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prognosis: negative
implausible reliability
by mike julianelle
11.13.06
humor


Here goes nothing.

Last week, I was diagnosed with Cat AIDS.

Wow, does it feel good to get that off my chest. Honestly, it's not easy to tell people that you have a disease that is typically isolated to gay and/or drug-addicted felines. But I did it. I guess you can consider this column my press conference. After today, Cat AIDS will finally be brought to the forefront. It's no longer a disease for nameless calicos and tabbys anymore.

Tempering my pride over this courageous admission is the fact that Cat AIDS isn't the only medical issue I'm facing right now. I'm a walking Chernobyl.

- Lymphoma
- Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)
- Eczema
- Shingles
- Elephantitis
- Demonic possession
- Scurvy

My current list of afflictions is long and distinguished. Like Slider's johnson.

It's a scary thing, to suddenly be saddled with a number of strange maladies all at once, especially the yeast infection. I don't even HAVE a vagina! (Those pocket ones don't count...right?)

It seems kind of unlikely, really, that I anyone could be this sick. I can't really have cat AIDS, let's be serious. I fucked that cat like 10 years ago. Besides, I saw him last week: totally lesion-free.

Also, elephantitis? Sorry, but my swelled head is pure ego. And below the waist? Let's just say that if that's elephantitis then John Merrick got screwed.

But hey, I'm no doctor. So I take the medical expert's word for it. There's only one problem. My doctor isn't human.

I recently ditched my old doctor, some quack from Harvard, and turned online to WebMD. Not only is he an encyclopedia of medical information, he doesn't charge a thing. Plus, no waiting rooms!

Unfortunately, since I started seeing him there have been a few complications. I listed them up there. And now, common sense is causing me to doubt this clown. About the only people likely to get that many random diseases at once guest star on "House."

WebMD is starting to seem less like an encyclopedia and more like Wikipedia. And just as unreliable.

It's easy to be misinformed these days, what with everyone relying more and more on the web for their news. The internet has more unsubstantiated hints, rumors and allegations than even the crappiest Collective Soul album. Getting your information from the internet can be like being the one dupe that forgot it was April Fool's Day and believed it when he heard they found life on Mars.

Everywhere you turn there's a blog with breaking news, emails from important people who can help you strengthen your ejaculate and websites that are jostling to be the first to report Joe Torre's firing and Bush's reelection, with or without corraborating sources or any actual research.

I do it too. Rather than call my doctor about something that alarms me, I'd rather go on WebMD in the hopes of having my rash or bump dismissed as nothing serious. Unfortunately, every time I log on, I hit the lottery in the panic parade. I could stub my toe and get diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease.

It's a dangerous thing to rely on the internet for everything, and yet more of us do it every day. It's convenient and quick, and eliminates the need for pesky human interaction and a cold hand on your testes. But remember, machines aren't infallible. Just ask some recent voters, or Sarah Connor.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get an exorcism at WebPriest.com. Because about the only place more full of shit than the internet is church.


ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE

Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".

more about mike julianelle

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COMMENTS

juli mccarthy
11.13.06 @ 12:15a

I always said that one of the most dangerous things in the world is a Physician's Desk Reference in the hands of a hypochondriac. I can't tell you how happy I am that my mother-in-law is stymied by computers; her PDR gives me enough nonsense to deal with. If she got her mitts on WebMD, MY life would be over.

There is a ton of useful information on the web, but for every tidbit I can actually use, there's three more messages in my email telling me feminine hygiene companies are loading tampons with asbestos.

robert melos
11.13.06 @ 12:45a

Medically speaking, I don't trust doctors as far as I can throw them. In the last three years my mother has been misdiagnosed several times. Each time the doctor never apologized or showed their faces again. They just called in some pills for her, then changed the meds when those didn't work, and changed them again when those didn't work.

I don't particularly trust WebMD either. I'll stick to witch doctors, herbs, and potions. If I break something, then I'll go to a doctor. In my opnion, setting bones is all they are good for.

And I always suspected you were a scurvy demon.

sandra thompson
11.13.06 @ 8:27a

Since I have doctors as well as lawyers in my family, I prolly don't hate either profession as much as most people do. I trust them both, but I always remember my right to a second opinion. If you're using WebMD where do you go for a second opinion?

tracey kelley
11.13.06 @ 9:18a

I think most doctors would rather people go to WebMD as well, simply to avoid, you guessed it, human interaction.

heather millen
11.14.06 @ 11:44a

I hate going to the doctor... I think I started the WebMD fad in our house. Its so easy! But its ridiculous the things you "diagnose" yourself with armed with that information.

jael mchenry
11.14.06 @ 3:52p

I really hate going to doctors, but I agree that WebMD is no substitute. It's all, "back pain? You might have cancer. Or maybe back pain. Have some aspirin and go see a doctor."

dan gonzalez
11.18.06 @ 3:50a

The internet gives us something we didn't have before: autonomy. And interaction.

Sorry, the internet gives us TWO things we didn't have before: autonomy, interaction, and an ability to find diverse opinions on subjects that were otherwise authoritatively broadcast to us.

Dammit. The internet gives us THREE things we didn't have before: autonomy, interaction, diversity, and a platform for shlubs like you and me to cheaply publish on.

You get the picture. Internet=good. People=SoSo.

If we could all just adopt as default the scientific position of skepticism, we would not have half of thse problems with reliabilty.



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