OMG Help – What Do I Have?!

j20mill: Hey everyone, I’m a pretty healthy 22-year old, not much history of heart disease, cancer, etc. so I’m pretty lucky, but lately I’ve been having these headaches and can’t really fall asleep. Also, I’ve been feeling really exhausted lately but I found a lump or two on my neck the other day and I’m getting pretty worried. I Googled my symptoms and I found people with the exact same symptoms as I do and most of them said they had things like cancer and mono. I mean I might be overreacting to all this, but man I’m worried. Anyone have any suggestions? I’m trying not to freak out here, but it’s hard to sit still knowing something’s up.

dexter12: Hey j20, sorry to hear. Hope it gets better, but a few years back I had the same things and had a benign tumour (luckily). I had it removed a few weeks after I found it and after a few tests were run. I was pretty healthy too, I used to (and still do) work out every other day, I don’t smoke or drink, and it caught up with me. It was pretty scary. Hope you get through it fine!

miamio: It’s just a cold. Go see a doctor.

FrozenOlive: I don’t know if lumps have anything to do with mono. I mean I had it for a month or so last year but I don’t remember finding any lumps or anything. I was bed-ridden for most of it so get plenty of rest!

j20mill: Thanks guys, I booked an appointment with my doctor. Hopefully it’s nothing.

Phillymania: Thats good. My neihbour’s a doctor and I had the same symptoms so I asked him waht he thought and he told me it might be MS. I had started to feel faint and my vision was starting to go. Is yours? Hope not.

j20mill: Yikes, Phil, sorry to hear. No, my vision hasn’t. I feel fine. Just tired.

Phillymania: that’s good. I saw my doctor a week later and it wasn’t anything serious she said.

NeddyPot: Did you do a WebMD symptom checker? I did one of those a few months ago and it got what I had as soon as I plugged in my symptoms.

j20mill: Yeah I just tried it. Here are a few things: hyperthyroidism, depression, sleep apnea, mononucleosis. I didn’t see cancer, but the lumps are really freaking me out. Doctor’s appointment in 2 hours so I’ll no more. Wish me luck guys, thanks.

Phillymania: good luck!

NeddyPot: Best of luck!

For the record, I’m fine. This is just an example of a forum where people discuss symptoms and possible causes found using WebMD.com and general Internet searches. We can see that people take to the Internet for diagnoses from others and from the web. They are not medically qualified and most of the time the symptoms are so general it could be anything (such as the possible issues ‘j20mill’ had). I tried to stress the focus people had here on information online being available ASAP compared to seeing a doctor. Perhaps that is why people go online and search their symptoms. Information can come to them right away about their symptoms and they can feel some sort of comfort in having an idea of what they have. I guess it is sort of a any news is better than no news scenario with cybermedicalization and the pursuit of medical information online. How far will this go though, I wonder? Will it get to the point where people not only plug in their symptoms, but will we see things like virtual doctors where people show pictures and video of their symptoms or of themselves to get a consultation from someone else?

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