Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Monday, 22 June 2015

Internet Diagnosis of the Week

The Exuberant Bodhisattva introduces the Internet Diagnosis of the Week.

In fact, it will probably end up being The Internet Diagnosis of Every Three to Six Weeks. Still, the new column format requires an introduction. For my imaginary podcast, I envisioned a bit for which listeners would call in with their angsty, neurotic concerns about their terrifying and devastating self-diagnosed health conditions. Before podcasting, I am working to tame my verbal machine gun and general incohesiveness. Until then, the segment is going to manifest itself on the blog. 

Here’s how it will work: Should you find yourself fretting uncontrollably about some unexplainable bodily abnormality, instead of presenting yourself at a walk-in clinic, or even wiser, waiting to see if the affliction goes away, I encourage you to obsess, agonize and fixate on your so-called ailment as much as you desire. Google your symptoms thoroughly; devour every relevant  and irrelevant Wikipedia and Mayo Clinic article; scrutinize whatever patient forum you can find, and be sure to scroll extensively through all the horrific google images. Whatever your google search item, never ever limit yourself to the first ten search results.

You might also extend your research to include friends and loved ones. Ask them if they have ever endured similar symptoms. In the case that these symptoms coincide with a frightening illness, spend at least five minutes being utterly convinced that you are infected and/or afflicted. When your friends suggest that you might be overthinking things, do not listen.

After 12 to 72 hours of comprehensive investigation, it is time to conclude on a self-diagnosis.  Ideally, this conclusion does not require an MRI for verification, but at Internet Diagnosis of the Week, we are not exclusive. Once you have decided on the cause of your suffering, go to the Exuberant Bodhisattva Facebook Fan page, and send me all the details in a message. If you would prefer to speak to me on the phone, through Skype, or in person, this may be arranged. 

Upon examining your situation systematically, I will offer you my entirely unqualified, unprofessional and unmedical perspective, complete with individualized advice. In case you are unable to come up with a self-diagnosis, you are still eligible for this personalized attention, and I urge you to get in touch.

Dying of ear wax? Call the Exuberant Bodhisattva.
Symptoms that may lead to an excellent IDOTW: Odd coloured ear wax, an upsetting shape emerging between the cracks of your toe callouses, vague puss in any location.  Anything vague is excellent for Internet Diagnosis of the Week. Intermittent is also good. Syndromes are often both vague and intermittent and therefore perfect. I look forward to what you come up with. Please note that although cancer may appear during your googling process, let’s keep cancer and all forms of malignancy, and AIDS out of the final verdict. Thanks.
While I was still living in Halifax, I brought up my idea of Internet Diagnosis of the Week at a Buddhist Soup Night. As fate would have it, just the day before, the guy across from me had diagnosed himself with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome. His symptoms included sudden bloating, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, all lasting about a weekend. Sounded suspiciously like the flu; however, my friend had devoted hours to internet research and had determined that indeed fructose was the culprit. Now he was on an elaborate diet that forbid quite a long list of foods. It seemed as though Buddhist soup was okay, but he wasn’t allowed any of the delicious cheese or bread. Only rice cakes. My friend sounded adamant and confident about his diagnosis, though his face appeared somewhat pale, gaunt, and translucent. As my first Internet Diagnosis of the Week, he would have been fabulous.

A second potential IDOTW emerged at a Halifax Creativity Night. One graphic designer was suffering from a subtle and elusive lump in his throat. Although the lump didn’t exactly affect any of his activities, it was driving him crazy. This IDOTW was a mystery. Nobody knew what it was, and the doctors had demonstrated some mild annoyance at his most recent appointments. Earnest and filled with compassion, it was with great sincerity that I considered his puzzling ailment.
“I wonder what it is,” I thought. “Could it be caused by forward head posture?” I suggested that he try balancing a book or block on his head whenever he worked on his computer. The graphic designer gratefully welcomed my recommendation.  In retrospect, I wonder if he just needed a big cry. Hard to say. Now it’s too late. But it’s not too late for you!

Once again, I urge you to send your Internet Diagnosis in a message to the Exuberant Bodhisattva Facebook Fan Page. It will be a bit like going on Oprah in that you won’t only be helping yourself, but also the innumerable swarms of readers who have suffered the same symptoms and seek the same diagnosis and exciting customized advice. I will put out the column as promptly as is humanly possible.
Let me know if you are one of those people without Facebook. Other technologies exist. If we are already friends on Facebook, you can send me a message to my real name account.

And there’s another alternative Blog Format for those days when I tire of talking about myself. It’s called, “Asking People About Their Lives.” Last week I interviewed Matt Wiviot in a post entitled "Why You Are A Hermaphrodite." Some of my friends slash fans expressed some aversion and disdain towards the title. I want to clarify that the post contains Hardly Any Genitals. At least four and a half people seemed to find the post thoroughly enjoyable. To expect more than this would be greedy; however, I do invite you to read about Matt Wiviott’s life. His beard and his hashtags are like no others and it makes for a nice change from my Ex-lax and Pelvis memoirs.
I am going to try and create an “Asking People About Their Lives” every couple of weeks. If you know someone who you’d like to see interviewed, or if you think you might be a good candidate, do get in touch with me. All the people of the world are welcome. You'd be surprised how interesting your life is. So far I have interviewed two people. Both experiences were delightful, and it's amazing how little I spoke. Proud of Me.

So that’s it for my PR/Public Service Announcement. Let’s end with a helpful Chinese Proverb, quoted to me by one of my very first yoga teachers. It has been more than ten years, and though you'd never know from this blog, I’ve never forgotten it.

“Why do I suffer? Because 99.9% of the time, I am thinking of myself.”

The End.  

The Onesie I decorated at Matt Wiviott's Baby's Baby Shower.
 It is a Brooding Anenome. Are you?

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Why I Am Like Jane Fonda
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  1. I like the way on how you put up your blogs. Wonderful and awesome. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Goodluck. Happy blogging!

    Books and Manual

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Feel free to send me your internet diagnosis of the week anytime! All my best, Erica.