Friday, November 4, 2011

Paging Doctor Google...or Not.

I had a doctor's appointment this morning--I've had this little bitty bruise on my back for a couple of months now. It's the type of thing that I won't notice for a couple of months, and then I'll lean back in a chair and feel pain and think, "That's STILL there?!" I wasn't sure if it was from softball--maybe where the bat hits my back when I swing? But the bruise is so small (less than a half an inch), and the placement isn't quite right. Anyway, I told Justin that I'd just feel better if someone laid eyes on it, so I saw the nurse practitioner this morning.

She looked at it, and said, "Hmmmm. I've never seen anything like that before." Then, she called in my doctor. He said, "I've never even seen anything quite like that, even in textbooks," (I laughed, because that's just so me--I'm the girl whose appendicitis went undiagnosed because my appendix was in the wrong place. I'm the girl who had a breast tumor removed at age 19. I'm just kind of a medical anomaly.) The nurse said, "Yeah, and it doesn't blanch. It's sort of like a hematoma under the skin." They referred me to a dermatologist--they warned me that it would probably take 3 months to get in, but happily, the derm had an opening on the 18th. And largely, I didn't worry too much about it for the rest of the day...

And then. THEN. When I got home tonight, I consulted Dr. Google. Why do I do this? I *know* it's never a good idea, but I do it anyway. I Googled something about a hematoma that doesn't blanch, and what was starting me back in the face was enough to scare anybody's socks off--Leukemia. Meningitis. Lupus. All sorts of other things that I just don't want to deal with. And the worry and fear just came pouring in. Even though nothing really looked like my unique little bruise, it seems that anything that doesn't blanch is bad, bad, bad....according to Dr. Google anyway.

Why in the world do I think that Google will be able to diagnose me more effectively than the doctor who has literally known me my entire life? Better than a doctor who knows all my weird history, and was literally the only medical professional in my corner back during the tumor debacle?

More importantly, why don't I pray if I'm worried? I've seen firsthand in my life over the past year what a difference God has made in terms of my worries and fears, so why don't I turn to Him first, rather than Google? 

Dr. Google, I think it's time we break up. Hopefully this time it's for good.


  1. I google everything. And hardly ever like the answers.

    I will add you and your "little bruise" to my prayers!

  2. Dr. Google and I broke up after Ella was born. I was convinced she was dying every other day.

    Praying for you, girl!

  3. WebMD sucks. Never ever ever Google your problem, because you will almost always have a brain tumor. Just saying.

    In other news, "I'm just kind of a medical anomaly" is a fantastic sentence. I think you're awesome.

  4. Oh man. Yes Dr. Google is never very kind. I'll be thinking of you!

  5. Google is ridiculously scary. I am glad you got in to the dermatologist so soon! Praying for you and your worries.

  6. Meredith, I'm praying for your health, but I love your resolve to "break up with Dr. Google"! As a medical transcriptionist with chronic health problems, I am ever-tempted to Google my way through my aches and pains which, inevitably, makes me feel worse every single time.

    Prayers for a clean bill of health.

  7. oh, friend ... can i ever relate.

    when you said that the fear and worried just descended (my paraphrase), it's an almost-consuming, gut-wrenching experience. i GET it and it's the WORST.

    i applaud your break-up.

    i was a WebMD girl forever and that is such a dangerous place for me ... bottom line: our bodies are uniquely and amazingly created. our Creator is good and His design is not always understood by medical professionals. there was a time i was turning to doctors for answers ... desperate for answers ... and i finally realized: these are humans with limited knowledge, seeing from a limited scope of their training, and often not looking at the HOLISTIC picture of the entire body.

    hugs to you! i think that so many women can relate. thanks for sharing.

  8. I've been doing a lot of googling lately too as Kylie just got an unfortunate diagnosis at the doc a few weeks ago. It will be awhile till we get to a specialist- so I have to know! I hope your bruise is nothing serious- I'll definitely keep you in my prayers.

  9. It's crazy what you can find on the interwebs.

  10. I know how you feel. I was having horrible, wake-me-up-at-night headaches every single day. Of course, Dr. Google let me know that I most likely had a tumor. Thankfully, when I went to the doctor my CT scan came back clean. Strangely, about a week after stopping breastfeeding, they went away!


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