Dr. Google is a friend and faux to us all Blair Kaplan Venables and Alana Kaplan jam about their experience with Google spirals.
Trigger Warning: The Global Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Alana Kaplan is a compassionate mental health professional based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She’s a child and family therapist at a Winnipeg-based community agency, and a yoga teacher. Fueled by advocacy, Alana is known for standing up and speaking out for others. Passionate about de-stigmatizing and normalizing mental health, Alana brings her experience to The Global Resilience Project team, navigating the role one’s mental health plays into telling their story. Engaging in self-care and growth is what keeps her going and her love for reading, travel, and personal relationships helps foster that. When she’s not working, Alana can often be found on walks, at the yoga studio, or playing with any animal that she comes across.
About the Host:
Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. She is the creator of the Social Media Empowerment Pillars, has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more.
Blair is listed in USA Today as one of the top 10 conscious female leaders to watch in 2022 and Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is an international bestselling author and has recently published her second book, ‘The Global Resilience Project.’ She is the co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast and in her free time, you can find Blair growing The Global Resilience Project’s online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.
Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/
Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info
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trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan, Venables, with my grief gals, co host, Alana, but today, we're not necessarily talking about grief, although what we talk about kind of has to do with grief. But today, we're going to talk about the doctor, you know, the doctor,Alana Kaplan:
Dr. Google, infamous doctor, most well known Doctor in the world,Blair Kaplan Venables:
Dr. Google is, I would say, a fraud, and a hypochondriac, and potentially misleading. And it's funny, because I recently saw a meme. That was really funny. And I shared it. And it was, like, according to Google, I've been dead since 2016. It's really funny, because how often is it that like, you have a symptom or someone you know, is sick, and you go to Google, and you start Googling, and then you go down this vortex, and all of a sudden, you're like, Oh, my God, I have the plague. I'm gonna lose my leg. Like, I need to drink, you know, all these special potions. And, you know, like, Aladdin, I've been taking turns battling various health issues. And you know, it's funny, because when I, you know, I'll say something to Atlanta, and she'll be like, you're Googling. And I do the same to her. I'm, like, stop googling. And so if you are a victim of Dr. Google, if you are a patient of Dr. Google, if you are a victim to vortex Googling, this episode is forAlana Kaplan:
you. Dr. Google has been a pain in the side of my body. Now, that's not the statement. DidBlair Kaplan Venables:
you? Did you? Did you learn that from Dr. Google that the pain and the side of your bodyAlana Kaplan:
began to see pain in the neck? Is that the statement? Yeah, like? Well, or you know, what I was trying to say is like thorn in my side. What's the state but yeah. For I want to say about a decade. And I'm wondering Blair, like, this can be interesting. I wonder if we can share our biggest Dr. Google spirals?Blair Kaplan Venables:
I'm sure you have a few more than me. But yeah, like I think you should start well, I think about actually, yeah, I don't know. I think you need to start because I have to think about what I what I want to share.Alana Kaplan:
Okay. This is when I knew I needed to stop Doctor googling. I remember it's so well. So it was 2016 or 2017. But one of the two, and I just found out someone I knew very like as an acquaintance and passed away. They were young, I didn't know the cause at the time of their death. So I immediate spiral is, oh my God, it was an aneurysm. Oh my God, it was a blood clot. I'm going to get a blood clot. And at that time, I had just switched birth control pills. And that is a side effect. And I remember being in in my bed with a sore leg, Googling sore leg birth control, and spiraling at 10:30pm symptoms of aneurysms symptoms of blood clot kept my leg elevated. I don't know why. Oh, yeah. And I actually think I had texted a couple of friends who are doctors who were like, Oh, my God, I You need to stop. And I think I had set my alarm a couple of times that night because I didn't want to die. And so if I woke up to the alarm, I knew I wasn't going to die. And that was when I was like okay Alanna, if Dr. Google is going to happen in your life, which is shouldn't it's going to happen in daylight because is nighttime is a time where for lots of folks, anxiety tends to spiral more so than the day you're tired, you're not really having any distractions. And so of course, that's when things spike. So that was my biggest spiral. And I'm curious Blair, if you have thought of something or firstBlair Kaplan Venables:
