Barcelona, Spain. “Oh, the wonders of Google!”, Helen Robinson thought to herself as she typed her symptoms in the google search bar of her phone. It was somethig she did every night before going to bed in an attempt to prove that she was perfectly healthy, and yet, at the same time, on the verge of doom.
“It is amazing how much information we have access to these days. I google my problems for free and depending on my mood, sometimes I am positive I suffer from several terminal illnesses and sometimes I am absolutely convinced nothing is wrong with me. This however gives me just about enough leverage to alarm my family and friends of my impeding death. After a long and depleting suffering, that is. Only when they implore me to seek medical attention am I willing to admit that things aren’t actually that bad and that it’s probably nothing. Although at times I am sure it is something. And something really serious, like a brain tumor or the flu. Or both. But then again these things can’t really happen to me, can they? And yet, sometimes after doing my research on forums moderated by really experienced professionals, I feel that something is very, very wrong. Maybe. I think, but I’m not sure. So confusing…”
Helen almost made an appointment with an actual physician, one she eventually decided against. Her mood was pretty good the day before she actually planned on deciding whether to call the practice or not. “I’m sure it’s nothing” she kept repeating. “Atfer all, what’s the real value in actually knowing if something is wrong?”
Lying in bed at night with her friend Google, Helen felt a mild pain in her back. She quickly entered the symptom in the search bar of her phone, clicking on the first link that popped up: “Tumors in the spinal column may cause back pain from expansion of the bone or from weakening the bone, which in turn can result in a spine compression fracture, compression (pinching) of the nerves, or spinal instability.”
“Oh my Goodness, it’s the end”, she thought. “Tomorrow I am going to make that appointment once and for all. Of course, if I make it that far…”
Unable to sleep as a result of medical terms having a party in her brain, Helen kept scrolling through the internet’s verdict on her ulcer, brain and spinal tumours, dengue fever, flu and foreign accent syndrome, until she found a really interesting and promising website with a completely different approach to disease treatment. She had never come across something like it before.
Before she managed to fall asleep, Helen uttered a few grateful words for the newfound Google-approved medical goldmine: “Oh, the wonders of Homeopathy!”. Now she knew that whatever was threatening her wellbeing, had a cure. There was a way out. Hope.
She decided to learn more about it, prepare PowerPoint presentations for family and friends, advocate for the alternative medicine because it seemed to kind of make sense and then, maybe, call someone up and make an appointment. “Finally doctors realised there’s simply no gain in discouraging people from eating candy.”, Helen thought as she fell asleep smiling.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an idea provided by Anonymous.