Nice Lady Doctor writes here about cyberchondria, the phenomonen of internet self-diagnosis and goes on to say that “when patients arrive having diagnosed themselves over the internet, I feel as though I have been given a gift.”
Oh, how I wish I had a doctor like that.
The first time I mentioned the “i” word to my GP, he sniggered and asked me if I was worried I had had a stroke. (Actually, I hadn’t even considered stroke and went straight home to look it up!!)
I am not the patient who has convinced themselves they’re dying of the first Google result they found. I am the patient who has read all around an issue in an attempt to discover what’s really happening to me. I am the patient who respects a doctors education and knowledge. I am the patient who will gingerly mention, after having already given all the information I can offer about my symptoms, a possible diagnosis idea to see whether it will fly…
Invariably, I’ve found it to be met with very little response (and perhaps, I suspect, a bit of eye-rolling after I’ve left the room.. or am I being paranoid?!)
I think it’s fair to say that most people are intelligent enough to be able to handle reading about medical conditions and use the information in a positive way. My goodness, I don’t know where I would be now without it.
I wish I had a doctor who wanted to empower me to take control of my own illness (particularly as, after eight months, I am yet to receive one single bit of useful advice), and I can’t really see the benefit of not doing this…?