Falling Down the (internet) Rabbit Hole
Does this sound familiar? It’s after midnight. You’re exhausted but can’t seem to fall asleep. Recently, you haven’t been feeling 100%. So, you decide to search the following symptoms: headache and fatigue. Dr. Google diagnoses you with the flu, mononucleosis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Midway down the page your eyes catch an article snippet: “even a symptom like fatigue can indicate a serious health condition.” Hmmm…You click on the link, it mentions: night sweats and sleep struggles. Sleep disturbances? That sounds right. You read a little further and find out that sleep disturbances are a symptom (in women) of a cardiac event (e.g., a heart attack) or a weakened heart muscle. Uh oh? I did wake up last night feeling really warm and I haven’t been sleeping well lately. You amend your search: headache, fatigue, and night sweats. Dr. Google changes your diagnosis, now suggesting that you are pregnant, have mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, HIV/AIDS, or leukemia.
I think we can all agree that the internet is a hot mess. If you’re not a professional in a specific field and/or if your ability to focus has been compromised, figuring out which of your 650,000 search results deserves a “click” can be overwhelming. With the ebb and flow of a wide range of emotions, I knew I needed to proceed gathering Mast Cell Tumor (MCT) information with caution. This is not a time to set off unnecessary alarms but rather, a time for diligence and vigilance. Knowing that I have a tendency to over research to the point of obsession, I gave myself a set of ground-rules:
- Understand the basics of mast cell tumors
- Grasp the basics of mast cells
- Move into the specifics of the disease as they relate to Mahana
- Avoid imagined or “what if” scenarios
- Avoid negative discussion boards
- Limit research sessions to (no more than) 1 – 2 hours in length
If you find yourself getting teary eyed, overwhelmed by negative thoughts or”what if” scenarios, then stop. It’s OK to give yourself permission to take a short 15-minute break or however long it takes until you are ready to keep reading…knowledge is power.
Canine Mast Cell Tumors- The Very Basics
Before I start learning about something new, I like to have a sense of where I am going.
Sit. Stay. Part IV coming soon…