cyberchondria

coined by webMD as a worsening of the condition of a hypochondriac by the easy access to health information afforded by the worldwide web. I hear you WebMD, oh yes i do.

i have always been kind of weird about illness. Even as a child growing up in Suburbia, USA, I was petrified with fear that the innocuous bruises on my legs were a symptom of lukemia. In high school, when one a friend got mono I refused to associate with her for a month, lest the perilous microbes invade my body. (although the idea of sleeping for a couple weeks did have its own appeal…) College found me paralyzed with fear when a meningitis scare swept campus in the winter of my freshman year, and that was all before I knew about WebMD.

Last year I had symptoms (fatigue, hair loss, weight gain) that pointed directly to an underactive thyroid gland, and when two of my fingernails got all pitted and weird, I became convinced that I had some deadly, unknown topical bacterial infection. During the breast-lump scare of mid-march, you bet your sweet patootie that I was online 24-7 researching everything from mastectomy to fibrocystic breast disease, even so far as to consider cutting out caffeine. And now, down and out at work with a sore nose, hazy head, and stiff neck, meningitis is again at the top of the line.

WebMD is indeed my blessing and my curse.

and i kind of feel like my current reading isn’t helping anyone.

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