Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Virtual Doctor (or how my baby got leprosy)

Some time ago whilst searching in google for my GP's phone number (yes, I am THAT disorganised that I actually lost my doctors contact details and I was seeing this doctor weekly for methatrexate injections... but I digress) I came across WebMD's symptom checker. The symptom checker is a virtual doctor. You simply enter in all your symptoms and it tells you whats wrong with you.Virtual doctor is everything you need, that is, if diagnosis is all you're after. Treatment still requires a visit to the actual doctor. I love this site. I'm a little bit addicted to it. I like to punch in my symptoms and see what weird and wonderful diseases I might have. My actual doctor is pretty boring on this front. She's always flu this or virus that. Virtual doctor on the other hand has way more imagination than that. One time it told me I had Rabies, pretty impressive considering Rabies doesn't exist in Australia and I've never been to a country where it does exist.

It's hours of fun for the whole family (assuming your family is as weird as me) As long as you don't actually rely on the information for any kind of medical treatment. I would probably never mention any health theories you've obtained from this site to your doctor either. In fact, just deny any knowledge of it altogether. Some of my favorite diagnoses have been Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (early pregnancy symptoms), Poison Ivy (my late pregnancy symptoms), Mono (flu), Gangrene (stubbed toe) and my absolute favorite Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome... mad cow... ok, that's probably a fair call considering!

Now that I have a little person, it's even more fun. I punched in some of the baby's symptoms, she has a skin rash (probably milk pimples, but I'm not a doctor), muscle weakness (she can't even stand), short sightedness (I doubt she can even see 2 foot in front of her), mood swings (screaming blue murder to content and back again in under 5 seconds), poor motor skills and judging by the amount of time she spends crying, I'm going to guess that she's either in a lot of pain or just really unhappy. To be safe I better use them both.

And the mystery disease? It wasn't 'being a baby' as you might expect but Leprosy! Awesome. Imagine running to your family doctor with that pearl of medical wisdom! My baby is a leper put her on the next plane to Kalaupapa, Hawaii and resurrect that colony. Stat! Another interesting diagnosis was intoxication. As I looked over at the baby who appeared to have totally passed out after her bottle I wondered how far off the mark that one was. She's on the nod, milk induced coma.

Interestingly, virtual doctor has never diagnosed me with Crohn's Disease. Maybe all the doctors I've ever seen have been completely wrong. Maybe I really do have (quickly checks WebMD) a fractured coccyx. It's possible, stranger things have happened.



  1. Classic! Love it. Oh the joys of the internet, eh? Popped over after @mmelindor suggested it and am loving your blog. Officially your newest follower.....

  2. I followed @mmelindor's link too; this is a genius post, I can't wait for m'usband to come home so we can pore over potential diseases together!

  3. Holy shit you are funny! My 8 week old has leprosy too. Although it looks more like milk spots, cradle cap and severe New Baby Syndrome. But who am I to argue with Web MD?

  4. Tai Tai - Thanks for following. Glad you like it. :-)

    Msissa - haha glad I'm not the only one that finds the symptom checker a good source of amusement!

    Veggie Mama - You can't argue with WebMD, sure you may have common sense but WebMD is a DOCTOR!