I don’t ever look up symptoms on WebMD. Why, you might ask?

I have generalized anxiety disorder. I can be triggered in the frozen food section of a supermarket so a webpage dedicated to conjecture about everything that could possibly go wrong with everyone I love?

No thanks.

What do I do when Six gets a weird rash? Well, we are lucky enough to have health insurance so I call the pediatrician’s office and ask the nurse what I should do. Or, if Six has given himself a concussion (which he did last November) or contracted pneumonia (which he’s done twice) or gotten the flu (twice as well) I either go to the ER (Six has been twice, Older Son I think 5 times) or we go to urgent care (both kids have been too many times to count).

Turns out Six is horribly allergic to penicillin. Older Son was in a car accident a few years ago wherein the airbag deployed but no one at the scene thought he should be checked out by a medical professional. When I heard that? Off to the emergency room we went!

There was one time we, including his doctor, thought Older Son might possibly have leukemia. We came to that moment not by looking up symptoms on WebMD but rather by talking to his doctor. I remember taking Older Son to get his blood drawn for the series of tests to let us know if he was sick. We showed up a few minutes before the lab closed. The woman at the lab was reasonably irritated but had a total change of attitude when she realized that the strapping young man holding his baby brother might be seriously ill. Everyone at the lab was friendly and careful in that way medical professionals have that is both comforting and scary as hell.

No one is that nice unless there is possibly something seriously wrong.

No leukemia. Can’t remember what was wrong with him but I think he’s fine now. He’s in Missouri. Or Kansas? Iowa? I’m not a bad parent, he just keeps moving!

Anyway, ultimately I have no idea how to use WebMD responsibly. That being said, I do believe that there is a way to do that. WebMD can be a good first resource, to get familiar with what is happening with yourself or someone you care about.

But I don’t know how to filter out what applies to me or mine and leave the rest be so best to avoid altogether.

Also, my cousin is a nurse. 

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