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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on August 27th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 25 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 15, Issue 25

Doctor Google

Krider thinks the Internet makes him a M.D.

BY ROB KRIDER


I  attended community college.

Don’t judge.

Compared to my friends who went off to “real” college, I saved thousands in student loans. I will admit though, at real college, my friends met real college girls and went to real college parties. I was stuck in my hometown with community college girls, who turned out to be women in their 60s who decided to go back to school.

Because I was a bit of a slacker and not all that smart, I took three years to earn a two-year associate of arts degree in humanities. If you were to ask me today what the definition of the word humanities is—the very same thing I possess a college degree in—I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I think it has something to do with the earth. Or people on the earth. I don’t remember.

Long story short: It’s too late; (and this won’t surprise anyone) I didn’t get into medical school.

Full disclosure: I never applied to any medical schools, since I knew for a fact that I wasn’t smart enough to get into one. So obviously—since I didn’t attend medical school—I also didn’t complete a medical residency, and therefore, I don’t know squat about anything medicinal in nature.

There is absolutely no question: I’m no doctor. However, I do have a laptop and some Wi-Fi, which means I have Google and WebMD. That means I know everything doctors know about ailments, diseases, penile dysfunction, Ebola, antibiotics, probiotics, HIV, diabetes, and how to suck the poison from a snake bite. Who needs eight years of college when you have the Internet?

Even though I was a mediocre community college student, I have the same access and knowledge resource as the smartest doctor graduating from USC.

In my mind (which is admittedly smaller than most medical minds), doctors and I are equals. My physician, who always wants to charge me a $20 co-pay per visit, thinks we are by no means equals. He has a medical degree, experience treating patients, and a nice little notepad to write prescriptions. I have an associate’s degree in humanities (in my defense, the word “human” is in there) and FedEx will ship me black market prescriptions from India.

Who’s the dummy now?

The answer is probably me, as usual. The issue is, regardless of my lack of medical training, I still find myself on WebMD self-diagnosing my booger color and consistency or any rash on my body. WebMD has convinced me I am a doctor. But one of the problems with WebMD/self-doctoring is that the further you explore your symptoms, the worse and worse your ailments get. It seems like no matter what is wrong with me (stiff lower back), all signs point to thyroid cancer.

The reason I have to play doctor with my computer is because my wife, whom I love, is always convinced I am not sick. Even if snot is pouring from my nose, and WebMD has clearly stated that I am sick, my wife says I just have allergies. Google and I may both know for a fact that I’m probably dying of sinus cancer, but my wife isn’t convinced. To prove to my wife that my Internet diagnosis is legitimate I have to do deeper and darker research on Google and WebMD.

Not only have I convinced myself I am a doctor because of the Internet, I’ve graduated to surgeon. I learned on the web how to remove a skin tag with a lighter, an X-Acto knife, and some nail polish remover. Don’t try this at home kids, unless, of course, you watched it on YouTube first and you don’t shy away from the sight of blood.

Occasionally, things can go too far. I’ve made the mistake of using Google Images to see what a disease I might have looks like. This creates a situation where I look at things I wish I hadn’t. Things I can’t forget. Trust me, no matter what you do, NEVER do a Google Image search of “melanoma under fungal toenail.”

You will never be right again.

It turns out, I didn’t have melanoma under my toenail (thank goodness, it looks disgusting), but I still search WebMD every time I get an eyelash stuck in my eye. This has often caused me to overreact to simple, everyday, non-medical problems.

Even if I have the smallest stomachache, I will search for hours on the Internet, working myself into panic as I convince myself I am dying of cancer or heart disease. Once I have decided on a suitable medical death sentence, I close my laptop, hug my wife and kids, and plan out my last two months to live. For a second opinion, I may go see my extremely educated doctor (and pay the $20) just so he can inform me I have indigestion.

Sure, indigestion, that could be it. I did eat two Chipotle burritos last night and then had cake for dessert. I also sucked down about three Pepsis and couldn’t sleep because of all of the caffeine, which caused me to stay up all night searching WebMD to figure out why I didn’t feel good. WebMD said it might be a cyst in my large intestine.

My wife said it was an allergy, and I should just take a good poop.

My doctor said I should consider not eating two Chipotle burritos in one sitting.

Does India sell a black market pill for dyspepsia? I think if I could control the stomach acid, that second burrito will go down no problem.

 

Rob was on WebMD last night, and he’s convinced himself he’s going through menopause.