Self Diagnosis – “It’s not a Toomah!”

I’m going to blame the internet. Again. People are self-diagnosing and it’s making all us really sick people, very upset. I read a lot and I have a lot of things wrong with me. I have a lot of things right, too, but not many people notice that. There are websites that you can go on and feed in your “symptoms” or what you may perceive as symptoms, and it will give you a list of possible causes of your symptoms. It’s like that scene in Kindergarden Cop, where Arnold says he has a head ache and a very serious 5-year old says, “it might be a tumor.” and Arnold freaks back, “It’s not a toomah! It’s not a toomah.

We are surrounded by news sources that make money only by terrifying the public – us. Bird Flu, SARS, Polio, Herpes, ADHD, Obesity, Diabetes, the Black Death. We’re not so scared of AIDS anymore because we know too much about it. But maybe you have ADHD, FASD or Asperger’s Syndrome?  TV and the Internet tell us to be on the watch for cancer in ourselves. Everything in the world can and may cause cancer. We are bombarded by every kind of cancer imaginable and a few we can’t imagine, so we do. For some health systems this is a huge money-maker and having a true hypochondriac is actually better than having a sick patient. For other systems, it’s an overload of ignorance that takes valuable time and money away from actual people with illness and conditions.

Then there is the whole “health” industry to make us all better. When we self-diagnose we sometimes self-heal, too. Well not actually self-heal but search for treatments, supplements and magic bullets. We are willing to spend millions on such things as: coffee enemas; the Everlast Sweat jacket and pants that draws the pounds right out of you; Human Growth Hormone; Botox; that special berry from the far-off reaches of Patagonia. If we bought and used all the vitamin, mineral,oil and herb supplements recommended for modern life we would be consuming 100 to 200 pills and/or capsules a day. Sigh! I now feel guilty about taking cod-liver oil during the winter.

I am obese and it causes health problems. I have little “d” depression not big “D” depression that needs medication and support! I have hypertension (high blood pressure) and I medicate. I have osteoarthritis and take something for that pain and inflammation. I do take a multiple vitamin because I hate broccoli and do not always eat properly. But…what’s a person to do. Why did my hips go bad? Why do I have hernias in my abdominal wall? Why is all my cartilage going south? Have I looked it up? Hell, yes! I can blame Mom and Dad, oh wait, that’s genetics. I can blame exposure to toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic substances but…whacha gonna do?

Number 1) Look at yourself! What is going on in and on your body (leave your head out of it for now, we’ll get back to it)?
– Do you know what your body is normally like? What colour is your skin? Do you have lumps, bumps and red patches? Women, you need to know what your breasts actually feel like and men what are your testes like rested? (Maybe this can be a partner session? Who knows?)
– symptoms that are not normally yours

Number 2) Have you eaten or been exposed anything unusual? (NOT the 10 shots of tequila for Suzy’s birthday, even though that would explain everything and you might have alcohol poisoning, in which case throwing up is the body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins.)
I once ended up in the emergency ward of the local hospital at 3am with a swollen uvula and it turns out it was from the tiny little pepper I ate on my east Indian food.

Number 3) Have you been near anyone with the same symptoms?
And remember – “MOST BUGS DON’T NEED DRUGS!” Viruses are contagious. Remember to wash your hands

Number 4) How long have you been like this? Five minutes or five days.
You need to know this to tell health care professionals if it comes to that.

Number 5) What to you think it is? Why? Fever and aches are not always Dengue Fever.

Number 6) See a Doctor! We have HealthLink here in British Columbia and it can really take the scare out of your fears. You can phone 8-1-1 from anywhere in BC and get help from a real nurse.

Number 7) Lucky 7! Don’t Panic! The words on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy say it all! Review Steps 1 through 6 and remember it probably not a toomah!

I do not have Depression and I have had low self-esteem for most of my life but I’m feeling much petter about myself. Sorry people! Then there is your mind. If it’s all in your head, and there are a lot of things that you can fix in your head with and without drugs, get help. Talk to a professional not someone on the internet, twitter or Facebook. Once you find out what you need, then you can go them!

Know yourself. Take care of yourself. Trust your Doctor! Do what you are told – there are no magic bullets but there are some simple answers sometimes. And sometimes there is bad news and YOU have to deal with it and live with it. There are solutions and people who care. I care, so take care of yourself then you can take care of others.

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on June 6, 2012.

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