I’m starting to think that WebMD should require a note from a psychiatrist before using their symptom checker. I’m home sick today. After some sweaty tossing and turning, aches and pains, and lots and lots of whining, I finally got up and checked my symptoms to see if I should go to the doctor or not. The good news — I don’t have Ebola or Ulcerative Colitis. The bad news — My symptoms match each of the following: Osteomyelitis, Osteoarthritis, Shingles, Fibromyalgia, Hypothyroidism, West Nile Virus, Tetanus, Meningitis, Cocaine Abuse. Needless to say, I can rule out that last one; I am way too frugal to start a cocaine habit. But now I am overanalyzing my symptoms, trying to sort out a diagnosis.
There’s been a lot in the news about West Nile virus lately, and several confirmed cases here in Texas. Not to mention the mosquitoes have been particularly fond of me lately. I have checked every inch of my skin in a paranoid frenzy now, but see no trace of a rash. Still, since reading that the list of symptoms includes nausea and lack of appetite, I keep wondering if I was really hungry when I ate that left-over pizza a little bit ago and if it might just be upsetting my stomach.
I did have chicken pox when I was a kid, so shingles is a possibility, except for the fact that my thorough rash search produced no results. Then again, the rash might not appear right away. Other symptoms include flu-like symptoms and chills without fever. I’m not running a fever, so I guess that’s a possibility. Then again, the only chills I’ve felt were when I realized my sweetheart turned the air down into the frigid zone.
I seem to remember osteomyelitis as frequent misdiagnosis on “House” so that lends it a certain cache. I’m not thrilled with the possibility of a “bone infection”, but since it’s most common in people who use steroids, have diabetes, use intravenous drugs, or have cancer, I think I can probably strike this from the list.
I think I’m going to root for fibromyalgia. Even though constant, throbbing muscle pain sounds less than delightful, the women in that commercial for the latest prescription for it seem to live lives of carefree simplicity, pruning adorable apple trees bursting with fruit, walking down tree-lined streets, going to farmers’ markets and dinner parties… I wonder if you get an activity planner and a new social circle with your prescription.