I’m an expert Googler. Yes, it’s a real word, Google it. Okay, I don’t know if it’s a real, real word, but you know what I mean, so that counts.
Having a world of information at our fingertips is not always a good thing. Let me just tell you up front, if you don’t feel well, don’t check WebMD. Just trust me on that one. But, that’s not my point. My point is that I don’t know that the information overload is what is best for us.
While I am a very optimistic and happy person, I’m also a realist and like a lot of information. I like to be well informed. I had a friend call the other day and was surprised when I didn’t know an answer to something. She said that I always know everything – not that I’m a know-it-all – we cleared that point up, but that I’m a veritable fountain of information. Jack of all trades, master of none is how I refer to myself. (Of course, I use it positively, vs. the negative connotation that is frequently used in that context!)
I enjoy a cup of coffee at my elbow, my laptop in front of me and my fingers flying over the keyboard as I search for one thing or another. I do frequent searches as it relates to work. I do even more searches when it comes to personal time. Just yesterday I searched for the following information: home office deduction, standard tax deduction, how to spell elicit, brain natriuretic peptide, and pneumonia with heart failure.
Needless to say, some of the answers were not what I wanted to hear, err, read. I’ve mentioned before that Lee, my 27 yr. old brother has congestive heart failure (CHF) brought on by his cardiomyopathy. We hit the 6 month mark just the other week and he’s holding his own. In a few months they will go in and implant a defibrillator. The next step after that is to get him on the heart transplant list. That’s the history. He’s living with mom and dad currently, as that is just the best situation. I’m getting back to my point, I promise.
So yesterday mom came downstairs and turned on the living room light, and then went “eek” and turned the light back off. Apparently Lee wasn’t feeling well and had gotten up and dressed and gathered his stuff so that he could go to the hospital with her that morning (reminder, mom works at a hospital). He was sitting on the couch, resting, in the dark, waiting for her to come downstairs and he startled her. I’m sure “startled” is putting it mildly.
They drove in and stopped at the ER. I got a call from dad about 9 am to give me the update and ask me to go let the dogs out at their house in about an hour. The rest of the day was me passing along updates to my friends and family. In order to do that, I had to Google some terms. You know those terms that you just know – but those that don’t deal with CHF wouldn’t know. So, when dad texted me ‘BNP=1000, severe heart failure=900’ – I know that means that Lee’s hormone marker shows he’s past severe heart failure – this is the point where he would be turning blue. But, I had to be able to dilute that and make it understandable for friends and family. So, I Googled brain natriuretic peptide to make sure I was explaining it correctly. My next text from dad was ‘current DX is bronchitis/pneumonia’. Okay, diagnosed with upper respiratory infection and a lung infection. Well, that’s not good. A lung infection interferes with your breathing, makes it harder for your heart to pump the blood to your body. Huh, that can’t be good to someone who already has a weak heart. Now I had to Google the combo of CHF and pneumonia.
Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that.
Now, I know I’m not the only one that does this; I frequently get texts from friends telling me they shouldn’t have Googled. One friend in particular I frequently have to tell to just “Step away from the Google. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!”
This leads me to the only conclusion that is logical: Google is not your friend. It will not call you once a year to wish you a Happy Birthday. It will not send a Get Well card and it will not randomly call to check on how you are doing.
So, Google, as much as I love you, I need a break. You just aren’t my friend.