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Researching your symptoms: get a second opinion, self diagnose yourself

Hello readers, let me first introduce myself. My name is Julia Pavel and I am looking forward to finding a forum for my thoughts as well as a place in which I can engage in educated conversations about commonly interesting issues.

The issue I want to take up today is healthcare, with an emphasis on self diagnosis. Going to the doctor has been a tradition spanning the length of time. However, as technology is becoming more and more advanced we have the ability to help diagnose our symptoms Do not get me wrong, I am not telling you to skip the doctor and diagnose yourself, instead I am telling you to go to the doctor as well as get a second opinion by using this amazing tool that we have (the Internet) in order to research your symptoms and diagnosis. What sparked this interest do you ask?

Well... recently my husband was in the hospital and the doctors could not figure out what he had. They sent him home three times and told him all he had was a simple ear infection. After two weeks of his symptoms getting worse, I took to trying to find an answer. I took out my laptop and started typing. I then went to the doctor with my findings and it made them stop and think. A few minutes later the doctors started ordering all tests possible.  After more testing, they finally found that he had meningitis, something they missed three times. He was admitted and treatment was started immediately. However the antibiotics were giving him red rashes all over his body. We typed those symptoms in along with the name of the medicine he was taking, Vancomycin and found that one of its side effects includes Red Man Syndrome. An allergic reaction to the fast infusion rate. We called the doctor in and he agreed... my husband had Red Man Syndrome. After the diagnosis was made the doctors did a phenomenal job of treating my husband, however before the diagnosis, it was research that saved him. I think that we should use this great technology to help educate us about potentially life saving things.

My goal here is to hopefully encourage you to go out there and find ways to better your lives through research. Again, please do not misunderstand, all I am asking is that you inform yourselves as much as possible, after all it only benefits you and your loved ones. I can tell you that the meningitis scare with my husband had helped me change my perspective on many things. I have always enjoyed research in order to help me better understand a topic, however I have never used it to help save a life.

I hope you will use the following sites as amazing tools in helping you narrow down on what your symptoms might indicate. Again, please always see a doctor first and when they diagnose you, Google it and see that the side effects are, what possible medicine can be used, etc. Then go and talk to your doctor about it. Whatever you do, do not settle for less, do not stop until you get what you are searching for.

Follow this link to a great site, it might someday save your life, http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/symptomcenter.htm.

The following link will take you to the Mayo Clinic site, where you can get great information on symptoms that you might be feeling http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/symptom-checker/DS00671 .

Remember always consult with your doctor first, and always stay informed.

Julia Pavel