When You Think You're Dying

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How did people diagnose themselves with deathly diseases before the internet I wonder?

I never used to be hypochondriac-until I learned how to work google, I mean. And now I'm doomed.

About three weeks ago my upper left arm started to ache, not in my shoulder, but around my humerus bone. I shrugged it off and assumed it was probably grocery arm. *grocery arm: the pain you get in your arm after you walk home from Trader Joes carrying too much shit.

Two weeks later it still hurt. And on the third week I started to worry. And then I started to google "pain in upper left arm" at which point I figured out that A. I'd had a heart attack, or was currently having a heart attack. Or b. I had cancer and/or a tumor growing.

Here's something you need to know about me first, my body's been known to grow a few poisonous things before.

Freshman year of high school I had a tumor in my toe. I know, right. Who grows a tumor in their toe? So ridic. I played basketball with that damn thing growing for like two months before it got so bad I could barely walk. Why? Because I didn't use the internet for anything but MSN chat so I didn't know how to diagnose myself. And Askjeeves.com wasn't exactly the genius he claimed to be.

Sidenote to millenials, isn't weird that a lot of us grew up in a time when cell phones and internet were just becoming a big thing? Read this post, it made all the sense in the world.

But back to me dying. So after having experienced a tumor and a couple cysts grow inside of me, I was certain my arm meant cancer. And I don't say this jokingly either, I had scared myself pretty good. So good I decided to go to the doctor yesterday. And like most people, I dread the doctor. Mostly because it means that a stranger will see my lower back tattoo... Embar!!!

So anyway, the doctor walks in and I explain what's going on and I finish with, "and mostly I'm here because I got on the internet and did a little too much research."

"and what did you find out?" he asked.

"that I'm dying," I responded.

Then he gives me that look and laughs a little, "Yes, a lot of our patients seem to come to that come conclusion from the internet."

And then he asked me if I did cocaine. Which seemed a little weird. So I was like, "no, why do you?"

He laughed again. And then things got really awkward. I'm used to getting asked how many drinks I have per day, but hard drugs? I don't know. Maybe that's a normal question doctors ask now.

Long story short, I don't have cancer. I have tendinitis apparently. What does that mean? I don't know. I stopped listening after he said I didn't have cancer and just wanted to get the hell out of there before he started asking me more weird drug questions.

I've had interesting experiences with doctors. Read about my weirdest one here. 

Am I the only one who gets an ache or a bump and is certain it means my life is doomed? Last year I had skin cancer on my leg that turned out to be a harmless "skin tag." You know who gets skin tags? Harlow. I'm basically a dog is what I'm saying.

I'm loopy today. Is it Christmas yet?


  1. Usually doctors ask me about cigarettes and alcohol. Cocaine is an interesting one. Glad to hear you're not dying!

  2. I went to a doctor once who said "What does the internet tell you you have?" and when I told him, he said, "Ok that sounds about right. Here's a prescription for high dosage motrin."

  3. I just had my first UTI and I was sure it was bladder cancer. Google told me so.
    Sorry about your tendinitis arm! Use Harlow as a pack-dog for your groceries until your arm feels better again.

  4. YEs to all of this. Right now actually. The left side of my face and ear are tingling.. it's either an oncoming stroke or Bell's Palsy.. hoping it's gone when I wake up tomorrow!

    1. I'm feeling normal today. I know you were worried. haha

  5. Okay I went to urgent care about 3 weeks ago because I thought something was wrong with my kidney...my right lower back was hurting so bad I couldn't sleep for days and after googling it, I was convinced I had a kidney infection or a stone or something horrible was about to spread to the rest of my body...so I finally went in and the conclusion was....I pulled a back muscle. And after she explained to me that I must have been straining that side of my body somehow it hit me...I walk my dog with my right arm and he pulled my back muscle. I was so embarased. But I did get muscle relaxers our of the deal so it wasn't total useless lol.

  6. Dane has it horribly in his arm and it never quite goes away because he never follows what the doctor says...which is rest it.

  7. hahahaha!! Last week, my left arm was numb. All day. I started to believe I was having a 8-hour heart attack. Turns out, my back was out because Brody sleeps with his paws in my back. I slept wrong on it. Because I let my dog sleep in the bed. This was before they released the study saying that sleeping with animals makes you sleep better.

  8. I don't allow myself to google anything anymore. My internet hypochondria reached its peak when Izzy on Grey's Anatomy got cancer. That sounds stupid but it is true. And then it got worse when I actually had cancer. And really ever since that, I stopped using Dr. Google. Because everything says you have cancer.

  9. When I go into my doc's office and tell him what is wrong with me, his first question is "and what did Google tell you is the problem?" True story.
    He has also been known to write down my diagnosis with proper spelling so I can google it myself when I get home. (by "diagnosis", I mean he wrote down the technical doctor-speak term for the rash I had a few years ago, when I was certain I was dying of the plague).

    I'm not a hypochondriac, I don't go to the doctor often, but when I do, I am quite certain I'm dying of something. I had convinced myself I had a brain tumor once, which he chuckled and said, "I doubt it, but we'll do the scan, that's what it's there for" - we determined it was actually because I had watched PS I Love You not long before that... ;)

  10. We all turn to Dr Google and many of us end up convinced we are either dying or have some kind of weird disease

  11. I do this all the time! I've had two different encounters with bumps or aches like this, and every time I get all worked up and think I definitely have cancer. Fortunately, both times they have been harmless. That's not to say I still don't worry about other bumps that come up...

  12. Ugh, I can't tell you how many times I've done this! And not just me, my sister too. And my cat. I really need to stay off WebMD......glad you're not going though! That would be sad :(

  13. My mind is my body's worst enemy. Thankfully, I'm not a Google Hypochondriac, since my Dad is a doctor.

  14. Cocaine can cause heart attacks. When you see a patient who seems way too young and has no other obvious risk factors for having a heart attack...it's probably cocaine. So if you told the doctor your symptoms matched those of a heart attack (per your Google searches) his logical thought pattern would be to rule out the most likely cause of a heart attack in someone who is otherwise young and healthy. So, yeah, don't do cocaine ;)

  15. I am exactly the same way -- I definitely get a little sick or notice the tiniest thing wrong and just go "oh, I'm probably dying now." Except now instead of checking Google or WebMD, I text my brother who's in med school and try to get him to diagnose me.

  16. So bizarre, what in the world would cocaine use have to do with your symptoms? Very strange that the doctor asked that! I always get interrogated by doctors about how many drinks or cigarettes I have a week, but I've never been asked about cocaine or any drugs! That is so strange, glad you're ok!


  17. I basically did the same thing a year ago. I had the worst throbbing pain in my shoulder for weeks and weeks and finally went to the doctor after WebMD basically told me I was dying and it turned out to be tendinitis. Still have no idea what that is.

  18. I've totally had skin tags before. Every time I researched it, all of the diagnoses showed that they mostly appear on women over 40 years old that are obese...Wasn't happy about that one.