of all, that's, yeah, I can see you doing that. I don't have like a biggest one. But I can go through some times that I've definitely Doctor Googled, like, even going back to when I learned I was pregnant, I didn't even think about miscarriage. And when people kept talking to me about it, and I started spotting, I was Googling and like I was having a miscarriage. That was something that was like, pretty hard.Blair Kaplan Venables:
But I'm glad that the information was there. But like, I'm currently like, I live with Sylvester who is my ovarian cyst. A couple months ago, like in the summer, I learned that I have a four and a half centimeter cyst on my left ovary and I you know, don't really feel awesome. And obviously, I was doing some some searching and Alanna was also searching and sending me chick talks about people who, who have had these cysts grow to be like the size of bowling balls. But yeah, likeAlana Kaplan:
a nine by nine says,Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, but doesn't matter. Like we both went down a spiral there. But you know, I was doing a lot of research like about Is it cancer, like obviously, like my aunt or aunt died of ovarian cancer in her 50s My mom just died of pancreatic cancer in her 60s. So like, immediately, my mind went to the Holy fuck, I hope it's not cancer. And like I started doing all this research and like, trying to figure out like, how big is my ovary versus how big is this cyst? And like, the ovaries is kind of like an almond. And this is this kind of like a golf ball. And I was like googling how, how fast do cysts grow? Who and is how fast do they shrink? How often like how, you know, what's normal, what should size get removed. And so I did a lot of Googling around that. And in fact, like, right after I learned I had that I came to Winnipeg, and a lot of Atlanta would be like, Don't Google across the house, it was funny. And I can tell you what is currently in my like Google sphere and it starts because I'm on Tik Tok, it starts because I'm on Instagram, and I watch reels, and I send them to my sister all the time. So like growing up, I wasn't really diagnosed with anything. But I can tell you that like anxiety and depression are like quite, you know, present now and probably as a kid, but I believe I am undiagnosed with dyslexia, and with ADHD. And so every so often more Sure, yeah. But did you Google it because your therapist,Alana Kaplan:
a little bit of a little bit of be a little bit of experience with you.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So it's so bad because like a tick tock or real come up with like ADHD or dyslexia. And then I watch it. And then I started going down, like a spiral of like those videos from that account that usually talks about those topics. And then I switch over to Google to do a self diagnostic, self diagnosing test. And so I'm like, Am I ever gonna lie like today? I watched a video about like, how people lose weight on ADHD medicine, and I'm like, Hmm, I might get medicated, be more functional and lose weight. How do we get medicated but I mean, obviously, like, that's not why I would go on medication. But then I started Googling even today SSRIs and ADHD medication and how they interact. And like, I don't even diagnose like, I mean, a lot of like Dr. Atlanta,Alana Kaplan:
I'm not actually a doctor, I can't diagnose a doctor. That's just a little ask the doctor GoogleBlair Kaplan Venables:
has told me I have ADHD and that I'm dyslexic. And so you know, I do probably need support in both those areas. And like that's something that I'm frequently looking up because I'm looking for ways to manage my ADHD and because of Dr. Google I now listen to specific music when I work and I trying different techniques that I'm learning online for ADHD like and dyslexia like I, I yeah, I've written books, and I love reading but I'm a slow reader. And as soon as Alanna introduced to me the concept of audiobooks years ago, like I will, I've listened I've read more books with my ears than my eyes in like a year like I just am digesting all this content. I'm like, wow, my life would have been so different. If I would have had this diagnosis when I was a kid. Because, like math, not my strong suit, but I don't think it's because I'm not smart. It's because I'm dyslexic. Like I have trouble with numbers. So I tell people I'm self diagnosed dyslexic, but it really is Dr. Google who diagnosed me.Alana Kaplan:
Yeah, Dr. Kim Oh, well, it's interesting because like, there's things like we look up for ourselves and then things we look up for other people. And soBlair Kaplan Venables:
oh my god, you wait.Alana Kaplan:
Okay. Player look like she really had to say something, right? And it's, it's just a really like fascinating experience because you're always wanting to look for the best outcome, or I am. And this makes me think of what our mom was really sick. It looks like that's where Blair was going with it. And me.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yes, sir. Whatever.Alana Kaplan:
