First, let me give credit where credit is due. My husband is the one who actually came up with the idea for this post. The idea came to him following a recent discussion we had after I observed both of my girls sneezing.
Me: Ugh! Do you think they might have the Swine Flu?
J: Um, no, I do not think they have the Swine Flu. I do think there might be something wrong with you, though.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I can be a bit of a nervous Nelly, especially when it comes to all things medical. I have self-diagnosed myself with a myriad of conditions over the years. And, yes, I am often wrong. How often, you ask? Well, if this was a game of baseball, I would be batting about 1 for 1000. Okay, maybe worse. But, for the record, my 1 correct diagnosis has more than made up for the other 999 misdiagnoses.
Between weeks 30 and 32 of my pregnancy with the girls, I started to get itchy. Really itchy. I was scratching my belly raw, and my hands and feet would often burn from the intense itching. After my OB chalked up my symptoms to normal pregnancy-related discomfort, I decided to pay a visit to Dr. Google late one itchy night. I just typed in “severe itching during pregnancy,” and I had myself a winning diagnosis within seconds of hitting the enter button. Obstetric cholestasis. During my 34th week of pregnancy, I was in fact diagnosed (by a real M.D.) with cholestasis, after going to the ER following a particularly sleepless night due to severe itching (and crying!). Thankfully, with the help of daily liver medicine and bi-weekly non-stress tests, both of my girls were born healthy and with no ill effects.
Unfortunately, my somewhat casual hobby of misdiagnosing ailments kicked into overdrive shortly after the babies were born. It didn’t help matters that our pediatrician diagnosed Amelia with torticollis at her two-month check-up. Torti-what? Two guesses what I did as soon as I got home from that pediatrician’s appointment? Yep, I Googled it. From Amelia’s initial diagnosis until the day she was discharged from physical therapy, I spent countless hours online researching therapies and treatments.
And, don’t even get me started on ear infections! The hours I have spent online (okay, and in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s office) trying to distinguish between teething symptoms and those of an ear infection are innumerable. For the record, we have yet to see an ear infection in this house, but I am seriously considering purchasing one of those home ear check machines. I simply cannot suffer the humiliation of leaving the pediatrician’s office with my tail between my legs one more time, apologizing as I go, “Sorry. I really thought she had one this time.”
So, there you have it. I am a hypochondriac. Since the girls were born, I have Googled everything (probably more than once!) from “diaper rash” to “teething sypmtoms” to “mucous in a baby’s stool.” Don’t even ask about that last one. I actually brought the diaper to the pediatrician’s office. Long story; see above for similar, humiliating ending. Anyway, I have come to accept this quirk in my personality, and I can even laugh about it now (obviously, since I am sharing it with the blogosphere!). While I’ve always had the propensity towards hyphochondria, having twins has just brought it to a whole-new, freakish level.
Please tell me I am not the only one! Is some of this just part and parcel of being a first-time mom? Did having two (or more) babies at once bring out the inner hypochondriac in you, too?