Self-Diagnosis Via Google Could Lead To Amputation…

I always advise people, strongly, not to try and diagnose anything on the internet. And definitely not to Google any symptons for themselves or their pets, friends, partners or children. At all. Ever. Under any circumstances.

Earlier this year I found a lump on my leg. I am a fit and healthy young-ish person and spend most of my time out of doors doing physical activities. The reason I noticed the lump in the first place was because my leg was sore after horse riding (I do not regularly check my own legs for bumps or signs of unsoundness like I fastidiously check my horses legs!), it was also roughly the size of a chickens egg, hard to miss in other words.

I poked and prodded this lump. It was tender and moveable (Lymphoma!), I could not feel all around it (tumour!) and it had increased in size over night (Hodkins disease!). I duly telephoned the doctor for an appointment. This took several days to get a booking, the story of actually trying to achieve the enormous feat of getting a doctors appointment is a whole other blog. Date booked for the following week.

Needless to say that by the time I got to see the doctor, I had worked up quite a frenzy from the profusion of information on diagnosing myself thanks to Google. On arriving to see the doctor, my first statement to him was not “can you have a look at this lump”, as it should have been. To my eternal embarrassment, my opening line was “how quickly can I ride again after having my prosthetic limb fitted?”  You see, during the time I had to wait to see him, not only had I diagnosed my own tumourous leg, I had also (in my head) organised an immediate amputation (there was no other way), found, fitted and got used to a false limb (traumatic, but I was very brave) and was planning my fitness regime to return to full competition riding asap (heroic girl takes Olympic Gold for GBR). I had even gone so far as to Google potential Riding for the Disabled Clubs in my area (


He kept a straight face, that blessed doctor. He immediately and without hesitation diagnosed an infected sebaceous gland, gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. It took about 30 seconds.

I still have both legs.


2 responses to “Self-Diagnosis Via Google Could Lead To Amputation…

  • playerpianosara

    I’ve had so many life threatening illnesses as well!! When I was 14 I had kidney cancer. Then when I was a little older I suffered from heart failure. Then I had ovarian cancer. I’m 26 now, never actually had a disease lol.

  • nooberry

    I love this blog Michele – I once went to the doctor’s with a lump on a most delicate part of oneself (not the part in your trousers) with a lump, convinced I had cancer of some description only to discover it was in fact just a reaction to washing powder….

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