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.

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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?

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8 comments

  1. Worse is that I thought my baby son had thyroid cancer. His doctor called me from his house and said ‘Stop googling this please. I have it under control and if I was worried he would be in hospital now.’ It was nothing.
    found you on #effitfriday

  2. Lol the ‘that really cleared things up then’ line! Honestly, we know we shouldn’t be so many of us do it!! I’ve frightened myself to near death doing this. Thanks for linking to #effitfriday

  3. Yeah, Dr Google is just thoroughly unhelpful. Then again, I think all mysterious itching during pregnancy probably is worth checking out with your midwife and without the scare stories on Google maybe a lot of people wouldn’t bother. But so much ‘scientific information’ on the internet is unfounded in science, the truth is that anything you find out is a bit suspect anyway. #effitfriday

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