adBlockCheck

Local

Man Either Sick Or Just At End Of Workday

CINCINNATI—Overwhelmed by a wave of fatigue, local man Will Markowski told reporters Tuesday that he was uncertain whether he was getting sick or if it was just the end of a normal workday.

Nation Leery Of Very Odd Little Boy

WASHINGTON—Noting that there was something distinctly unnerving about his mannerisms, physical appearance, and overall demeanor, the nation confirmed Friday that it was leery of very odd 8-year-old Brendan Nault.

Cryptic New Laundry Room Rule Hints At Tale Of Bizarre Infraction

HOBOKEN, NJ—Pondering the mysterious circumstances that could have led to such a sign being posted, sources within a local apartment building said Thursday that an enigmatic new rule taped to the wall of their laundry room suggested a strange infraction had taken place.

Dad Gets Dolled Up For Trip To Lowe’s

DEMING, IN—Glancing in the mirror while clipping a measuring tape to his belt, area dad Roger Hobak reportedly got all gussied up Wednesday before making the 14-mile trip to his local Lowe’s Home Improvement store.

Unclear What Coworker With Banana On Desk All Day Waiting For

MINNEAPOLIS—Annoyed that the fruit was even now just sitting there next to his computer monitor, sources at data analytics firm Progressive Solutions told reporters Wednesday that it was unclear what coworker Kevin Tanner, who has had a banana on his desk all day, was waiting for.

Father Teaches Son How To Shave Him

ST. CLOUD, MN—Judging him old enough to learn the time-honored family tradition passed down from father to son, local man William Dalton, 47, taught his 12-year-old child, David, how to properly shave him, sources reported Friday.

Mom Just Wants To Watch Something Nice

NORRISTOWN, PA—Hoping to have a quiet, relaxing movie night at home with her family, local mother Allison Halstead told reporters Tuesday that she just wants to watch something nice.
End Of Section
  • More News

Internet Opens Up Whole New World Of Illness For Local Hypochondriac

MERIDEN, CT–All her life, Janet Hartley has suffered from a host of ill-defined viruses and inexplicable aches and pains, diagnosing herself with everything from diabetes to cancer. But ever since discovering such online medical resources as WebMD, drkoop.com, and Yahoo! Health, the 41-year-old hypochondriac has had a whole new world of imaginary illnesses opened up to her.

Janet Hartley learns more about her suspected case of arteriovascular malformation on Yahoo! Health.

"The Internet has really revolutionized my ability to keep on top of my medical problems," said Hartley, speaking from her bed. "For instance, I used to think my headaches were just really bad migraines. But then last week, while searching Mt. Sinai Hospital's online medical database, I learned about something much more serious called cranial AVM, or arteriovascular malformation, which, along with headache pain, may also result in dizziness, loss of concentration, and impaired vision. I immediately thought to myself, 'Hey, that's exactly what happens to me.'"

In addition to regularly surfing various general medical-reference sites, Hartley makes frequent use of medical-school research sites, drug-company FAQs, and bulletin-board services for terminally ill patients in her ongoing quest to self-diagnose her hypothetical maladies.

"No more thumbing through the two-volume Physician's Desk Reference, a repetitive motion which led to my carpal tunnel syndrome," said Hartley, her wrists wrapped in ointment-soaked Ace bandages. "It felt great when I could finally throw that old thing out. Except I think I slipped a disc in my back tossing it in the trash can."

Every day, provided she feels up to it, Hartley logs onto the Internet from her home. She also frequently logs on from work.

"Something in my office just isn't right," Hartley said. "I always feel fatigued there, and for a long time, I suspected that the fluorescent lights were leaching the vitamins from my system. But according to a bunch of web sites I checked, that's unlikely. Then I thought maybe it was asbestos in the walls, but supposedly, there isn't any. So I spend some time on the Internet every day trying to figure out what exactly it might be."

A web page Hartley visited to learn more about the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease.

With a vast array of medical resources available to her at the click of a mouse, Hartley has been able to investigate workplace maladies ranging from office-chair-induced lumbar-vertebrae displacement to the carcinogenic properties of coffeepot residue to the possibility of spinal-fluid poisoning resulting from carpet-fabric outgassing. But perhaps Hartley's favorite thing about the Internet is its ability to connect her with other hypochondriacs.

"Just the other day, I was at the chronic-fatigue-syndrome message board, talking to other sufferers like myself," said Hartley between coughing fits. "I can't tell you how reassuring it was to be in the company of people who are not only going through the same things I am, but who know I'm not just making this stuff up."

Despite her enthusiasm, Hartley cautioned that Web-based medical diagnosis remains an inexact science.

"It's still far too common for a person who knows she's sick to enter her symptoms and get a response back from the web site that says nothing's wrong," Hartley said. "If that happens, you should get a second opinion from a different site. Or maybe take stock of your physical state again. You may have missed something that would alter your diagnosis. Or, if a web site is asking you 'yes or no' questions about the symptoms you're experiencing, just say yes to all of them. That way, you'll get a wider list of diseases, conditions, or syndromes you might have."

Hartley offered one final caution. "Computers are great, but if you spend too much time in front of them, you run the risk of developing chronic ocular strain," she said. "Not to mention the threat posed by monitor radiation, which I suspect played a part in my recent brain-cancer scare. Fortunately, though, if a computer makes you sick, you can then use it to help you get better."

More Videos

WATCH VIDEO FROM THE ONION

More from this section

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

Close