This past week or so I've had a pretty bad cold.At least that's what I think it is. Lots of snot, coughing, sneezing, you get it. Sounds like a cold, right?  But here's the thing, the doc says I have something pretty common called "post nasal drip" or whatever, and I get sinus infections like once a year.  I'm resisting my normal temptation of going online and looking up my symptoms to see if it IS just a cold or if it's more like something that will require pills.

Cos the thing is, I'm no expert, and these people online probably aren't either. I figure the only people posting medical stories online are the ones who had a fever and it turned out to be a scorpion laying eggs in their brain, bnot the people who just had a cold.  According to a new study by the British insurance company Engage Mutual, I'm pretty much dead on.

 They found that 60% of people go online when they feel sick and try to diagnose their own illnesses. At least half the time, the people CONVINCE themselves that they're sicker than they are based on what they read on the Internet.  In fact, 20% of the time, people end up believing they're suffering from the early stages of a heart attack, when usually, that's just indigestion.

These are the most common disease people diagnose themselves with after consulting the Internet.  In most cases, they've actually got a much, much less serious health problem than they think .

#1.)  FOOD POISONING is usually just a regular upset stomach or a regular hangover.

 #2.)  THE FLU is usually just a cold.

 #3.)  A MIGRAINE is usually just a headache.

 #4.)  But A BRAIN TUMOR is usually just a migraine.

 #5.)  APPENDICITIS is usually just normal lower stomach pain.

 #6.)  ARTHRITIS is usually just stiff joints.

 #7.)  LUNG DISEASE is usually just shortness of breath.

 #8.)  KIDNEY DISEASE is usually just a lower back ache.

So I guess me and my tea and my cough drops will stay right here, ignoring the internet for a few days.  Hopefully.

Coughingly yours,

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