Since the invention of the Internet, people who tend to worry about their health (notice I’m not using the word “hypochondriac.” Yet.) have a virtual Pandora’s box in their hands. One thing leads to another and soon we’re planning our funerals. Speaking from experience, I will just say that Web MD hasn’t exactly been a helpful tool for me.
Before I found Web MD however, I utilized online medical message boards to leave various panicky posts, asking if anyone out there had a certain set of symptoms (tingling in hands, ringing in ears, and a strange habit of inhaling deeply only to experience the stabbing pain of a butcher knife in their hearts, for example) and then I would finish by inquiring if everything turned out to be alright in the end?
I would post the above message, checking in every ten minutes to see if anyone replied with a reassuring, “No worries — I had the same exact thing as you and now I run marathons and win chili cook-offs!” response. But instead there would just be an empty red comment box staring me in the face until I finally had the good sense to determine the following:
Everyone who experienced those particular symptoms had already slipped into a coma and THAT is the reason they are unable to answer my question!
Okay you may now (correctly) conclude that I am a hypochondriac, albeit a recovering one. Therefore I would like to offer these six tips to help you avoid falling into the “I can self-diagnose AND treat myself” trap and perhaps breathe a little easier (with your Spire’s assistance) when plagued with doubts about your well-being and it comes time to transition from the Internet to a legitimate medical professional in the real world.
6 Tips To Keep You Calm When Your Imagination Runs Away
- The word “Web” in Web MD is your first tip-off. Where do we find webs? Spiders weave webs to trap lesser-evolved life forms to feed off of. Ducks have webbed feet. And what do ducks say? Quack! Need I say more?
- No matter what you type into the Web MD search bar, you will receive four diagnoses. One will have to do with your brain, one will be related to the heart, another to your lungs and the last one will specify the name of a body part you didn’t even know you possessed, let alone that it needed to be amputated. And all four options will be equally as fatal. If you’ve taken Deductive Reasoning 101 in college, it will soon dawn on you that you cannot possibly be afflicted with ALL of these horrifying maladies at the same time, right? That’s only logical. So you have my permission to play eeny meeny miny moe to see which one to eliminate. Always check-in with your Spire at this point to watch it register you breathing a huge sigh of relief. Oh and congratulations — You’ve just bought yourself three more years in your prognosis!
- Be aware that reputable physicians pay Web MD big bucks to send them full color pictures and the first and last names of anyone who uses this online service more than twice a month. This is so when you call to schedule an appointment for your MRI, CAT scan, and spinal tap, they can cross reference you in a “Beware of So & So” master list and the receptionist can then politely inform you the doctor is no longer accepting any new patients.
- If you do happen to make it into a real life doctor’s office, and you’re sitting in the waiting room filling out their lengthy forms – – when it asks “Who referred you to our office?” Never write down, “Web MD.” Instead casually make mention of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
- When the same form asks you “Reason For Today’s Visit?” resist the urge to write, “Look at me! Isn’t it obvious? I just need the doctor to confirm how much time I have left.”
- You can also guestimate on the question about your weight because that’s just to help them pick the correct size burial gown for you.
One more bonus tip: Be sure and ask your doctor if Placebocillion might be right for you. Placebocillion is the first generic medication in a randomized double-blind controlled study to get approved for the treatment of imaginary cancers, heart disease, and blood poisoning. It also gets rid of fictional kidney failure faster than you can say dialysis.
Best of all, physicians will be happy to prescribe Placebocillion because it also gets rid of you!