Saturday, January 9, 2010

No More Google!

This post could also be named "Why I Should Not Google Unsupervised"

"Googling and Pregnancy Do Not Mix" 

"This is Meredith's Anxiety-Ridden Brain After Using Google To Diagnose Herself" 

"Meredith Is Not A Doctor, and Shouldn't Play One on Google"

Do you see where this is going? Justin does. My Dad does. I'm sure Lisa and Sara do. They all know that I'm kind of a hypochondriac, and also a Google MASTER, which is not a good combination. Let me explain.

Some of you might remember that sometime in August, I developed this crazy, itchy rash all over my hands and my feet. They were just small, flesh colored bumps, that were mostly on my fingers, but I itched EVERYWHERE. It was the worst thing ever, and NOTHING helped. Not antihistamines, not oatmeal baths, not Sarna lotion, not Aveeno, not Benadryl. I slept with bags of ice of my hands and feet every night. It was miserable. People were constantly stopping me on the street to diagnose me, and usually they suggested that it was psoriasis. However, my doctor told me that he was pretty confident that it was either an allergic reaction to something that I came into contact with, or just one of those weird side effects of pregnancy. Basically, when I asked my OB about it, he responded something to the effect of, "Meredith, you are allergic to THE WORLD. Of course you are itching like crazy and have a rash." Anyway, the rash just eventually went away all on its own, and the world was well again.

Until earlier this week, when I noticed the pesky bumps again and knew that the rash was coming back. I immediately put a Band-Aid over the first bump. I don't know why I thought a Band-Aid would help, but I figured that it probably couldn't hurt. And every morning, I would peel off the Band-Aid, and swear up a storm when I saw that there were more bumps than the day before.

So this morning, I did something very stupid. Something that Justin often yells at me for doing (but he wasn't home, so he didn't know to yell at me). I googled it. "Third trimester + hands and feet itch".  And that was a very bad idea.

(Click the "Read More" link below to read the rest of the story)

Tons of hits came up (apparently, there are lots of things to make your hands and feet itch in the third trimester), somehow my little brain centered on Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Now, I quickly learned that Cholestasis of Pregnancy is a very rare condition that occurrs in something like 2% of pregnant women, which occurs when bile doesn't flow properly through the liver, which causes bile salt to accumulate, and consequently causes "itching from the inside out"--or an intense rash-less itch on the hands and feet. The risks to the mother are small, but the risks to the baby are pretty great, and usually force an induction earlier than 37 weeks, and in rare circumstances, may even cause stillbirth.

Now, did my mind see "rash-less itch" and think 'Oh. I have these small bumps on my hands, so that probably doesn't apply' ? No, it did not. (My mind also did not see that stillbirth is a result in less than 1% of the pregnancies where this issue is a factor, which again is something like 2% of all we're talking 1% of 2% here...I'm not a math person, but I know that's a small number). Rather, my mind clung to an anecdotal reference in one of the articles that mentioned that sometimes when there's a rash-less itch and a UTI, it's not a bad idea to test for Cholestasis of Pregnancy.

And immediately, my brain went, "OH MY GOD, I JUST HAD A UTI! I HAVE UNDIAGNOSED CHOLESTASIS OF PREGNANCY! MY BABY IS GOING TO BE STILLBORN!!!!" And then I kept Googling. And worrying. And man, did I ever keep itching!

After a near-hysterical freak out (while home alone), I calmed down a bit and told myself that (a) even if I have this Cholestasis business, I am being induced on Monday anyway, (b) there is nothing that I could do at this point about not being induced sooner, especially since I hadn't even been itching sooner, and (c) let's face it, I probably don't have Cholestasis of pregnancy, because I lack as many symptoms as I actually have (last I checked, I didn't have jaundice).

So for good measure, I downed about 8 glasses of water in an hour, as increased water intake was one of the suggestions that one of the random websites I came across suggested for managing Cholestasis. And guess what? The itching pretty much stopped.

Seriously though...why do I do that? Why do I get so worked up over something that is not only such a minute possibility, but is also something that I have absolutely no control over? I don't know why I do it, but I do know that I need to be supervised to use Google between now and Monday!


  1. I do this all the time. It's a horror as a TTC woman. I'm constantly googling things like "sharp pains a day after ovulation: friend or foe?" Ugh.

  2. Google, like atomic power, is a powerful tool for good and evil.

  3. Oh no, I hope your itching stays away! I actually did have cholestasis (twice) but the first time the doctors didn't believe me and tried to fob me off but I kept demanding liver function tests (came back normal twice) and bile salts tests and eventually my bile salts test came in and it was really high and they induced me. But I can relate to the complete panic and worry. The second time my liver function and bile salts tests both came back normal but I still had the symptoms so out of sympathy my doc induced me at early anyway. Both babies were fine, thank goodness!

  4. Google is the devil when it comes to self-diagnosis.

    And...YOU WILL HAVE A BABY TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I had to laugh at what Brittany said, b/c its OH SO TRUE...when I was ttc I googled everything. Then, when I 'thought' I was miscarrying, I googled. It freaked me out beyond belief and only made me worry about things I CANNOT CONTROL ANYWAY....and so I tell every newly pregnant woman/or ttc woman--NO NO NO NO NO to google! It will drive you INSANE!

    ps: my sister-in-law developed the rash called PUP (the letters stand for something)...she was a text bok case of it--and they say you only get it with boys (normally). She had a girl. If it IS that--it goes away with delivery. And OMG!! MONDAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see the she's here post!

  6. ugh i am the same way with the hypochondriac thing! a pain in my leg automatically means something horrible... i always assume the worst even when it is ridiculous. i don't know what i'm gonna do when i'm pregnant! haha


Thanks for visiting La Buena Vida and taking the time to leave a comment--I love hearing from you!

Please know that you do not need to agree with me in order to leave a comment! All comments that are respectful and not anonymous will be published. Thanks again for visiting!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blog Archive


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.