It started out innocently enough: occasional pain here, some soreness there. It ended with a terrible diagnosis that had me staring at my ceiling wondering how much time I had left. This was obviously a self-diagnosis, a diagnosis made through the little website of terror known as WebMD. Everyone has their own WebMD horror story, from a stubbed toe that became a possible amputation, to a headache that became, “I’m 97% sure I have a brain tumor.” I finally came to a realization after my last experience: WebMD, while useful and convenient, is, in fact, the goddamn devil.
Two weeks ago, I started to experience some light soreness in my left testicle and left ass cheek. It came and it went, never really hindering anything going on in my daily life. This was insignificant enough to not be listed on my personal daily injury report (normally just occupied by “explosive coffee dumps” and “general old guy soreness”), but it was something I decided to keep tabs on. Like most things in life, such as work tasks and that guy who always wants you to go lift with him, I figured that if I could just ignore this for a while, it would go away on its own. While pain anywhere, especially near your baby makers, is never welcome, admitting you’re mortal and calling a doctor to bail you out is just unforgivable.
The weekend came and went, and my discomfort lingered. In the back of my mind, I knew that I could log onto WebMD and subject myself to a potentially traumatic diagnosis. I also knew that I’m not as young as I once was, and at some point, you have to start worrying about staying alive. Sometimes you have to play it safe. Then I did it. I bit the bullet and did it. On Monday, I laid up and called the doctor. Unfortunately, the earliest appointment was Friday morning, and I didn’t know how much time I had left. I told myself right then that I would resist the temptation to fire up WebMD and take a gander at what was going on. I had already sucked up what little pride I had by admitting defeat and calling the doc, so I wasn’t going to freak myself out by potentially finding out something I didn’t want to see.
Well, the little aches and soreness continued, the left testy/buttcheek combo was starting to worry me, and it was getting harder and harder to ignore the voice in the back of my mind telling me to do the doctor’s job via the internet. I knew it would only be trouble if I did, especially considering the areas at issue. I just needed to bide my time and wait for the doctor to tell me it was something minor, then get onto living my full and healthy life. Deep down, though, I knew that I would succumb to temptation and let WebMD tell me what the hell was going on.
I cracked on Thursday, less than 18 hours away from my appointment. It was like going out for one beer. I told myself I would just take a quick peak, but I ended up spending an hour traumatizing myself. After pouring through what is basically an encyclopedia of certain death, I had my amateur diagnosis. Best case scenario, I was losing a testicle. Worst case, I had testicular cancer and was close to the end. It was a terrible day. I couldn’t eat, so I just watched my life flash before my eyes. I thought about how my junk was about to go from a division sign to a small exclamation point and how dead certain I was that I should’ve checked WebMD the moment I had felt something. Maybe I could’ve gotten help sooner. Now time was just counting down until I heard my doctor/executioner condemn my balls. At 8:40 a.m., I walked into the office with the demeanor of a scared five-year-old.
Long story short, turns out I have lower back inflammation. I got put on an anti-inflammatory. Appointment took five minutes. God dammit WebMD..
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