There are five things I can guarantee you’ll do when you’re ill in bed.
- You will Facebook stalk everyone you knew at 16 in the hope they’ve aged badly. (In case not everyone who is sick Facebook stalks Ali Naylor, believe me, this veritable sex-god-in-chinos has NOT aged well. See! Don’t you feel better already?! You’re welcome.)
- You will eat more calories in one day than is humanly possible to burn running a marathon, (if like me, you’re eternally grateful your illness hasn’t put you off your food!) As delicious as this is, it isn’t all that sensible to consume 15,481 calories when you’re not in the mood to run a marathon, and the only exercise you’re getting is when you’re forced to get out of bed because digestive biscuit crumbs are exfoliating your bottom. This ‘exercise routine’ may happen every hour or so, but still, it’s no marathon.
- You will pretend not to have watched four episodes of Come Dine With Me, back to back.
- You will pray to God your HR department isn’t pulling out the big blue folder that says ‘Statutory Sick Pay’.
- You will Google your symptoms at least 3042 times, an hour. You will learn SO much from Doctor Google, you’ll wonder why on earth people waste ten years of their lives training to become doctors via the traditional (and clearly out-dated) route. You will Whatsapp your friends to tell them you’re probably having a heart attack. You will call your mum to break the news you have Ebola in your left boob. You will hold your boyfriend close and sob into his shoulder because he’s probably infected with your Smallpox. Your boyfriend will reassure you that Smallpox was entirely eradicated in 1977, and you’ll stroke his poor little confused head in the knowledge your disease has already started to erode his brain. Your brain hasn’t started to erode yet, because it’s stronger.
I spent two weeks in comprehensive medical training. It was thoroughly exhausting because Doctor Google is relentless in the provision of ‘knowledge’. Doctor Google is always open for business; unblinking, unyielding, unending. Insistent information awaits your click. WebMD.com rests for no man; NHS Symptom Checker.co.uk needs to be checked; MayoClinic.org; HealthLine.com; Patient.info; VetDirect.com (just in case.) An endless stream of enlightenment waits to be unravelled, from the moment you wake until the wee hours. Because how else are you going to get to the bottom of why you’re STILL hurting?!
So when I returned to the doctor’s, I sympathetically advised him that perhaps he’d wasted ten years of his life to an evidently fruitless education. I didn’t say those exact words, I think I said ‘help. The anti-inflamatories haven’t made any difference. It hurts more than I can bear. I can’t breath. My chest feels like it’s breaking with every breath. I haven’t slept properly in two weeks. Please. Help me.”
He made a quick call to the Emergency Assessment Unit at the Royal Surrey Hospital to tell them to expect me. I Googled ‘Bird Flu’ on my way.
So my advice to the sickly folk out there, is DON’T DOCTOR GOOGLE. What does ‘@HotmizzArizona’ know that your doctor doesn’t? Granted, she probably knows how to peel a prickly pear, (an Arizonian delicacy your doctors hasn’t encountered yet) but that’s not a good enough reason to follow her health advice on Med.Help.com. Even in the dead of the night, when you feel lonely, helpless, anxious, and you fear you’re loosing control, DON’T DOCTOR GOOGLE, because boob Ebola isn’t worth worrying about after all.
Danger. Midnight Doctor Googling.