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When you start to experience a change in your health it can be tempting to Google it and avoid going to the doctor all together. The Internet makes it easy to get medical information quickly but as a disabled person who has many health challenges, I don’t think it’s smart to use it to google your disability or diagnose yourself when your sick. If you are in school and need a medical fact I think it’s fine but if you are not feeling well and using it as a substitute to avoid going to the doctor it can be dangerous. If I need a statistic for my blog I sometimes google it but I have never googled my disability or self-diagnosed myself to get out of a trip to the doctors. I live with a disability so I don’t think I need to do a bunch of google searches to learn more about it because I will figure it out and the things I don’t my doctors will educate me on. There are many reasons why I am not for googling my disability or self-diagnosing myself and in this post, I will talk about a few of them.
Some things I don’t want to know- There are a lot of challenges that come with Spina Bifida and if you went around reading about your disability constantly it would make you crazy because literally, any part in your body can malfunction at any time. I don’t need to know about every single health issue I may have and would rather deal with them as they come up. There are a number of health challenges you could struggle with when you have Spina Bifida but it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have difficulty with all of them. Some people with Spina Bifida have quite a bit of challenges while others with less severe forms won’t have nearly as much. There are tons of things you could struggle with when you have Spina Bifida but you may only struggle with half of them and it seems kind of silly to worry about things that have not happened yet because they may never happen.
It can cause unnecessary anxiety-People often use Google to look up their symptoms before even considering going to the doctor but the problem is the Internet often tells you the worst-case scenario. Google may say that joint pain is stage four bone cancer and that you only have three weeks to live but your doctor disagrees and says it’s only arthritis. For the purposes of this post I looked up hip replacement with Spina Bifida to see what kind of things people were saying and I am glad I did that after surgery because if I would have done that before I think I would have chosen to live in pain. I couldn’t find any positive outcomes of hip replacement surgery but all I could find was how horrible it was and that it was basically going to ruin your life. My anxiety was already higher than it normally would be because I had to trust a new surgeon and reading about how much of failure surgery is would not have convinced me to do it. If you have anxiety prior to surgery my best advice is not to google it because someone will always have something negative to say about it that will make you question if it’s the right decision. Ask your doctor tons of questions if you are nervous or talk to someone you know who has experienced it. You may be able to find some generic information online about the surgery you are about to have but the recovery time may not be totally accurate for you because each case is different. It’s normal to have anxiety before a medical procedure but you don’t need to be losing your mind over it because some of the stuff you read online may not even be relevant for your specific case and you may realize it’s not as bad as you thought you would be.
It’s just a stifle- The internet sometimes tells you that your dying and you might well say your goodbyes because you have a week to live but sometimes the opposite is true. Sometimes the internet will say that you have a common cold and not to worry when you definitely should be scheduling that doctors appointment. People often will not go to the doctor if the internet tells them it’s the common cold and not to worry but if you have doubts about your health it can never hurt to get it checked out. It’s always better to go to the doctor and have them say it’s nothing than do nothing about it and find out later that it’s a deadly form of cancer that progressed too much and can’t be treated.
I don’t google my disability or diagnose myself because the Internet often will tell you the worst scenario or that you shouldn’t worry when you definitely should be. There is so much medical information online that you can’t trust every single Facebook article you read to be accurate and true. Some medical information online sounds like it could be true but if you were to ask your doctor they would tell you otherwise. The internet is great for connecting with people all over the world but I wouldn’t use it to diagnose yourself because WebMD can’t accurately give you a diagnosis without knowing your history and having the proper training to do it. When you live with a disability there are already so many challenges that you don’t need to live in constant fear everytime you cough because it may not be as serious as you thought it was. If you have concerns about your health go to your doctor and get it checked out because you will never get answers if you strictly rely on the Internet. Medical conditions often can be treated and sometimes cured if you catch them early but if you wait until you have been sick for three it may be too late and you may be stuck with it for life. What are your thoughts on googling your disability and diagnosing yourself?