Monday, April 6, 2009

I got my medical license from Google.

For the past several days, Bo has had this gross greenish-yellow gunk coming out of his nose. And I have a major issue with snotty nose kids, so I have been blowing his nose quite often. This morning when he blew, it was kinda orangish.

I'm thinking it may be a sinus infection & after our last adventure with him, I'm rather cautious of anything ENT-related. So, before I got dressed & dropped a $40 co-pay, I googled orangish yellow snot.

And now for your reading enjoyment, here are some of my results.

In case you were not informed, here's a definition that I was provided with:

Snot. noun. Middle English from gesnot. 1. Vulgar term for nasal mucous; phlegm. 2. A person regarded as annoying, arrogant, or impertinent (not your medical provider). Booger. Dried snot.

I enjoyed that, didn't you? Especially the 2nd meaning. Try to work that into your vocabulary this week.

A vast array of parents think that green mucous requires antibiotics. Green = Bad. Clear = Not bad yet.

Well yeah, that's why I'm googling.

The next thing I read is one of the most cursed words a mother of a sick child can hear: VIRAL.

Viral infections (colds) can cause a variety of mucous color changes in children...green, yellow, orange.

I can not stand that word!!! When your child's doctor says this, it basically means that you got "dressed", put on makeup, paid $40 & still have to take home a sick child with no drugs!

Wait. There's more.

After sitting in a congested nasal passage all night, mucous becomes stagnant....just like a green pond. Bacteria love warm, dark, moist areas, so this is where they like to live. But, just because there is bacteria in the mucous, does not mean antibiotics are necessary.

So you're telling me that my child's nasal passage is like a stagnant green pond & I can't get an antibiotic?

All I need is just a little Amoxicillian. Come on, man. Just a teaspoon?

Well thanks to Google, I'm spared the dreaded $40 co-pay. (I'm sure it will go towards a few trips to Mickey D's this week.) And I will continued to bail out Kleenex.

Feel free to post this quote on your "frig-a-frator".

"Green Nose in the Morning is No Cause for Warning".
*Here's a few more interesting tidbits of information regarding colored snot. Enjoy.*

Green, smelly mucous from only ONE side of the nose of a child is likely to be a retained foreign body...usually food. (And, you thought they ate those peas!)

Do you drink a lot of Monster Energy, Full Throttle, Red Bull or other energy drinks containing Taurine? The dyes used in these drinks are so potent they will stain your whole mouth and leach up into your sinuses when you sleep. Taurine also has bizarre effects. I know someone who drank 5-6 Red Bulls a day and stopped, and could not remove the red stain from his tongue nor the metallic taste for over a week.


Anonymous said...

That last little blurb about blew my mind!

Laura said...

Thanks, Dr. Semi-Slacker Mom! And I can't WAIT to call someone a SNOT!!

P.S. Get your kid off the Red Bull fast!!

Imjustagirl said...

WOW! How intersting. I definetly feel enlightened. I did have a Dr. tell me the dredded words of "viral" a few months ago and I just wanted to cry. I thought how could you do this to me! Then I had to leave empty handed:(

Kathy B! said...


And the bit about the Taurine is scary on so many levels.

Pretty Personal Gifts said...

My daughter has had the yellow-green snot syndrome off and on since she was a baby. It always turns out to be a sinus infection. She gets meds everytime from her ped. I would keep an eye on it, if it lasts more than 7-10 days you may want to have it checked out. My oldest was getting on average 7-8 sinus infections a year and then we put her on allergy meds. That reduced it to about one a year. We tried to "let it go" once and it caused such a terrible sinus infection that she wound up on two rounds of antibiotics to get rid of it. It was awful. The other thing her ped does is asks her to bend over and if she feels pressure around her eyes, it's a good sign that it's an infection. Depending on his age, he may or may not be able to tell you of course... Oh the money we have spent on sinus infections :(
I hope it's nothing!

Jessica Ryan said...

Hilarious... absofrickinlutely hilarious!!! And look at all the money you saved getting your MD from Google as opposed to one of those little places like Harvard or Yale!!

Bamawhitney said...

Thank you Dr. for that super imformative and funny post!

Unknown said...

I'm not going to lie...still not feeling 100% and it was a little hard reading all about booger colors :) Mighty interesting though.

The Mother said...

While I agree with just about everything you happened to find, THIS TIME, I will warn you about one teeny-weeny little fact:

Medical degrees from Google are worth EXACTLY what you paid for them!

KK said...

I agree with you 110%--there is nothing I hate more than getting all dressed then driving to the doctor's office to sit and wait and then be told that an antibiotic will not work. Take your co-pay, just don't make me get dressed!

Helene said...

This post cracked me up!! Well, if there's anything positive to see about this, it's that you didn't waste $40 on a co-pay to hear your dr say there's basically nothing that can be done. In the meantime, your kid can't breathe and you're up half the night trying to drain the snot out of his nose. Good times...

I hope he feels better soon!

Gracie Beth said...

I always google my symptoms! It ended up saving me a trip the the emergency room and the copay that goes along with it when I broke out with my non-contagious viral rash. and I will remember the tip about the energy drinks.

Sandra said...

Dr. SSM - You take that copay and buy yourself something! xoox

Gibby said...

Mucous becomes stagnant.

Hilarious! I'm going to think of that line everytime I see green snot now!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

That post was a hoot!! I'm glad you did the diagnosis yourself and saved the $40. As a pre-school teacher, I don't like snotty noses either. Oh well, it is just part of the beast when you teach children. Love & blessings from NC!

wife.mom.nurse said...

I think I work with a couple of doctors who go their degrees on Google also!

Great diagnosis!!!


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