The other night, I spent 15 minutes thinking I was dying because of the world's fastest appearing black mole, right there on my left arm. There are some people who may have noticed this small irregularly squarish shaped spot and thought, “Hmm. New freckle, I guess,” and then there are people who swallow hard, start to nervous cough, and hit the keyboard, fingers trembling as they enter, “freckle.black.new.arm.”
But if you're on my team, #WebMDAlarmists, why assume it’s nothing when we can WebMD it and be told to get our affairs in order and make amends? (By the way, search out “caskets.cheap” while you’re putting yellow post-it notes on who gets what from your necklace collection.)
WebMD doesn't teach a gentle lesson — their target audience is not the common-sense kind. No, we are the ones who want to know, “WHAT ARE MY CHANCES?? Will I make it to my son’s high school graduation? I ask you, WILL I??”
The Internet is extraordinary and Googling is great. When I need to find out hours for the library, I check out my library’s website. When I need soccer cleats for my boys that won’t interfere with my Starbucks budget, I search for “family sports shoes. cheap.” But WebMD, even if all you want is the low-down on pimple care, will offer you the serious ailment of the day. Because why not?
I want to break my online Doctor dependence — I want to go back to the land of watch and wait. It’s not a good thing when your kids start coming to you, holding out a scratched finger, asking you to “Google it, Mama — it could be worse than a paper cut!”
I need to start listening to what my twitching cheek muscles tell me, quit the WebMD symptom checker madness. They never tell you anything good. You won’t read a paragraph that begins, “Pshaw. You worry wart. It’s gonna be fine! No need for big toe amputation — most likely just a pebble stuck in your shoe.”
I like my life, I love my life. I don’t want it imaginarily cut short because of a sensitive ingrown toenail. The thing with me is that everything I read, I remember, and this “oh my god!” with each twinge of pain I feel is going to kill me. Until WebMD starts listing possible causes of back pain as “Bad Mattress” along side “Spinal Degeneration”, it's best for my sort to just stay off.
The voice I want to hear in my head from now on is not “Heeeeeere’s your death,” but the reasonable one that says, “Take it easy, let’s see what the doctor says.”
Why bury myself before I have to?
I will silently mouth to myself, that here and now, today is “Take My Life Back Day." I will begin by swearing off of WebMD. I need to, I miss the living in fatdumbandhappy land. I miss that.
Oh, and that suddenly appearing black mole with irregular borders? A small puff of wind blew it off my arm. Pizza crust remnant. I guess there's more than one reason for wearing long sleeved shirts to protect from skin damage.
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