That was more. Both of our parents were palliative, but like, we don't even know which one is which. But with mom, oh, yeah, right. That was sorry, sorry, when you lose two parents in the year, when mom was really sick. I was too scared to Google. Because Oh, yeah, you thought I did not Google it. I was like, if I Google it, then it's gonna like, not that like it was an intrusive thought. Like, if I Google it, it will come true. I just didn't want to know, I was very much in a place where I was like, nope, she's going to be okay. I was in this denial. Whereas Blair, I think was googling the whole time. And well, I doBlair Kaplan Venables:
lots of Googling, but just enough, where I had the insight of what my gut told me and what I saw about what was gonna happen.Alana Kaplan:
Yeah, when Mum was first. So like, when Mum was going through her tests of like ultrasounds. I was still googling at that point. I didn't know if she was sick. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, it's fine. It's probably this or whatever. Looking for the best outcome. But then once she got diagnosed with with cancer, I stopped. I was like, Nope, don't want to know. And then she was hospitalized and like, Nope, don't want to know. And so I but when she did die, I then paid a visit to Dr. Google retroactively.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yeah, but it's interesting, because the whole time I was like telling Alana, what was gonna happen? And she's like, No, then mum died. And I was like, see?Alana Kaplan:
And I'm like, now? Six months?Blair Kaplan Venables:
So that like it? Yeah. So with our dad. So we learned that there's this What is it palette? What was it called? The palliativeAlana Kaplan:
performance? No. Maybe it's the it's called the PPS.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Okay, a lot of you Google it? Well, I tell the story. So there's this thing called the PPS and the the acronym definition has to be determined in a moment. And we learned about this, like at our father's end of life, like in the last week, and we learned about this because someone used it and we're like, what is this Why is no one talked about this because like, we've gone through a lot of death in our family. And so it's, it's called the palliative performance scale. And what it is, is there's different levels in it, you can Google it. Dr. Google's open for business and there's different stages in like the decline of like health, like leading up to death. And the doctors were like explaining I'm like, when like when he's at a certain level and the PPS is when it's like you have 24 hours and like when it's gonna die and so like Aladdin, I immediately are like What's this peak? Yeah, so we went down this like Google vortex reading every article there was and what each level the symptoms are and our father kept like hovering between different levels because like we were trying to gauge like, do we go home tonight? Is he going to die in a few hours like it was a very our father's end of life was like traumatic and beautiful. That's like all I can say like it was like there was very very hilarious beautiful moments and like it was a lot it was a lot it was very stressful because he kept almost dying and then waking up and like it was very intense but be kept kind of hovering between like the last level like the pre death and like the not pre death, but we yeah, we Google I gotta I can't speak for Lana but like, I Googled a lot and I feel like I read every article about the PPS and different levels and comparing charts from different organizations and asking different nurses.Blair Kaplan Venables:
But yeah, like Doc, like I'm grateful for that because I wouldn't have known anything and you know, the medical system like the nurses were our dad was was with the nurses were so stretched thin, like, the doctors and nurses were phenomenal. And they provided us all the information we needed and like sat with us like I found the care amazing, but I wanted to know more and I didn't want to take away from the patients who needed the medical professional. So I use the internet to learn more about the PPS.Alana Kaplan:
Dr. Google isn't always bad. When used in appropriate parameters, and appropriate times, it is true Blair had read every single article about the PPS scale. And I remember the call when they're like, Yeah, we're putting it down to a 20. And that's been like we rushed to the hospital. I remember that day.Blair Kaplan Venables:
That was on our mom's Hebrew Memorial.Alana Kaplan:
Yeah, her year. It's a of course. Yeah. ButBlair Kaplan Venables:
classic. So yeah. Like, I am not a doctor. Google is definitely not a doctor. I think what my conclusion is with Google is that you can find any answer that you're looking for on Google, if you want a positive outcome, you want a negative outcome, like you're really worried, I think all the information is there. But really, when it comes to certain things, you need to seek professional advice and that you shouldn't be using Google as a diagnostics tool. But it is a great place for information. And also, it's a great place to get the information you need to present to a doctor.Alana Kaplan:
And if you are someone who lives with anxiety, I would encourage you not to visit Dr. goop, Bob, especially if you have health anxiety. If you are going to visit it, give yourself that is my little therapist moment. Give yourself like a timeframe. Okay, I will allow myself set your table. Yeah, like from six to 615 every day. They can Google whatever I want about myself. But then at that time, you need to stop and if you find that that's lingering on too long. Just don't do it. Okay. Alanna.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Tell me the truth. What was the last time you doctor Googled?Alana Kaplan:
