September 10, 2008

Don't google medical questions

Why you may ask?

Looking back about a year ago today, I was having major hand numbness, vertigo and headaches. In addition to healing from leg/foot and slightly above the waist numbness. So I google my symptoms. I diagnosed myself with Multiple Sclerosis. Not a pretty disease mind you, not that any disease is. So I go to my doctor and ask for a brain scan (MRI) who does this? Who voluntarily asks to have their head locked in a cage to undergo scans for 45 minutes? Only to have the report say it could be possible. The report also mentioned my neck herniations and stenosis I couldn't get past the possibility of MS. Went to a neurologist who again with my symptoms said it's possible. I was pretty much gave in to the fact I had MS and tried to think how I was going to handle this. Until I went for a EMG and it came back normal. Although that is not a sure test to MS by any means my Ortho (spine specialist) told me since it's a nerve disease and I was in the middle of severe symptoms it should have shown something. I was then told I was misdiagnosed and had to have my neck fused instead.

Although a neck fusion is no picnic and the symtoms were pretty severe, I was relieved. I still couldn't shake the fear of MS though. Still have a bit of fear but it's faded.

So you see the moral of the story? Do not google or go to Web MD for anything, as harmless as it seems it caused me to spends months of being tortured and tons of money on co-pays for MRI's.

P.S. I am eating tuna at 10 AM


  1. I see your point but I think googling your symptoms is a good idea provided that you act rationally based on what you find. I had a medical problen that my doctor was unable to properly diagnose. He actually at one point said he didn't know what was wrong. After some research I found information that suggested a cause. I went to a different doctor who confirmed via testing that my research was correct. I'm sure this is a fairly rare occurrence but I also know doctors are not omniscient (though they of course know far more than we do) and usually don't spend a great deal of time thinking about our problems. If we research our symptoms we might be able to use the information to enable the doctor to beter diagnose/treat our problems.

    BTW I came across your site because I was just dx'd with cervical stenosis and I'm educating myself about the problem.

  2. Glad you found me in your search for information on stenosis. I found some helpful message boards when I was finally diagnosed and finding people with like symptoms was very helpful. I agree sometimes researching is a good thing but in my case, not so much. I was numb all over and had several terrible doctors who did not diagnose me properly. Did research and I gave myself that diagnosis and convinced people and doctors I had it. I can finally breathe easy now... It took a long time.