I love modern technology. And no, I’m not being sarcastic here. Without the internet, or smart phones and their never-ending apps, or DVR, I don’t know how I could survive.
It would be rough, not to mention extremely inconvenient.
But as a mom, I think that the ability to online investigate every medical issue that arises in our family has made me a closet hypochondriac. It’s too easy and too tempting to scour the web for possible diagnoses just by typing in the symptoms.
I always think that the knowledge I obtain will put my mind at ease, but most of the time, the total opposite happens.
Instead, for every bit of useful information I find, I also encounter countless other websites and articles describing in graphic detail (and sometimes even with pictures!) all the horrific medical conditions that could have befallen my poor children, based on the symptoms they have.
In turn, I fret over the possibilities and become one nervous wreck of a mother.
That, my friends, is why Google is the devil.
Case in point, when our pediatrician couldn’t come up with any definite conclusions on why Bronx wasn’t growing, I went home and immediately conferred with Dr. Google.
The search results weren’t pretty.
I was bombarded with a list of links a mile long that covered everything from celiac disease and short bowel syndrome to prader-willi syndrome and progeria.
The stuff of every parents’ nightmares.
When Bronx’s urine samples became an issue and his sweat test came back inconclusive, Dr. Google generated more web pages about kidney disease and cystic fibrosis.
I keep telling myself that I should stop feeding into the search engine paranoia, but it’s hard. In the back of my mind, I can’t help but wonder, “What if it is this?”
It hasn’t gotten any easier to escape Google Howser, M.D. since Daegan was born a few short weeks ago. Daegan was born with one eye that will not completely open.
The pediatrician said that it was probably a blocked tear duct and is going to refer him to an ophthalmologist. But since it has been four weeks and I feel bad that my poor baby constantly looks milk drunk when he’s awake, I put on my Nancy Drew hat and went to the computer to do some research.
Part of my problem is that I somewhat have doubted the blocked tear duct theory from the start. Bronx had a blocked tear duct once and it never kept his eye from fully opening. My doubts were further confirmed when I searched “blocked tear duct” and there was no mention anywhere of drooping eyelid as a symptom.
However, I did find a multitude of sites about Ptosis, a condition where one or both eyelids have a weakened muscle that prevents it from opening completely.
Then there were other web pages that mentioned in-utero nerve damage as a cause for eyelid drooping.
Now I’m nervous that the ophthalmologist may find that his eyelid issue could potentially effect his vision development and that he could have something going on that could warrant surgery.
All those “maybes” make me anxious, and I don’t play well with anxiety.
So, damn you, Google. Damn you straight to hell.