Dear Dr. Google,
First of all I want to apologize for sending such an impersonal correspondence. Usually I’m the type that enjoys writing a physical letter, putting the pen to paper and practicing the skills I learned in First Grade; however, it seems that the only way to reach you is electronically. I guess in this day and age, what do I expect?
I suppose it’s apropos, since all of our interaction up to this point has been through those underground pipes known as the Internet. Speaking of our interaction, the reason I’m typing to you today is because I want to discuss our relationship. As in any such discussion, there are positives and negatives I want to cover, so I guess think of this correspondence as a kind of Interpersonal Duracell.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Since I first found out about your near-limitless expertise, you’ve been the first entity to which I turn when things go pear-shaped. In a sense you’ve been my safety-net, my blanky. When I had chest pains, you diagnosed me with Primary Spontaneous Pneumothorax (PSP). When I got dizzy upon standing, you confirmed my case of Orthostatic Hypotension. In short, you’ve always had answers. You’ve always saved me a trip to the local urgent care.
You’re ALWAYS there. A wealth of information, a plethora of ideas. It was from you that I learned about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – granted, I don’t own ovaries, but it’s good to know what it would be like if they were to go Krang on me. Likewise, you schooled me on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and how any site-specific pain I’m feeling at any given time just might be lupus. You’ve taught me so many acronyms! Oh, and don’t even get me started on fibromyalgia.
So now that I’ve covered the chocolate crunchy portion of the Dairy Queen ice cream cake, let’s get to the disappointing vanilla section. Ya see, endless information, especially health-related information, is an infinitely sharp and autoincisive double-edged sword. I won’t mention the time you made me think I had a metastatic colon polyp when it turned out to just be gas. Nor will I rub in your face your misdiagnosis of a sinus headache as an aggressive and strangely springtime-linked brain tumor. Not to mention the nagging stress caused by these missteps that was run through your medical processors and doctoral prestidigitation and spit back at me in a differential list that included ventricular arrhythmia, chronic asthma, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
I’ve come to realize that having all the world’s medical knowledge at my fingertips is a wonderful and dangerous thing, like a lawn dart. In the hand of an untrained professional (I do eyes; the other 99% of the human body is only a soft fleshy carrier for the eyes), unfiltered information is a one-way train to Worryville. And I’m the mayor of Worryville (I may have rigged the election).
The point, Dr. Google, is this: I’m switching my care to a different provider. I don’t want a doctor who is going to scare the flapjacks out of me with the possibility of muscular dystrophy or Marfan’s or gouty arthritis. While I will forever appreciate your penchant for being totally transparent, I need a caregiver who obfuscates the ugly truth. I need someone who sugarcoats things. I need Dr. Feelgood.
So, until the next time I have shoulder pain or cough up blood, we’re through.
No longer yours,