My greatest fear isn’t dying. It’s dying, before I can delete my internet search history. One thing you’d see in there a bit too often, is Channing Tatem and WebMD. But mainly WebMD. We’ve all done it- type in a few seemingly harmless symptoms, and thirty minutes later you’re at the corner of hemorrhoid and brain tumor, where Doc McGoogle has given you and your offspring six months to live. Now you have a real lump in your throat, your heart thumps with anxiety and your mind races to ugly places. See what it did there? Sneaky devil.
Womenfolk (especially those trying for babies, pregnant with babies, and living with babies) seem to be the most drawn to health searching. Don’t believe me? Go visit any mommy message board on health issues. It’s like walking into a hen house…that’s on fire. I recently reached cyberchondriac status myself, when I called my pediatrician’s office in hysterics after a google search of “pale toddler poop.” Yes, Poop. If someone were to tell me five years ago that I would be sobbing over doodoo, I would have called them bat doodoo crazy. Nothing like hearing your real Doctor scold, “THIS is why you don’t get on the internet for medical stuff.”
I realized in that moment, that losing our second daughter to a rare condition called hydrops, had sent my already high level of worry into hyper drive. I had spent a solid week on medical websites after that awful ultrasound, looking for answers. Why did this happen to me? How often does it happen? Am I being punished for something? Should I have quit riding the horses? Do we have genetic issues? Did I eat too many hot Cheetos? The questions flowed like wine on girl’s night out.
Our genetic testing ended up coming came back clear, but with no explanation for the hydrops either *insert scream*. After that embarrassing pediatrician call, I vowed to stop my WebMD shenanigans. Does it ever really give you an ounce of peace? No. Not for me anyway. The more I read, the more negative scenarios my mind would continue to click toward crazyville. Once I “quit” WebMD, I realized just how much I was actually on it, for every stupid little thing.
The roundup on all this- although scrolling through a magical screen of medical information seems appealing when you have suspected (or even legit) health issues, let me be the first to tell you: JUST DON’T DO IT. Especially if you’re someone like me who is already prone to worry/anxiety. Sometimes, unlimited knowledge causes a lot more harm than it does good- ask ol’ Adam and Eve. I realize it can be so flippin’ hard to “not worry” when a website is telling you “seek medical attention immediately, you’re having a heart attack!” and it’s actually just too-many-tacos-burn.
When it comes to health matters, sometimes there are no explanations, nor answers, for the unlucky cards we are dealt, regardless of the severity. Upsetting, infuriating, painful and unfair, right? No doubt! Many of us are so lucky to be pretty dang healthy, so there is no need to be digging for problems, or fearing the worst. When you are scared or worried (about anything really) your faith needs to muster up more grit, and kick your fear in the mcnuggets. Health related or not, “Problems with no answers are directing us towards God.” We are so reliant on immediate answers these days, and the answer is – there aren’t always answers.
I’d be a liar-liar pants on fire if I said I’m not afraid of losing another baby now. I still panic at the thought of getting some terminal illness, leaving my little one to grow up without her Mama. But- I’m working on replacing my fears with faith, daily. I know that worrying and googling isn’t going to change or prevent anything anyway! I know what my mind needs to seek if I have any irrational worries – and it definitely doesn’t involve a keyboard.
A couple helpers:
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9