Spexious

Observations and arguments.

Self-diagnosis via the WWW

Not much of a fan of self-diagnosis of illnesses using the internet. I am not prone to fantasizing about worst-case scenarios nor, frankly, do I have the patience. (Even when I’m feeling healthy.)

JD can sometimes search the web compulsively (though not maniacally) for health articles, especially now that we have The Boy and his daily infusion of germs (cf. daycare). The seemingly endless string of colds and ear infections he endured this winter (it seems as though his nose was running from November straight through February) can be followed by poring back through our Safari history over the same period.

However a tip from a coworker did steer JD to the following possible explanation of the mysterious ailment she and I have been hit with this past week:

Epidemic benign dry pleurisy

Which form of pleurisy is much milder than those described at the first several sites JD visited (forms associated, e.g., with lupus). This explanation includes the sharp, stabbing pains in the rib cage (although it does not explain the additional wheezing that is currently keeping me awake) and offers soiled diapers (which we handle frequently) as a common transmission zone.

Less confidence-building is the choice by the website‘s owners (Aetna and Harvard Medical School) to spell “InteliHealth” with a single “l”.

I suppose that now if I go into my doctor and ask whether I’ve got epidemic benign dry pleurisy she will have me removed from her patient rolls.

But then again if that’s what I’ve got there’s not a damn thing she can do to help me. Not even if it devolves into viral meningitis.

At least, that’s what the internet appears to tell me.

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