On the Advantages and Disadvantages of WebMD

(via WebMD.com)

(via WebMD.com)

So I’ve been a little under the weather the last week and a half.  Living South has not helped much, not because I have been partying more than usual, but because of the fact that it might as well be in another galaxy in relation to the Health Center.

Generally I am not a person that gets sick often, but this week seems to be a little worse than usual. Mostly when this happens I just try and tough it out and wait for myself to get better. Sometimes, when the symptoms are a little too much to manage I hop on the internet and check out WebMD.

WebMD has to be one of the least helpful places on the internet, it is a breeding ground for fear and paranoia (and a little weird introspection).  I am wondering every 5 seconds if I am going to die from some disease that I have never heard of because my throat is a little sore.  Being especially not a math major, statistics are not my game, so I really appreciate the bar on the side of the screen that denotes how likely I am to have one ailment or another.  What doesn’t help though is that there are no numbers whatsoever.  Just a tiny little bar.  The problem with this is that as long as I can see the bar there is chance that I have that particular illness.  This is the most nerve-wracking thing of all. In the end, it will be the doubt that kills me (sounds deep, but really isn’t).

On the flip side, now that I am sitting in the Health Center, a place I have never been before (something that I am unhealthily proud of), it is allowing me to cut through the pleasantries and just get my medicine.*  Having never been here for an illness before though it seems that this whole process is going to take a while.  I was able to conceive and write this article in less time than it took for my name to be called…which I am still waiting on with only one other person in the waiting room listening to me as my (as I’ve been told) hammer-on-the-keyboard technique allows those around me to descend slowly into madness, something that I am fairly certain can’t be diagnosed on WebMD.

So here’s to you WebMD! Making me paranoid since 1996.

*I finished this article after the fact, apparently having never been there before makes them give you a nearly complete physical.

5 responses

  1. WebMD once told me (after clicking on “female”) that based on my ailments I was either suffering from congestive heart failure, pregnancy, or prostate cancer. Cracker jack doctor-ing, WebMD.

  2. WebMD has to be one of the least helpful places on the internet, it is a breeding ground for fear and paranoia

    Watch those comma splices, friend.

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