I am writing this while a little sleep deprived. Mainly because my lovely man (who says I am allowed to write about this as long as he can be referred to by the handle ‘CB’) developed an itchy skin rash about 48 hours ago. This in itself wouldn’t be quite so bad (for me, at least) if CB wasn’t almost permanently attached to a smartphone which he uses to research everything he encounters in the world that he doesn’t yet know everything about. Including the myriad possible causes of itchy skin rashes.
I had already shared my view (but feel free to add yours; I’m sure he’d love more terms to search on!) that the most likely causes of said rash were either a new and disagreeable food, the rather chemical-smelling washing up liquid that I bought from the local convenience store (because I hadn’t planned ahead enough to add a request for our usual one to the online grocery order 🙄 ) or some species of insect that might have leapt onto his skin from the fur of one of the creatures that he loves to collect on his lap when we visit friends.
How very dull of me.
As I finally drifted off to sleep last night, CB was using his phone to make a final choice between what he considered from his online research to be the two most likely culprits: pitted keratolysis and Raynaud’s phenomenon. He had only ruled out poison ivy after I swore it didn’t grow in the UK and promised faithfully that, having lived and practised in the American midwest where I was fully experienced in tornado and poison ivy avoidance tactics, I would definitely have spotted it had a patch suddenly turned up in the middle of the Winter in our garden in Wiltshire. I await his final decision on the diagnosis with bated breath, because (according to google) he had an extremely narrow escape from a bout of necrotising fasciitis a few months ago, which thankfully turned out to be a bruise.
I hereby offer my own diagnosis of what I believe is a yet-to-be-adequately-named condition: hypergoogleosis 😉
All of this excitement reminded me of a phone call I received one morning a few years ago, from a woman that I had once looked after. While waiting to discuss the results of a blood test with her GP, she had googled the name of an enzyme which appeared to be marginally elevated on the test result and became concerned that she had either a serious viral infection or an autoimmune disease. This led to my writing an article called The perils of cyberchondria, and, as I have slackened off a bit over the holidays in my formatting and uploading of my articles on here, I have today uploaded this article in honour of CB and his one-finger diagnostic skills