The Age of Dr. Google

The ease of accessibility of information in our day and time blows my mind. We literally have the answer to any question we can think up at our fingertips. I’m part of what I like to call the “transitional” generation, meaning I can clearly remember the time when the only computer I’d ever seen was in my third grade class room and it took floppy disks the size of dinner plates. And cell phones didn’t even exist. I remember using a big bulky set of books called the encyclopedia. I remember when the internet was such a new and fanciful concept that you couldn’t quote any information you found there as a reliable source on an essay.  And no I’m not, like, a hundred years old or something. I’m not even thirty.

It’s strange how quickly things can change sometimes and how easy it is for us to adjust. Healthcare is pretty much unaffordable these days, so I’ve adjusted to being Dr. Google for my family. That means that whenever someone in my house is sick, I immediately google their symptoms to see if it’s serious enough for a doctor visit or if it can be treated at home. Natural remedies often abound at my house, not because I’m one of those crazy people who gather plants in the woods and mistrust modern medicine (my child will be vaccinated), but out of necessity. My family can’t afford to pay two hundred dollars every time one of us sniffles.

It’s sort of funny though. I’ll just about bet that the nurse at my son’s doctor’s office rolls her eyes when she sees us coming up the hall. I usually already have a diagnosis, and ninety nine percent of the time I’m on the right track. I’m at least a self professed Dr. Google, and I never ever pretend to know more than my pediatrician. She’s a super awesome lady and I think she appreciates that I’m self informed. I also appreciate the fact that she knows that if I’m there, I’m seriously worried and I expect her to do something. Don’t send me home with the advice to feed my son popcicles (Yes, I actually received this advice in an emergency room on New Years Day. It’s the most expensive advice I’ve received to date). If all you can do is get out your prescription pad and treat his symptoms so that he can rest or breathe and heal, then do it. I know that a lot of doctors don’t like to treat symptoms and I get why that is, but I like that our doctor understands that it’s sometimes necessary when a child is too young to understand what is happening to them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining (Well, okay, I am a little. I wish it wasn’t so expensive to stay healthy), I’m just exceedingly grateful that I live in such a time when knowledge is so accessible to everyone. I’m thankful that it enables me to care for my family. I know I can’t possibly be the only Dr. Google out there.