SquareP is alive today because of Facebook.
Yes, I mean the Facebook you’re all thinking about, the social media gathering place for all of us old people now that the young have bolted for places like tumblr, snapchat and Instagram and others.
Okay, yes, Facebook did have a little help, but I think it’s safe to say that, without Facebook, there’s a very real possibility that a woman I’ve known for decades, SquareP, could be dead.
It started last week when my wife, known herein after for this post as The Doc, was out of town giving a couple of different lectures. She’s only been on the Facebook for a couple of months and has taken to it like a duck to water.
So, she was out of town and being driven from one lecture in Tennessee to the second lecture in Asheville, NC. As she was being driven along, she decided to check in on Facebook to see what was happening.
In her stream, she found a post by SquareP that said she was having a really bad headache and wanted suggestions.
“I couldn’t believe it,” The Doc said. “Is this how we get our health care now? From Facebook?”
When she related the story to me later, I told her to think of it as someone hanging around in the breakroom and asking co-workers if they knew anything for a headache.
The more The Doc read about SquareP’s headache, the less she worried about the rest of the posts and the more worried she became about her friend.
“Initially, I told her it was a migraine and suggested some medications that could help,” said The Doc.
However, SquareP insisted she had never had a migraine before and denied that it was one because this was the worst headache she’d ever had in her life. At which point all the alarm bells began ringing in the back of The Doc’s brilliant brain.
“The worst headache of your life. . . That’s a prime reason to go to an emergency room or urgent care and get evaluated. It could be a lot of things and none of them are good.”
The Doc posted that SquareP should call her. Immediately. The phone conversation consisted of The Doc listening for a few minutes and then suggesting — in the strongest, most order-like fashion — that SquareP hie herself to an urgent care facility or emergency room stat! Apparently, The Doc managed to scare SquareP enough that she did just that.
I’ll let SquareP tell the next bit in her own words.
Was diagnosed with a blood clot in my brain. Scared the hell out of me but it’s completely treatable. So if you find yourself having horrible headaches especially if you’re not prone to them and they come out of nowhere, get yourself to the ER. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Yes, dudes, a blood clot in the brain. As SquareP said, very treatable with blood thinners and the like, but damn scary. It had nothing to do with me and it nearly scared me insensate.*
It was an amazing set of coincidences that allowed all this to happen. SquareP happened to post asking Facebook for help about her headache at just the exact same time that The Doc just happened to be flipping through Facebook and had the time to respond. SquareP actually called The Doc and The Doc talked SquareP into getting evaluated in person by a medical professional.
Long-distance scaring by The Doc leading to a longer life for SquareP. And today she’s home and all is good.
Without Facebook, none of this happens and the outcome could have been much, much worse. And here I was thinking bad thoughts about the usefulness of Facebook. I take it all back.**
Footnotes & Errata
* Ha, ha. Yes, fine. It doesn’t take much. Very funny.
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** Well, most of it, anyway. There’s still plenty to annoy.