The problem: I have a good friend with whom I enjoy playing cards and going to movies. The problem is that when it comes to medical issues, she turns into an “expert” who doesn’t hesitate to tell me what my symptoms might be and what I should know. In other words, she becomes a human version of WebMD, without having gone to medical school. (She is self-taught, due to her career.) I’m at the point where I don’t want to share even the smallest health problems with her because of the lecture that will follow.
Low road: Start saying, “Thanks, Dr. Web!”
High road: Our paths are increasingly paved with well-intentioned Dr. Googles. It’s easy to feel nostalgic for a simpler time when a mosquito bite was just a mosquito bite.
Your friend’s need to nurse likely stems from being, as you said, “self-taught due to her career.” Sounds like she works in the medical world, but perhaps feels her duties, and pay scale, fall well below her competence level. Maybe an opportunity to pursue a more meaningful or lucrative medical path wasn’t presented to her, due to family issues or financial limitations. At any rate, she has a strong need to demonstrate all that she knows.
She likely doesn’t know she’s raising your blood pressure. Enjoy her company when you’re feeling great. Limit what you share with her when you’re not. Stay away from that germy internet and call your health care provider’s nurse line regarding any health questions or concerns.
If you can’t avoid telling your friend that you have the flu, a common cold or pink eye, thank her when she reminds you to rest, drink plenty of fluids and take two aspirin. But don’t call her in the morning.
Send questions about life’s little quandaries to email@example.com. Read more of Gail’s “High Road” columns at startribune.com/highroad.