It was a beautiful Sunday evening, Jane, my friend, called. “Cindy, please can you come over?” she said in a teary voice. Hearing her in that state, I found myself in a panicky state. “Jane, what’s going on?” I asked. “Please just come over”, she said and hung up.

Grabbing my car keys, I rushed to her house and banged on her door. The door opened to the sight of my friend all red and swollen-faced as she had cried her eyes out. Taking her into a warm embrace, I held her for a few minutes as she cried some more.

“Whatever the issue is, everything would be fine”, I said, trying to soothe her.

“Cindy, I am dying”. she said in the quietest voice.

Gently pushing her away, while still holding her shoulders, I looked into her eyes, pleading silently for her to say more as I found myself dumbstruck. Thankful that she understood, she started to speak as we took our seats.

“While taking my bath yesterday, I found a painful swelling under my armpit. I immediately went on Google and everything I saw there pointed out that I had a tumour and I was dying”, she said.

Now, this was a serious issue and I was meant to take it as such but a part of me found it a tad-bit funny and I tried so hard to stifle a giggle. “This my friend sha, can be extra…” I thought to myself.

“Have you been to the hospital?” I asked. She shook her head saying she was too scared to go. I was going to counsel and educate her that it may not be as she feared but I know my friend. She would think I was patronizing her. So I called Lara, our ob-gyn friend. Luckily, she was in the neighbourhood visiting her sister-in-law, so she just drove over.

I explained the situation to her and she understood perfectly. The way she calmed Jane and convinced her to go do some check-up at the hospital was really amazing.

Fast forward to two weeks later, the test results came out and Jane had none of the “great illnesses” she feared. It was just a swollen lymph node caused by irritation due to using a shaving stick.

These days, the awareness that ill-health is a respecter of nobody, regardless of age, or even health status, terrifies a lot of women so much so that they are quick to panic when they see something wrong in their bodies. Now, this is so very natural and it is always advisable you seek the counsel of the medical professionals no matter how irrelevant or significant you think the issue might be.

But please, DO NOT visit Google first before you go to the hospital. The information written there is not meant for you at least not before you see your doctor. On getting a diagnosis, then you can get more information on Google on how to better manage your health. In fact, those without courage, shouldn’t visit google in matters of ill-health.

Often times, the fear we get from seeking this information out may even cause more harm than the particular symptom you feel. Whenever you feel unwell or find a “foreign body” on your body, go see the doctor and adhere to the instructions you are given. Google is not a hospital and the information therein are not filtered.

The older you get, increase the frequency of your check-ups, stick to a healthy living regimen and in all, maintain a healthy lifestyle.


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