Dr. Google is an alarmist. I knew this but I went back to see him because he’s so available to patients. No appointment, no answering service or on-call partners. I don’t have to sit in a waiting room full of sick people. No risk of COVID. And he provides diagnoses galore. Pick one! Don’t like what you see? No problem, go to page 2 or 3.
Once you choose a diagnosis, be sure to read several entries so you know everything there is to know. You’ll want to relate all of this information to an in-person physician when you go ask them why they didn’t mention dengue fever or Rocky Mountain fever as possibilities for your muscle aches and high body temperature. A variety of medications may be highlighted by Dr. Google that your local guy doesn’t even mention. When you ask about them, he might not even know what you’re talking about if the rep from that drug company hasn’t been by yet.
Typically, a physician who actually has your full medical history (and recent travel destinations) will tell you it’s the flu. That was the very first entry Dr. Google gave you, so common it can’t be right. If your temperature was 99, he might even say that’s not really a fever!
In my case, a couple different healthcare providers explained that I need to decrease a couple of my medications because of something called GFR. Nobody told me what one’s GFR actually measures, range of healthy GFR, diagnoses indicated for low GFR, treatment, or long-term prognosis. I didn’t ask any of those questions because they didn’t occur to me until later. Tell you what, Dr. Google gave me all of that.
So, my conclusion is that I have moderate-to-severe chronic kidney disease!! None of those people discussing GFR told me this! Outrageous! I’d have go to medical school myself if it weren’t for Dr. Google! (see previous post “Unbelievable!”)
Later, the same day Dr. Google delivered the scary news, a friend contacted me after reading my medical findings. She explained that her mother was recently noted to have a moderate decline in renal function. Her doctor said it’s very common and not as alarming as it sounds. Whew! That’s the thing with Dr. Google, you always need a second opinion.