Cyberchondria Anxiety: When Self-diagnosis Becomes Self-defeating

Cyberchondria Anxiety: When Self-diagnosis Becomes Self-defeating
A couple of months ago, I wrote about my first appointment with my new nephrologist, Dr. Mididoddi, and the possibility of facing another life-changing chronic disease diagnosis. After doing research for my column, I speculated that I would be diagnosed with AA amyloidosis. To prepare for my follow-up appointment with Dr. Mididoddi, I got blood drawn and brought in my 24-hour urine collection. When I received the results in the patient portal of the lab's website, I wasn’t too surprised. My blood urea nitrogen was high as were the protein levels in my urine, called proteinuria — both elevations indicate kidney damage. I was already aware that my serum creatinine was above the normal level from the routine, bimonthly blood work ordered by my hepatologist and gastroenterologist. However, the results of the creatinine clearance from the urine collection, which is a more accurate determination of kidney function, confirmed my kidneys weren’t working at an optimal level. In the days that followed the posting of my test results, I researched possible next steps to prepare for my nephrologist's appointment. After two decades of various tests to diagnose my multiple ailments, I wanted to be sure of any arrangements I might need to make for future procedures, especially when all the signs pointed to the necessity of a kidney biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of a specific renal disease. The day of my appointment, I sat anxiously in the examination room. I expected the nephrologist to go through each abnormality in my labs as he built up to his prognosis. I almost fell off the examination table when he told me that all of my numbers looked stable and as expected, considering my Crohn’s and liver transplant. He said that any renal disease I had was most likely being
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