Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How Web MD Made Me A Hypochondriac!

Web MD is a fabulous site. You can go on and find out about all kinds of illnesses and bodily type things. You can educate yourself on almost anything having to do with health and diet, bodily functions, diseases, medical conditions, allergens, and drugs and supplements. If there is something you want to know about health, you can probably find it on Web MD. I have used it as a source for papers before.
Web MD also has an interesting function on their website called the SYMPTOM CHECKER. You start by selecting your gender and age (wouldn't want to tell a man they're pregnant right?) and then you have two options: you can either click on the body parts that you are trying to diagnose or you can type symptoms into the search feature. For the past to days I have been dealing on and off with an issue. Randomly I will break out into hives. My skin will become super itchy, red, and splotchy. It looks oh so attractive! Someone suggested that perhaps it is stress related but it has been happening when I am at my least stressed. Not when I am presenting a paper, but rather when I am in the class I enjoy. Not when I am doing homework but when I am out at trivia night. Not when I am in the class that is kicking my butt but when I am at work surfing the internet. Very confusing. And it is more frustrating than anything else. 
So I went onto Web MD. I haven't changed my soap, or shampoo or lotion or anything I bathe with. I haven't changed laundry detergent (which reminds me I need to do laundry stat!) I simply cannot figure this out! So maybe Web MD could help? I selected the different symptoms, the redness, the itching, the hives and got some very interesting results:
  • Allergic Reaction- This makes sense, that was my first thought.
  • Contact Dermitis- That one makes sense as well. something touched my skin and its affecting me
  • Abscsess- hmm, no I think I would notice that
  • Poison Ivy, Sumac, Oak- Haven't come into contact with it and I think I'm immune
  • Burn- Wouldn't I notice that as well?
  • Osteomyelitis- a bone infection caused by bacteria...thats scary!
  • Epidermal cysts- it's just some hives and a rash not cysts...
  • Acne- Wait, I've been though puberty, I know a pimple when I see one. I do not have pimples all over my hands!
  • Brown Recluse spider bite- are you kidding me? Do they even live in New England?
  • Phlebitis- an inflammation of the veins. Another scary one? I thought I had a rash, do I have to worry about dying? I shouldn't have looked into this. I don't want to die!
  • Medication reaction/ drug allergy- Haven't taken anything, except for the Benedryl to deal with this issue.
  • Blepharitis- a Bacterial eye infection, ...?
  • Actinic Keratosis- precancerous skin condition that develops in sun-exposed skin, especially face, skin, forearms and neck in pale-skinned, fair-haired, light-eyes people. GREAT! So, I'm dying? pale-skinned? I make paper look tan! Fantastic! I'm already paranoid about cancer based on my genetics. but the description says the itchy patches don't go away, but mine went away yesterday and came back today. But they came back...I'm freaking out!
  • Cirrhosis- Seriously? I've only been legal to drink for 16 months! And there hasn't been any binge drinking in there. And where is the correlation between the liver and hives and itchiness on the skin? Cirrhosis is deadly. Do I need a liver transplant? Am I going to die?

Web MD is a great resource. But it can turn you into the biggest hypochondriac. After reading this I am fairly certain I am allergic to oxygen, am on fire, have pimples covering my body, my veins are clogged, my liver is scarred, have cancer, dying from spider toxins, and have been rolling in a patch of Poison Ivy that I just don't remember. Yeah it's a great resource to drive me crazy! And now I'm even more itchy...great...


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