Sunday, January 25, 2009

Self Appointed Doctors

Have you ever noticed how some people read a little about health or psychology, then they think they are experts? They think that any time they see something that relates to what they read, then it has to be the illnes or syndrome they have read about. For example, I have a neighbor who in college studied how numbers and statistics can be manipulated. Now, whenever I tell her about some statistic that doesn't jive with her political views, she cries foul. She says the numbers have been manipulated. Interesting how when the statistics support her views, then they are correct. This just proves the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

But let me give you some health examples. Somewhere along the way, my kids have heard that many women, when their children leave home, have empty next syndrome. When I got my dog, my older children began telling me that as they left home for college, I was replacing my kids with animals. In fact, this couldn't be farther from the truth. I've always had a dog and a cat in my home, even when all of my children were here. I don't think it odd to have them now. But because they somewhere read something like this, they think it always applies to everyone. They do this all the time with me, convinced they can diagnose all of my quirks as some sort of emotional trauma. In reality, some times a person gets an animal because they like them!

My siblings and I laugh about this all the time, but my mother attributes all health problems to several things. If you are thirsty, you are diabetic. If your kids are skinny, they have worms. Some of her diagnoses are connected with how much soda you drink. She needlessly worries about things that aren't even there! For example, when my daughter was born, she was born "Frank breech". She was born by cesearean section. "Frank Breech" means that her bum was coming first. She was doubled in half and her feet were literally on each side of her head. My mother was convinced that she was going to have hip displacement and wouldn't be able to walk. Even when she did walk, my mother was convinced that she would still have problems. This in despite of the fact that the actual doctor never found anything wrong with her hips.

I have to admit, that I have had certain health problems that have distinctive symptoms. If I hear someone talking about having the same symptoms, I do suggest to them that they be checked for the same thing I have had. But that's where I drop it. For example, I happen to know that it is very common for someone with a bad gall bladder to want someone to pound on their back in a certain spot. If I see someone doing that, I ask if they have ever had their gall bladder checked, and explain the symptoms I had. But I dont' attribute all stomach problems to a bad gall bladder.

My mother and I were joking recently that we should start a health blog. People could comment and tell us what their symptoms were, and we would diagnose them. My mother would tell them the following: Stop eating sugar. Stop drinking soda pop. Be treated for worms. Maybe I should suggest to my kids that they start a self help psychology blog as well. :P


Lindsay-Weaver said...

Did you read the side effects of caffeine written by a doctor, in the latest Ensign? Pretty disturbing. It reminded me of Grandma always lecturing us about drinking soda. She's funny about it, but she's probably right! :)

Also, I think that a lot of women do get dogs when their kids leave home, but for a little bit different reason. Usually, they're at a time in their life where they can give the dog the attention it needs, without all the other obligations that come with having children. A lot of women are financially able to work part-time at the age, too, so they have more time to enjoy a dog.

I had a house dog, but didn't get another one when mine died, mainly because I didn't think I had enough time to spend on another one.

Nene said...

My kids and I joke all the time whenever anyone complains about an ailment. We always give them the "Grandma Diagnosis" - Too much sugar, Too much salt, Drink more water, Cut out all caffeine and carbonated drinks, Be treated for worms, Eat more green vegetables." Problem is, if we all did this, we MIGHT BE more healthy. :0)

Stick said...

IF I were to get a dog when my kids move out, it will only be because my kids are allergic to many animals, which is why we don't have them.

deputymomof6 said...

I am going to rejoice when my kids move out!! (just kidding... my oldest wants to move into the nastist slum housing and i refuse to let her... and even threatened to arrest her.)

Looney said...

"Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself in godliness" - 1 Timothy 4:7


Bunc said...

The Internet has been both a boon and a curse when it comes to health and self diagnosis issues. I know someone personally who had real health issues and the internet did prove to be a source of useful information about the problem.

However at the same time you can end up matching symptoms to the most obscure medical conditions.

Ramana Rajgopaul said...

Delirious, I have a favorite saying that warns people not to use the casual "How are you?" when greeting someone else. There are a whole lot of people who will tell you.

Epitome of Sweetness said...

We always laugh at Scott's Grandma, because she thinks she's DOCTOR DEE.

And then there's MIL: Because of MIL I refuse to read Health magazines and she used to bring me up piles and piles of diet cook books and healthy magazine crap until one day my daughter was playing on the computer and MIL was helping her...and she kept hitting the back key, and I think she had just finished reading my PRIVATE blog (that was about her) and she hurried and clicked the X and got it.
I was traumatized, but oh well...
I don't get magazines anymore.
And I agree with Ramana...instead of saying "How are you?" I have learned to say, "It's so good to see you!"

Epitome of Sweetness said...

They can always just go to Web MD and diagnose themselves now a days.

Inside Stories said...

And have you ever noticed that people who don't have kids know all about how to raise them? :0)

Delirious said...

I think even people who do have kids think they know everything about how to raise them. lol

Author said...

Jenny Ryan ranted about this (at least) once. She wrote that someone told her that her chronic fatigue / Fibromyalgia would go away if she got pregnant!

- Square Peg Guy

Max said...

Hey D!

"This just proves the adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" LOL...I don't agree with this; I think knowledge is always good, the problem is the way we process the knowledge in our head. And if we shun understanding and all crumbles down.

I like your friend though...she sounds funny!

I don't believe in the empty nest syndrome either. My mom didn't have (maybe my dad, but not my mom).
I agree with you: one gets a pet because one likes it!

LOL LOL your mom reminds me of my granny, she does the same thing.

LOL perhaps you should! I haven't seen a blog like that around...think about it!

Great article, D!

Have a great week!

PsychDoctor said...

Also, never complain to Grandma about being hot...that is also a symptom of diabetes. It can't be that the house is hot with too much cooking... :)