Fact, Dr Google is not a real doctor. Facebook is not a hospital. On-line chat rooms are not a replacement for proper medical advice and your second cousin twice removed, who once had a verruca frozen off, is not the expert on podiatry that she thinks she is….
Ok, before I start my whine, I would like to say that I love social media, and have got a lot of excellent and helpful advice and support from various sources. I am a member of several on-line Mum’s groups, who have been through thick and thin, supported each other, and even met some of them, in real life. We have advised and comforted, propped each other up through parenting perils, and had good laughs. I also love that there is a whole world of people out there, who shares, and supports. I love having a community, on-line. Sometimes it has saved my sanity, when I have been really struggling.
BUT and here is the big BUT, in all of this… The internet is not a replacement for qualified, educated and impartial medical advice. If you post on your Facebook profile, that your child has a fever of 105 and is listless, and unresponsive, and you “don’t know what to do?” you are going to face the full wrath of this former nurse, who will tell you in no certain terms to “TAKE THE CHILD TO HOSPITAL”. If you are vomiting blood, and feel grim, then really, you need to get yourself off to see a doctor pretty damn quick, and stop sourcing advice from random strangers on the internet.
Also, just because someone posts a link, from a website claiming that “x herb cures everything from cancer to corns” doesn’t make it a fact. I am not anti herbal, or alternative remedies, but I get very angry when I see people pushing websites and links, full of un reviewed, non factual, hocus pocussed information, with very little actual evidence that what they are pushing works.
Also, “my great grandmother drank her own urine, washed her hair in bacon fat, and ate raw potatoes and swore it cured her lung cancer” and lived to be 90, is not scientific evidence of anything. It’s anecdotal, and doesn’t prove that eating raw potatoes and drinking your own pee do anything other than make you slightly rancid to be around.
Check facts people, before you share stuff. Also, don’t frighten people. I recently had someone tag me in a rather stupid Facebook post, claiming that the MRI I was about to have, to see what is causing my knee problems, would give me cancer. Some website, full of mumbo jumbo, claiming that magnetic fields activated by the MRI would clump cancer cells together in my body, or some such nonsense. I was laughing so hard, I failed to read it properly, before I promptly deleted it but someone without my medical knowledge could have taken that seriously and not had a much needed scan, to diagnose their medical issues.
Just because someone has had a condition, or knows someone who knows someone who had a condition, does not make them better qualified than a doctor, on what you should be doing for yourself. Yes, they might be able to share experience, which can be helpful, but that doesn’t replace adequate medical advice.
Also, just because someone has a blog, and a large readership, and is vocal, and prominent in their opinions, they are not always right, they are not always sharing factual, peer reviewed, information or advice. Some blogger on the internet telling you to see a chiropractor for your pre-eclampsia is not only sharing incorrect information, but potentially fatal information.
Basically, peeps, take a large pinch of salt, with what you read on the internet, unless it’s written by a qualified medical expert, and check with your own doctor or a qualified practitioner. There is a reason I put a medical disclaimer on any blog posts I write relating to family health, because I AM NOT AN EXPERT, and what I am saying is my own experience, and I will always tell people to seek medical advice, based on my own experience.
So, here endeth the rant. Just to be clear, Dr Google is NOT a real doctor.
You may return to normal service now. No, this was not Ranty Friay, yes, I am doing two ranty posts this week….