this happens:
I start off with something minor, like a headache. Nothing to be worried about – headaches happen all the time right? I continue with whatever work I’m doing.
A couple of hours pass, and the headache is still here. It’s distracting me from my work, and I’m feeling restless, so to pass the time for 5 minutes, I google my headache.
“It could be your eyesight,” Dr Google informs me.
Well, I am mildly short sighted, but I hate wearing glasses. Dr Google informs me that I might be damaging my eyes. Maybe my eyesight is worsening — I need to book an eye test. Click-click-click — glaucoma. Oh dear, there’s a history of glaucoma in my family. Click-click — glaucoma causes blindness. Dr Google tells me that once the damage has been done it can’t be fixed. What!? I’m going to go blind?
Click-click — research blindness and ways to cope with it. Click-click. Consider sending Poppy to a seeing eye dog school in anticipation of the days I won’t be able to see. Realise that unless Poppy is a superdog with a super long life, she’s unlikely to still be around by that time. Moment of sadness as I imagine life without our Popmeister General. Click-click — the longest living dog died at 29. I’m cheered at the thought of twenty odd years with the Popnoodle.
I get a hold of myself — “don’t be ridiculous, you’re not going blind and Poppy isn’t dying. Get back to work.” I close out the windows, but wait, there is something I missed, telling me my headache could be due to stress. Well, I’ll click on that quickly – only 5 minutes. I mean, I don’t think I’m stressed, but there’s a test that will tell me for sure. I might as well take it.
Oh god! Apparently I am stressed! Maybe stress is getting in the way of my writing. Maybe it’s having other negative impacts on my body — everyone knows that stress is bad for you. Google stress. Click-click-click — nausea. Click-click- bowel cancer.
“Have you been bloated?” asks Dr Google. Well, yes sometimes. “Have you lost weight?” Yes, but I thought that was a good thing. “No, you could have bowel cancer.”
Say what now? Anxiety and stress go through the roof (guess that test was right after all). Google bowel cancer. Click-click-click — horrific articles on cancer in general. But what about my headache? Click-click. What if it’s a brain tumour?I did smell burning toast once but no one else could smell it and there was no toaster on. Click-click. A brain aneurism? Click-click-click. Oh my god what if —
Luckily the Hubs calls at this point to say hello. I tell him that although it’s not even 10am, so far I’ve faced my inevitable blindness, signed Poppy up for seeing eye dog school, mourned her death, found out I was possibly chronically stressed, diagnosed myself with bowel cancer, and with a brain tumour, or an aneurism, or possibly both (if this was Grey’s Anatomy, it would definitely be both).
“Or maybe you just need to drink more water and take a paracetamol,” says the Hubs.
Oh yeah, that too. Why doesn’t Dr Google ever start by saying that? Honestly, it always takes you to the most extreme, awful illnesses. We have a little laugh at how ridiculous I was being, and after hanging up the phone, I close down google, get some water and get back to work.
But wait, on my way back from the kitchen, I notice that Poppy hasn’t eaten her food yet. That’s weird, she normally wolfs it down. Maybe I should check with Dr Google, just to be safe….
Full disclosure, I’m not *quite* that neurotic. I’m mildly more normal (but only mildly) — creative license in the name of telling a story and all that. Dr Google has diagnosed me with a number of serious illnesses, mind you, but thankfully I’m still the picture of health. Unless being a hypochondriac is considered a mental illness. Might have to google that… 😉
How about you, have you ever googled your symptoms? Do you find yourself turning into an internet hypochondriac? Or is it just me?