Damn you Google search bar
Have you ever had a lump or bump or rash or something else not quite right and googled your problem?
It’s true that the internet can be such a valuable source of information and we can find things out in seconds, but sometimes this isn’t always a good thing.
When I was approaching the end of my pregnancy with my third child, I stepped out of the bath one evening to find I had an itchy rash on the inside of my right forearm – very random. I assumed I had the water too hot, something I am frequently guilty of.
By the following morning it had spread to my other arm, my stomach and chest. It was desperately itchy and sore and very raised. I hadn’t ever had anything like this in pregnancy before so I really didn’t know what it was.
I made the mistake of ‘googling’ to look for an answer. I know these things are a mistake and this was no exception to the rule. After twenty minutes of ‘research’ I discovered that it could be anything from “perfectly normal during pregnancy” to “a life-threatening liver condition requiring immediate delivery of the baby”. Superb – so that really cleared things up then. I promptly got out my notes and rang my local midwife.
I explained to her in detail the location and nature of my rash which was met with a somewhat predictable response “Have you changed your washing powder?” I replied that I had not, nor had I changed my shampoo, shower gel, cream, lotion or anything of that nature – which were all the questions that followed.
“Have you put anything different on your skin?” She asked. Clearly my response had not been clear enough “No I have not done anything like that” I reinforced. This woman was not listening. Eventually, she agreed to see me in the clinic later that day.
The conclusion was that it was a ‘hormonal rash’ – guess these hormone thingys can be blamed for most things during pregnancy, but given what Google said I still feel I did the right thing getting it checked out.
Have you ever ‘researched’ a condition on the internet and frightened yourself with what you have read?