Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Worst-Case Scenario Mama

This week my doctor took me off Google. That’s right. I am no longer allowed to search the internet for ailments and their freakish causes. And I’ll tell you why.

First, let me preface this column by acknowledging that I have issues. The truth is, if you’ve read more than two posts, you are acutely aware of this fact and have probably laughed unabashedly at my expense, grateful that there are people out there in need of more therapy than you. That’s okay. I’m totally at ease with my dysfunctional self. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. Right, Dr. Phil?

So this is my big issue: I have the tendency to worry. Excessively. Now for some people that would simply be a character flaw. For me it’s an occupation.

For example, just two weeks ago I took Zack to the pediatrician, again. He had been having headaches and instead of assuming it was caused by bad vision, child migraines or even dehydration, I jumped to the frightening conclusion that it was a brain tumor. It wasn’t, but I was more than willing to pay a $20 co-pay to have a doctor say as much.

And while we were there I asked that she check his urine. Frequent trips to the bathroom during church had me assuming, you got it, he also had juvenile diabetes. Not a urine infection or excessive hydration, but juvenile diabetes.

I fondly refer to myself as Worst-Case Scenario Mama. Give me a problem or a symptom and I immediately imagine the worst-case scenario. I’m good at it. If only there were a game show.

My most recent self-induced scare involved a numb toe—my numb toe. For nearly two years the big toe on my left foot has been numb. For nearly two years I had chosen not to worry about it (I was a little preoccupied). But for whatever reason I decided to start worrying three weeks ago. And by worry I mean Google.

Worse than Google is wrongdiagnosis.com. It’s a breeding ground for hypochondriacs. All the worse-case ailments I had imagined were there as well as a handful of conditions I hadn’t even considered. I was in Fright Heaven.

After much internet searching I diagnosed myself with a nearly fatal disease. And regardless of the fact that I’ve never had any medical training, for two and a half weeks I grieved, begging God to let me raise my children into adulthood.

You laugh, but it’s true.

So this week my doctor told me I have a compressed nerve.

“You mean I don’t have a nearly fatal degenerative nerve disease?” I asked.

She cocked her head. “Uhm. No.” she said.

And that’s why I’m no longer allowed to Google my symptoms.

Or my children’s symptoms.

Or the symptoms of my neighbors, friends and family.

Which makes me wonder—what does excessive worrying cause? I bet Google would tell me…

(And no, that doesn’t count. It’s preventative…)


Gustogirl said...

Haha, I do this same thing. Google is wonderful, but it can lead you to things that get us worryworts going! Hope you are having a nice summer despite your son's brain tumor and your degenerative nerve disease!:)

LikeAstaR said...

haha.. I think EVERYONE can relate to this. Maybe it our depersate need to be important or special,b ut somehow the worst and rarest disease or cause of a problem is ours!

Candygirlflies said...

Harhar... You sweetie. Glad you're back! I've missed you!!

xoxo CGF

Tari said...

You are too funny. I have a worst case scenario MIL. She worries the kids will fall down the stairs and die, or off the boat, or choke on a peice of candy. My SIL just told her to get off the dark cloud already.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

SOUL SISTER!!!!! You're perfect the way you are, everyone else is just UNDER concerned!

Kristi O said...

oh my gosh I am so cut off from google as well. I do this all the time and I am either dying of a heart attack or might it be heart burn? Headache.... no massive brain tumor, could be according to Ask Jeeves! I am the go too girl for all the friends and their aliments too , then I have bad dreams, I still think you are my sister from another mother. welcome back to blogland1!!

shawn said...

This is laugh out loud funny !!!
Brilliant on many levels ... I tend to the OTHER side of the medical diagnosis spectrum ... this was too funny !!!!

Good to see you back ... between treatments for the various ailments you're enduring - try to keep us up dated on the happenings in your world (we miss you !!) !!

Anonymous said...

Missed you my friend. You and I could be twins, in this area. I have been banned from Google by just about everyone I know. Someone asked me once, "What is it like to live on the edge of disaster?"

The worse Christmas present I ever got was a book called Symptoms. I memorized it. The stress I put myself through is off the charts crazy!

Glad you don't have a degenerative nerve disease. That would have been my guess too, kidding.

Hope your summer is going well.

M said...

Oh my gosh, Shauna, this is so funny! I can definitely relate. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing.

Spammon said...

You are my mother. I say this because last year she was absolutely sure that our son Porter had diabetes. Why you ask? Because he wanted to drink water. My mom said that a kid his age should want milk and not water. And there is something definitely wrong.

Janice said...

You are so fun...... I love it....

I am so happy to see you blogging again, you have been on a long vacation, and much needed I am sure.

Anonymous said...

I have this problem too and to top it off - I have an equally annoying and stressful problem. If I take a few days off from work, I am absolutely sure that something I did went completely wrong while I was gone and that when I get back - they are going to fire my butt! VACATIONS SHOULD NOT BE STRESSFUL! Seriously - why do we do this to ourselves?

Glad to see you're back. As always - love your blog!

xo - K

Melodrama Mama said...

Too funny - I always worry that everything is cancer! I have to be careful now though because my kids will anxiously say 'look at this bump on my arm Mom, is it cancer?"

(any my worst case scenario father is currently concerned that he has flesh eating bacteria!)

Bruddah Aloha said...

Aloha! Shauna, lol;D Don't be dising Google, I don't know what I would do without it. I cured my Bouts with Strep Throat through Google. Yep, we do it at our house too. he he he, Mahalo! For Da Awesome Post!!!

Chris said...

Gotta love google. What would we do without finding out exactly what the worse case is. I think it is something about a mother, we have to worry always about something. If there is nothing to worry about, I will worry that I have nothing to worry about. :-)