With Carol Quash 4 hours ago
Source: healthcentral.com –
When it comes to finding information about anything, Google can be a very useful tool.
But inasmuch as it can direct you to reliable sources, it also has the ability to lead you down a rabbit hole of uncertainty, especially when it comes to health-related searches.
For this reason, many health practitioners advise people to resist the urge to google their symptoms and see their doctor instead.
I was in quarantine from May 23rd to June 4th.
My son tested positive for covid19 and although he was the only one with symptoms in the house everyone in the household was included in the quarantine order. For him, that meant being away from school for two weeks again and working from home for me.
Remote work is nothing new to me; I’ve been doing it for years, even before Covid, albeit with the whole house to myself at the time.
For the most part during the pandemic I got used to the presence of other people in my space while I was working, but that didn’t mean I liked it.
So while my quarantine period came with its usual and added challenges — the constant cleaning, disinfecting, monitoring a sick child, and talking to people while I had to work — the part that bothered me the most was the lower back pain have been suffering for over a month and for which I had a doctor’s appointment two days into the start of my quarantine order but had to cancel.
But since I couldn’t go to the doctor, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the doctor to me.
In hindsight, not one of my best decisions and one that led to cyberchondria – the anxiety-boosting effects of health-related searches online.
dr Google and I were able to narrow down the cause of the pain to a few self-diagnosed conditions. Who would have thought that there are so many causes of back pain that are specific to women?
Thanks to 13 days of no commute, no errands, many hours before and after work, a laptop, reliable internet connection and severe pain, the virtual doctor and I tracked down the culprits such as endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, a muscle strain, sciatica, a herniated disc or disc degeneration.
Pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, and premenstrual dysmorphia were on the list, but we excluded them.
But then, with a little more time and encouragement from the good doctor, I discovered that it could also be caused by something much more serious.
Some types of cancer can cause back pain, including spinal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, blood cancer; and undiagnosed skin cancer can also spread to the spine and cause back pain.
Now I was more certain that I was on the home stretch to the light, and like Sir Anthony Hopkins in the 1998 film Meet Joe Black, I began to hear the voice of death. Every night, I was sure, would be my last.
Source: cbsnews.com –
Luckily, dr. Google was able to kindly point me to some home remedies to ease my pain if not my sanity.
I used a heating pad, took warm baths, bought over-the-counter pain relievers and muscle relaxants, exercised and did gentle stretches, strategically placed a pillow between or under my knees depending on how I slept, and got good lumbar support.
They all helped, but only temporarily, so I thought I might have to refer to one or more of Dr. Google’s suggested options — cortisone injections, hormonal birth control, antidepressants, chemotherapy, or surgery — all of which I’ll put on my doctor’s side when I see them Tuesday morning.
However, my gut feeling is that rather than looking at my back pain in isolation, she wants to run a series of tests before making a diagnosis and recommending treatment, consistent with her years of medical training, unlike Dr Google.
Who knows, maybe I still have a few good years ahead of me.
I will keep you up-to-date!