By Julia Belluz - Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 0 Comments
You’re achy, slightly feverish, and that rash you’ve had on your back for a week hasn’t gone away. In a haze, you log online to peruse WebMD. After all, you’re a pretty savvy researcher, even a nerd, and you just want to find out what might be ailing you.
POW! WAM! BAM! The suggestions about the causes of your symptoms cascade over you like a tsunami of anxiety. Syphillis! Lyme disease! Dengue Fever! All are equally plausible, according to Dr. Google. Even though you know the Internet has a tendency to tell you that you have cancer when you really have a cold, your heart begins to race, your cheeks flush, and you start imagining what your friends will say at your funeral.
In many ways, the Internet has leveled the playing field between health-care providers and patients, and the questions we ask Google about our health woes are probably more honest than the ones we’d ever dare ask our doctors.