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by Barrie Hardymon
Dec 13, 2007

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Barrie Hardymon

I get a flu shot every year. This is partly at my mother's urging, but it also gives me peace of mind and I hate to be sick. So this year, Scott, Neal and I traipsed over to the building across the street, rolled up our sleeves and gritted our teeth, and got our shots. I had the customary sore arm for a few hours... and then, it got worse. Much worse. My shoulder was on fire, and I was popping pain relievers like chocolates. To make a long story short, I ended up at the neurologist last week, a very nice guy who banged on my knees and elbows, made me walk a straight line (maybe he thought I was drunk, who knows), and gave me a diagnosis: Brachial Plexitis. I was even more confused when he scribbled it on a sheet of paper, and suggested I Google it for myself. Huh?I was under the impression that doctors hated patients that poked around on the internet, self diagnosing. I had done a little of that before I saw the neuro — you know, "sore arm", "flu shot", etc. (Ironically, this post will now turn up when that search is done. I'm part of the solution andthe problem!) But is it a help to doctors, or a hindrance?. Well, today we'll find out about patients who are habitual Googlers — the good, and the bad, about cyberdoctoring. Have you ever consulted WebMD, or something like it to diagnose or treat a medical problem?

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