Within 10 minutes of staring at my computer screen, I had diagnosed myself with advanced stage lung cancer and was making mental plans to ensure the financial security for my young family after I was gone. I ran through a list of all the things I would never get to do. I was freaked out.
What started my craziness? A pea-sized lump that magically appeared on my sternum before Christmas and never went away. At first I thought maybe it was a pimple…or a scar…or a mole starting to form.
But a month later…it was still here. I tried to resist the urge to Google “lump sternum” or “pea-sized lump chest”…but curiosity got the best of me.
Next thing I know, I am knee deep in case studies, medical papers, and the worst of all Dr. Google has to offer – medical discussion boards. Symptom checkers, personal stories, and opinionated speculation from Internet users means that there is a lot of misinformation to wade through to find information that is even minimally useful.
But the end of my consult with Dr. Google, I had no more answers and a lot more anxiety.
Oh and that lump? Two minutes in the doctor’s office and I now know it is a benign cyst. I should have just gone to see my real doctor first.
My resolution to myself this year is going to be to stop asking Dr. Google for help when I am clueless on a medical topic (and instead just use him when I am looking for clarifying a confirmed diagnosis). Care to join me?