Google at Your Own Risk

If you really want to make yourself sick…

… google your symptoms, diagnosis, possible diagnoses, treatment options, treatment side effects, drug data sheets, possible complications, ways to die, and life expectancies.

You’d think that places like NIH, Wikipedia, and Mayo Clinic would provide well-organized libraries of accurate, useful, up-do-date, empowering information that is sensitive to your needs as a human being.

Instead, what do you find? (in addition to endless clickbait)

“Information” that’s either too narrowly focused or too general to be useful.

Incomprehensible medical jargon.

No insight at all into the differential diagnosis process.

The occasional horrifying image.

Alarming language that sends your stress level through the roof.

Even more things to add to your already long list of worries.

Perhaps this is the way it has to be in any complex, dynamic arena such as cutting edge medicine, but no matter…

Because, in my experience, none of my internet searches answered the simple and obvious questions (too many to list here) that might have empowered me or given me some peace of mind. Quite the opposite: They filled my head with useless and often misleading “information” that left me even more uncertain, anxious, depressed, and disheartened than I was before. Furthermore, none of these searches even remotely helped to diagnose my cancers or to define a path forward. On the contrary, most were a wild goose chase that delayed the correct diagnosis—postponing treatment and prolonging suffering.

Enough said.

I leave you with three pieces of advice:

(1) The internet is not the place to play doctor on yourself.

(2) You are an individual. Your case is unique. Nothing on the internet values this fact. (Perhaps AI will change that someday)

(3) Find doctors who listen. Doctors you like, trust, and respect. Establish a relationship with them. And help them to help you.

continue… Death with Dignity, Part 1

Leave a Reply