Great question. Oh, man, I went to urgent care. A fewBlair Kaplan Venables:
people through this situation.Alana Kaplan:
Basically, I passed out in a nail salon.Blair Kaplan Venables:
It's not funny, but like, it's funny.Alana Kaplan:
It's not funny. So essentially, I was getting my nails done. Started yawning a lot. Yawning usually is my like little prodrome or preamble to a migraine. So like, okay, probably gonna get a migraine, whatever. But then all of a sudden, I got so lightheaded. And I was like, Oh, I'm gonna pass out. And so I said to the nail technician, please only do two layers instead of three. To be honest, not worth it. I should have gone for the third layer.Blair Kaplan Venables:
It'd be Did you pass out anyways, like, just, here's my hands. Let me have a little nap.Alana Kaplan:
So then I put my head down and passed up for probably about five seconds, not a long time. And then I called Blair and drove, which I probably should not have done and got home and then all of a sudden have a little squiggly or in my eye, which I've never had before. And that lasted 15 minutes. Then I got really dizzy. And I was like, hmm, should I be sleeping alone tonight? What should I do? So So I went to Google couldn't really figure it out. Tried to call like the Winnipeg health links line. It was busy because healthcare is so stretched right now. I call a family member who tends to lean also more of the side of caution. And they recommended I go to urgent care. So that was last time I Googled. Now I can find out anything that's wrong with me. SoBlair Kaplan Venables:
yeah, so like Dr. Google didn't know any more than like the real doctors.Alana Kaplan:
Yeah, so that was the last time i Doctor Googled. When was the last time you doctor Googled,Blair Kaplan Venables:
like, fucking half an hour ago. I was sending you reels about ADHD. And then I wentAlana Kaplan:
I thought I thought sorry, Larry is also dealing with your stuff right now. So Oh, yeah,Blair Kaplan Venables:
I think okay, yeah. I have an ear infection. I've had like an ear infection in both my ears over the last like three weeks while traveling. It's been super fun. And I've been googling but not like I first Googled like, So I Googled how to get rid of an ear infection like home remedies and like other like I got rid of it in my right ear with home remedies, like with like, steam and so got saltwater gurgles and whatnot. But I wasn't like googling to diagnose. I was like, fuck, what do I do because I was traveling and it didn't have antibiotics. And then I googled the metaphysical spiritual reason I get ear infections. Because I often now do that. I'm like, What is your that is totally what you do now. Yeah, like what is the spiritual reason I got ear infections? I don't even remember the answers like, I don't know. Like I'm maybe I'm not listening To my truth, but like, that's not true. That's I disagreed. And then I was, yeah. And so now I have antibiotics, I'm on day two of them. And like I can't hear out of my left ear. So I've just kind of been googling like the proper way to steam, like the proper way to like Steam my ear. So I've been like spending the day like, with my head over like a bowl of boiling water under a towel, like trying to like loosen whatever's going on. So yeah, I've been on Google, Dr. Google a lot. But it's not to diagnose. It's like, I'm trying to speed up. Like, I can't hear like my left, the left side of my head is like,Alana Kaplan:
yeah, dunk. ButBlair Kaplan Venables:
yeah, I mean, I think this is a good place for us to wrap this conversation. I just, you know, there's nothing wrong with googling what's going on in your body and whatnot. But I think like, you can't just rely on what you see on the internet. You know, there are professionals out there who helped you not just with medical stuff, but like even everything, there's professionals, Atlanta is a therapist for a reason. I'm a marketing expert for a reason. And, you know, I think it's it's good to have knowledge and gather your information. But it's always best to go to a professional especially if it has a medical, you know, ailment. Atlanta has one final thing to say. Also,Alana Kaplan:
just pay attention to the tech talks you are watching. We all love a little scroll. I love the big scroll. I got the you should go to bed. Tick tock last night. But people are talking a lot on tick tock from their experience. Just because they have a messy room and ADHD does not mean your messy room means you have ADHD.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Wait, so I don't have ADHD. Well, you should I love that Alana. This was so much fun. And you know what? Like, Dr. Google? Thanks for being you. Keep on googling. Thanks to everyone for tuning in to another episode of radical resilience. It's been a slice you got another little dose of a capitalist sister sandwich. Remember, it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to Google. You are gonna get through the hard times. You're not alone. We're here for you. You have support in us.