I just Googled my symptoms and found out I died an hour ago

The calendar might say spring, but the germ-apocalypse isn’t leaving us anytime soon!

My family fell victim to this latest resurgence of germs, virus and funk going around and, apparently, so did everyone else on the Cape and Islands, at the same time! It’s no wonder so many people turn to online guidance when trying to figure out if their particular cocktail of symptoms are ‘call-the-doctor’ worthy or of the ‘stay-home-and-wait-it-out’ variety.

I just Googled my symptoms and found out I died an hour ago.

The old adage, ‘doctor knows best,’ is still around for a reason, folks! They are highly trained professionals with years of knowledge, skill and practice behind them. Yet, it’s just so tempting to list all your symptoms and see what the ol’ wheel of terminal illnesses turns up on WebMD.

Now, maybe you’re a rational person and take the list of suggested possible diagnoses at face value, rationalizing that, ‘I only have a wet cough, it’s probably not Lupus.’ Or maybe your entire family is sick, each member with a different mysterious set of symptoms, you haven’t slept in days or consumed a complete nutritious meal in who knows how long and, voila! All the sudden, Lupus makes perfect sense. Been there, done that. And sorry to pick on you, Lupus.

In many cases, you might have a bounty of helpful resources at your disposal and not even realize it. If your doctor’s office is inundated with people needing to be seen, one super helpful option that many doctors’ offices, insurance plans and even companies offer is a “Teladoc” – a live doctor or nurse to answer your call, whom you can discuss your symptoms with, and they can help you decide whether you should seek further medical attention. It not only saves you an unnecessary visit in some cases, but it takes a portion of the demand off your primary physician. If you still prefer a web-based solution, here are some physician-recommended sites to try.

Stay well, and good luck, as we are hopefully rounding the corner past cold and flu season. If anything, it’s a little extra incentive to do a bang-up job with your spring cleaning this year! Cheers to your health!

About Cathy Summers

Cathy Summers is the Midday Host on 99.9 The Q and Afternoon Host on Cape Country 104.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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