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Owie! If youâ€™ve seen me at all this week you may have heard me say that word.
About a week and a half ago I began noticing it more than before. Though I noticed it before â€“ I did that thing Iâ€™ve made myself so good at. I can justify most any pain in my body.
Pain is such a subjective thing. I can breathe my way through most anything and use my mind to forget about it for a minute. If I have a raging headache and squeeze my ear lobe my headache pain disappears for a spell because then my ear is taking up all the pain receptors. Just like I tease my cat â€“ I tease my pain.
I decided to share with you what not to do. I never like to accentuate the negative unless it can save someone else. I just know that you read that sentence and now must read on because I wrote, â€śI decided to share with you what not to do.â€ť What not to do compelled you to. Youâ€™re such a rebel. Just like when your own mama said, â€śDonâ€™t eat the dough from the chocolate chip cookie bowl,â€ť You just had to. Didnâ€™t ya? Tee-hee!
Whatever you do â€“ DO NOT spend too much time searching the internet for the reasons youâ€™re having symptoms. Thatâ€™s what doctors and tests are for. I honor my doctor and feel like I bother him too much with my diabetes needs already. Iâ€™ll do anything not to bother the doctor.
I began my Google search with simple search words. My first search was with the words, â€śUpper back pain.â€ť I learned I could have osteoarthritis, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. The search results allowed me to click on each one of those ailments and read more. I didnâ€™t deduce I had any of those awful things. Just then at the bottom of one website I saw the following warning: â€śIn rare cases, upper and middle back pain may be caused by
other problems, such as gall bladder disease, cancer or an infection.â€ť
I had already diagnosed myself, which you and I both know most doctors hate because weâ€™re usually wrong â€“ not always â€“ but usually. I have the strong gift of discernment and I discern itâ€™s my gall bladder. I should have quit there. But no! Just like you I had to keep going. I can deal with it being my gall bladder. Instead I kept entering more specific search words into my search for causes of my symptoms.
I entered the search words, â€śIntense pain between shoulder blades.â€ť I learned it may be stressed muscles but I donâ€™t have sore muscles. Itâ€™s an inside pain. I kept reading. Next I learned I may be having a heart attack. That news made my blood pressure go up. I could feel it. I diagnosed myself at that point with severe anxiety at that point. I donâ€™t have time to have a heart attack right now. I didnâ€™t have to worry about it being a heart attack for too long because I kept reading. It said something about â€śreferred painâ€ť and how pain that radiates into between your shoulder blades could just be liver cancer. I look awful in yellow. I rebuked that disease. Just the mention of it made me want to lose my lunch.
I kept reading and entering new words. One disease turned in to another and I was getting a medical degree very quickly without having to pay, do clinicals or practice on already deceased cadavers. I searched long enough to learn I may have testicular cancer and Iâ€™m not even one of you fellas!
As my anxiety grew from all that I had read and learned I called a doctor friend of mine to get advice. I explained to the doctor that I had searched long enough and deep enough that it said it was my testicles but it couldnâ€™t be because Iâ€™m a girl. Laughter is good for doctors. The doctor laughed. I was asked a plethora of questions and was told if it is my gall bladder Iâ€™d have to have an abdominal ultrasound which I learned by searching is a noninvasive test in which a probe on the skin bounces high-frequency sound waves off structures in the belly.
Ultrasound is an excellent test for gallstones and to check the gallbladder wall, I learned. I was also told that may show nothing. If thatâ€™s the case Iâ€™ll need to have a HIDA scan. I searched and learned that this is a nuclear medicine test. Theyâ€™d take me in to a procedure room and inject radioactive dye intravenously. It secretes into the bile. It said that â€śCholecystitis is likely if the scan shows bile doesnâ€™t make it from the liver into the gallbladder.â€ť I didnâ€™t dare search what cholecystitis is. Any diseases that end â€ścystitisâ€ť scares me to death. I want to live. So I kept searching. I learned from the doctor and my searching that I could have a series of other tests to finally diagnosis me.
I donâ€™t want liver cancer, I donâ€™t have the heart to have a heart attack right now and I donâ€™t have testicles to fail me.
It feels like indigestion in my back and hurts worse after I eat. I popped some Rolaids and got no relief. Iâ€™m going to have to go to the doctor.
Heâ€™ll tell me itâ€™s just gas.
If you are going to do a computer search of symptoms, whatever you do â€“DONâ€™T search for â€śReasons of constant smiling.â€ť
You rebel. I just told you not to so now youâ€™re going to â€“arenâ€™t you?
Be prepared. It will show websites explaining joy.
I hereby commit to never searching my own symptoms again. Now I have every disease I read about including things I simply canâ€™t have. I have to leave you now. I think I have neurofibromatosis. Maybe, just maybe itâ€™s just a pimple though. The doctor. is in! Be healthy but donâ€™t wait too long if you do have symptoms. I love you.
Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.