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Google is my best friend

28/10/2009

I’m on the computer all day for work usually and then at night on top of my work.  Yea I’ll probably end up with carpal tunnel like my mom but its the job and I love it.  And that doesn’t include all the fun stuff I do like reading blogs, FaceBook, message boards and blogging myself.  I’m almost attached to my computer by a cable.  Thank GOD I don’t have an iPhone or I’d never get off the internet.

 

Since I’m attached to a computer all day I tend to use Google to find things.  Now I’m not crazy to fact check stuff for work on it but I do use it to find addresses and stuff.  I don’t know what I did before the internet.  You mean I actually had to look in a phone book.  The horrors. 

 

Heck I even use Google for health concerns for myself, Hunni and the pups.  Leo has been sneezing so I Googled “sneezing in dogs” to find out if I needed another expensive vet visit for my expensive puppy (he has a nervous tummy).  And I Googled my hip pain and kind of self diagnosed before going to my doc.  I even Google hip stretches and running things so that I can do better.

According to a Pew Research Center Survey that I found in Women’s Health 61% of adults look online for health information and 42% say they or someone they know has benefited from medical advice they came across on a site.  Here is some other info they also noted:

  • 60% used it to affect their decision about how to treat an illness or condition.
  • 56% used it to alter their overall approach to maintaining their health or the health of a loved one.
  • 53% were led to ask a doctor new questions or to get a second opinion.
  • 49% changed their thinking about diet, exercise, or stress management.
  • 38% affected a decision about whether to see a doctor.
  • 38% changed the way they manage a chronic health condition or pain.

I can say I see many of these in myself.  I’ve changed the way I manage stress, my IBS, changed doctors, etc all because of stuff I’ve read on the internet about my conditions or symptoms.  I think that it makes me a more informed patient when I know about the medications I’m taking or the procedures the doctor is suggesting for treatment.  If I had listened only to what my first doctor had said about my back I would never have had surgery.  I was proactive about the treatment I needed and much better because of it.

 

I think it’s important we all be informed patients instead of blindly accepting everything a doctor tells you.  There are so many new things available these days and so many things that your doctor may not have experience with or ways of treating your health that you may not be aware of otherwise.  Being informed means you can feel more secure about the decisions being made

 

Just a word of warning though:  Make sure you get your info from a reputable source.  Kind of like finding sources for papers in college.  Don’t just take something random because you found it on the internet.  Make sure you check out who wrote it and what their methods are before you decide to go that direction.  Do your homework.

 

Have you ever made health decisions based on what you read online?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Chelle permalink
    29/10/2009 12:09 AM

    Google is my friend too! I don’t know if I’ve ever made actual decisions based on what I’ve read online, unless by decision – you mean, decide to ask certain questions or perhaps NOT to ask certain questions. Certainly nothing like decide whether to have surgery or not.

    But I have definitely looked up my condition and name of the surgery I had and read as much as I can. I have a *need to know.* I want to know everything i can on a subject i’m interested in. I think it only helps, mostly because I’m not afraid to ask questions of my doctors (whom I really like and trust) who can set me straight if I am misunderstanding something.

    • 29/10/2009 12:48 PM

      I hear ya. I want to be as informed as possible about my condition so I know what to ask and how to explain myself better.

  2. 29/10/2009 12:17 AM

    I make many health decisions based on what I read on-line … or I at least research options for decisions I am trying to make.

    • 29/10/2009 12:46 PM

      Yeah I like to know my options before I decide and all doctors don’t always give them too you.

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