I have a major pet peeve. Well I actually have many pet peeves but this one is right up there in like the top ten at least.
If you don’t know, about a condition or a medication even. Google it before you open your mouth and be ignorant. I am really tired of hearing that Fibromyalgia is a waste basket diagnosis, or that its all in my head. So many comments that are just really ignorant that irritate me. I know I shouldn’t let it bother me. I know I have spoken out about something before and found out later that what I said isn’t true. I have learned from those mistakes. People it really is okay to say I don’t know. It really is okay to say I need to look into that more.
In this day and age its not even like you have to wait til you get home. Most phones are able to do a Google search, although true sometimes its a luxury you can’t afford. I can’t tell you how many times a day I turn to Google. I looked at my history, I have looked up 1. the dark line down the belly during pregnancy, 2. the difference between warm mist and cold mist humidifiers, 3. What do Ladybugs like to eat? 4.What is Klaus from Vampire Diaries real name? 5. Kid and pet friendly flea killing methods
I am not saying don’t ask questions. Sometimes it is easier to just ask. There is a time and place for everything. If I am on the computer already I tend to just Google my question. If I am taking a quick break on my phone , I might just ask. It really depends on whats being discussed.
When it comes to chronic illness’s though……please before you say something that you are not sure of, look it up.
I get the whole I don’t want to look stupid thing. I really and truly believe that the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask. Its not stupid to admit we don’t know everything. The whole reason for an accumulated information source….i.e. the internet…is so we don’t have to KNOW it all. Brain fog that alot of chronic illness people experience already makes that whole know it all stuff pretty difficult.
I understand that people can get frustrated with a search for information on Google or any other search drive. I know its something you have to play around with. My answer to this response is typically. Just type your question in. It at least gets a search started and you can narrow it down. It may take longer this way but you will find the information… unless you are looking for the meaning of life. Or which came first the chicken or the egg. Somethings topics even Google can’t answer. However it would be interesting and fun and probably pretty informative to look anyway. Lets not forget that Google is not your only option for a search engine either. I know some people who prefer other search engines. Hey what ever gets the job done for you.
Then there is the whole how do I know this is a valid site for information. I have totally found incorrect information this way.It doesn’t stop me from doing searches though. Typically the best way to tell is to go to the site of a well known organization. When my daughter and I did her space research project we primarily used NASA for information. Basically I try to use common sense here and see if they have a reference area. If I am looking for information about a health concern, NASA is probably not going to be a good source. Unless its about the effects of being in space on your health. They probably do know about that. Not only that but some sites are easier to understand than others. A medical professional is probably going to understand some sites better than I would. The English language is a wonderful language, sometimes, sometimes its very confusing. I have read things on one site and still was completely lost. What? um ….what? Go back and pick a different site. I understand that can be frustrating. Sometimes its not that important. Sometimes it is.
I don’t claim to be an expert by any means on really any subject. However most of the time when I talk about something I have at least looked it up. Even if it isn’t a condition I have. Even if its not something I have direct experience with. For me that is the other great thing about Google searches now, they save your searches and I can go back and click on it and say oh yes. This is the site I found that information on. Or let me send you the link for the site where I did find that on.
I guess this pet peeve is really very multi-tiered. Not everyone is always going to look up information, I understand that. This is however how misinformation is spread. Misinformation really irritates me too. I understand not everyone has the unbridled curiosity that I do. I don’t look up every thing that I talk about with other people. Somethings just don’t interest me. Sometimes I do a quick search and just read the little blurp without actually choosing a site to look at. Just enough to satisfy my curiosity.
However when people do this about chronic illnesses , symptoms, side effects, its really quite detrimental. Perhaps you do think Fibromyalgia is a waste basket diagnosis, and you tell someone this. So they either keep searching or stop searching.Both ways can really be harmful. Its been proven that this kind of misinformation is harmful when it comes to vaccines, medications, antibiotics. I mean there really is no end to this. Even after the correct information is spread there is still people quoting the original wrong information. We do get vaccines for somethings. The things that I have researched myself and feel comfortable in my decision to either get it or not get it. I think we really do have to step back every once in a while and look at what we are asking to take or asking not to take. Both ways really. We make it twice as hard on the medical profession when we don’t ask questions or ask for documentation. Its hard to overcome some of the older thought processes. Doctors really don’t know everything. Hey they are human after all. I have had a doctor basically come off saying how dare you question my decision. I also didn’t go back to that doctor. I love when I am on the same page as my doctor is. I have actually asked for more information and been given print outs from the same site I had used. We both looked at Mayo Clinic. It lead to further discussion and together we chose a different path. Does this always work this way? NO. I have gone with what the doctor recommended we do and it worked great! I then was even more interested and can you guess what I did next? That’s right…..I Googled it. Did I wait til it worked? Probably not. I probably raced home to do a search to prove this doctor WRONG. Then found studies and documentation.
When I do come across misinformation I don’t think I am really unreasonable about it. I don’t want to start an argument. I just want to help put correct information out there. I am not trying to be mean or hurtful. Its so easy to just let people go on sending out misinformation. I know for me, I appreciate when its pointed out. I am not really talking about treatment options here. That’s a whole nother can of worms.
Chronic illness sufferers have enough to deal with, having spout incorrect information is really the last thing we need.
What are some of your pet peeves along the same lines as this?