Friday, December 2, 2011

Oh great, I have bubonic plague

When the internet was a toddler a bunch of doctors go together and came up with a brilliant idea, WebMd. I figure that this website was created for two reasons. The first reason was to serve as a sort of yellow pages for doctors and for this it works perfectly well. The second and far more nefarious reason is that it was created in order to make people think that they have to go to the doctor because they are 10 to 15 minutes away from an abhorrent demise.

Admittedly I'm a little bit of a hypochondriac especially when I'm up in the middle of the night. Every time I find a potential medical problem I breathlessly type in WebMd and head to the symptom checker as fast as my mouse can carry me. I type in my ailments.

Small red sore.
On leg.

In a flash WebMd gives me a few potential ailments that match my symptoms; shingles, chicken pox, measles, herpes. Then at the very bottom of the list they have ingrown hair but of course I don't get that far because I have already completely lost my shit. I'm trying to figure out how the hell I got herpes despite not having sex with any thing in years. I start to try and pinpoint the blame on various friends of mine who have used my toilet. I plan how I'm going to break it to my parents that their son is a filthy degenerate and carrier of disease. I assume that I will never date again. I contemplate my life of complete hermitude (I'm pretty sure that's not a word, but it should be) now that I will be shunned by all of society for being infected. At no point do I stop to consider that the sore is on the outside of my thigh and obviously has a hair growing out of it, thus making it an ingrown hair. Why would I use simple logic in this situation when my computer has already told me that I am contaminated with herpes, measles, chicken pox, shingles, leprosy, and worse? COMPUTERS DON'T LIE.

This is what happens every time I go to WebMd. Any symptom I have instantly connects to the worst possible disease in my mind. Here are some possible diagnoses I have mistakenly made in the past.

Frequent Ear Infections = AIDS
Sore Arm = Heart Attack
Difficulty Sleeping = Lead Poisoning
Leg Swelling = Kidney Failure
Headache and Clumsiness = Brain Tumor

Of course the actual explanations were getting water in my ears, sleeping on my arm, drinking a pot of coffee at 7pm, a spider bite, and a hangover respectively. Yet I freaked out and assumed that I was on my last legs and about to keel over with some hideous ailment. I understand the usefulness of a site like WebMd but for me it is the root of all evil. Well, maybe not that bad, but I really should put a parental block on it to save me the anxiety. Life was so much easier back before the internet, I want to go back to the dark days. I don't mind the shame of buying pornography in public or the hassle of having to use a map. Of course I would have to print out copies of this blog and send them to you using snail mail and we all know that I would be too lazy to do that. And without this blog the world wouldn't know what a brilliant and gorgeous individual I am and my ego would shrink, I can't go back to that. Counting page hits is all that holds my self esteem together and I can't live without it! I guess I'll just continue to assume that the little tickle in my throat is the first sign of Ebola, I hope some of you will visit me when I'm in contamination. Cough cough. . .

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