Not feeling well? Have a strange symptom or two? Too busy to go to a real doctor? Well, don’t worry, friend, because the Internet can make you feel all better! Right before it makes you feel like tearfully giving away your cats and writing out your last will and testament. Just follow this easy How-To and you’ll be back on your feet and/or curled into a ball of depression in no time!
STEP ONE: FIND A MEDICAL WEBSITE
The Internet is full of websites that offer helpful medical advice. The best ones are affiliated with actual hospitals and have names like “MayoClinic.org.” The worst ones are affiliated with Eastern European Viagra pushers and have names like “Get-A-Stiffy.net.” Choose wisely or you may suddenly find yourself exchanging heated emails with a Slovakian businessman named Juraj who will feed your family to feral pigs if you don’t pay him $50 in shipping costs. And honestly, the last thing you need in your condition is another headache.
STEP TWO: ENTER YOUR SYMPTOMS
Once on the website, type your main symptom into the Search box. Be as specific as possible. Past experience has shown that entering things like “wrinkly knees” “boogie fever” or “really feel like hitting a blonde cheerleader with a beer bottle” can yield somewhat unsatisfactory results. Also, be sure to use proper terms for your body parts. Only real doctors with offices and parking garages know how to find your “swollen Chumbawumbas” and “inflamed Devil Danglers.” That’s why they get a $10 co-pay.
STEP THREE: LEARN THAT YOU’RE DYING
Based on your symptoms, the medical website will generate relevant information that tells you you’ll soon be dead. For example, when I recently entered the search terms “mosquito bite,” I discovered that I have Dengue Fever and/or Malaria and just three weeks to live. Surprise! Then, when I changed it to “ant bite,” I learned that I’m also suffering from Sepsis and a severe case of Dementia. Wow! The website had lots of other facts about my condition, but at that point I was crying too hard to read the screen, so I typed in “temporary blindness” and found out that I’m also dying from a massive eyeball tumor. Thanks, Internet!
STEP FOUR: BURN YOUR BRIDGES
Once you know that you have only a few days left to live, it’s important to tie up loose ends and leave this world with a bang. So call your mother-in-law and finally tell her that she has the looks and personality of a young Ike Turner. Make sure your neighbor knows that her husband is sleeping with the stoned pool boy. Sign up for Netflix. And if you’ve always dreamed of hot-wiring a Porsche 911 and crashing it into suburban BestBuy, well, now’s your chance, sicko! Do not go gentle into that good night!
STEP FIVE: MAKE AMENDS
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to diagnosing yourself on the Internet. Downsides like the 100% chance that you’ll be absolutely wrong. Downsides like not actually dying of Dengue Fever and/or Malaria and/or a massive eye tumor. Which, of course, would have been really nice to know before I dressed like a pirate hooker and laced the PTA’s coffee with LSD last week. Really, really nice to know. Sooo nice to know. Therefore, I would now like to apologize to the ladies, their custodial staff, the local fire department and the Central Texas K-9 Unit and inform them that they can all stop being so upset. My bug bite should completely heal in time for me to join the court-mandated chain gang.
STEP 6: RECUPERATE
Any medical professional will tell you that using the Internet to find out you’re dying, then not dying, then possibly going to jail for poisoning the PTA can be very stressful. That’s why it’s important to get rest, drink a lot of fluids and not go to work or clean the house for at least two weeks after your self-diagnosis. Massive quantities of self-pity is also advised. Should symptoms persist, be sure to see a doctor.
Just not the jackass one who lives in your laptop.