We all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to snacking, right? Please say yes and make me feel less guilty about my all too frequent snack attacks! Weirdly, after eating it 3 times a week at the tapas bar beneath my flat on my year abroad in Spain, one of my favourites is chopped-up hot dogs in a spicy bravas tomato sauce. I know what you’re thinking, classy, right? So why are hotdogs this week’s topic of choice? Well I recently had that exact dish (if you can even classify it as a dish) for dinner two nights in a row as I was feeling really under the weather, like I had the flu coming on, and was craving the strangest home comforts.
Now fast forward a few days later, when I did in fact have the flu, and I woke up with red blotches all over my chest (which believe it or not turned out to simply be a heat rash after falling asleep hugging my hot water bottle). But naturally, my first instinct was to Google it. Bad move! As we’ve all done at some point, a perfectly innocent Google search of symptoms somehow snowballs – you click from one page to another, read certain articles which casually mention something else it may be, so you continue your Internet deep dive and before you know it, you’ve wasted 15 minutes reading stuff you know nothing about yet somehow believe it now qualifies you to have a degree in Medicine and diagnose yourself.
My Google search thought process went like this:
· I typed in “rash on chest”
· Read the first few titles and thought “Oh, should have known, can hear my Mum’s voice in my head telling me to hold a glass against it to check if it’s meningitis”
· Then I thought “I knew I should have bought the plain tumblers instead of the ones with flamingos all over them, I can’t see a thing through this glass. I’ll check the other symptoms of meningitis just in case”
· “Hmm, I guess I do have a few of those now that I’m reading it…”
· “Nooo, stop being irrational. How would you even have gotten meningitis? Let’s check the common causes”
· “Viral, blah blah blah, some common food contain bacteria, including soft cheese and….HOT DOGS”
· THOSE STUPID CHOPPED-UP HOT DOGS HAVE GIVEN ME MENINGITIS!!!!!!
It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? After 5 minutes of severe panicking, I decided to let the logical part of my brain take over and settle on the fact I had a simple case of the flu, and the redness on my chest (which at this point was 90% away I must add) was in fact caused by the hot water bottle.
I was chatting to a friend of mine later that day on WhatsApp and told her about my 15 minutes of madness. She replied with several laughing emojis and said that if it made me feel any better, she had panic-Googled “the menopause in your 20s” earlier that day because she had felt what she could only describe as “hot flushes”, when in actual fact it was all because she had put her heating up too high by accident.
Lessons to be learnt?
1. If you think there is something actually wrong, you should go see a Doctor and definitely should not Google what’s wrong with you, then pretend like you’re a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy.
2. We all let the illogical side take over now and again, so don’t worry, you’re not alone!
3. Chopped-up hot dogs in a spicy tomato sauce is a weird, yet wonderful snack