Online Resources for Snowbirds - WebMD

Fall 2006 CSANews Issue 61  |  Posted date : Jun 01, 2007.Back to list

Many people use the Internet for immediate practical purposes - finding a phone number, directions, quick answers to questions that have been dogging you, or to confirm or deny some mindless trivia. Now that most of us have access to a computer linked with the Internet, it is often the quickest and most convenient resource for satisfying these ends. These days, many people spend enormous amounts of time online. They become members of "communities." They exist in Myspace, they find companions in Lavalife, and they adopt alter egos in online games. But what websites are of interest to us, as snowbirds? First and foremost, we enjoy living life. It is naturally implied that everyone wants to live well and to live longer. Therefore, we should go directly to It offers some of the most up to date information on health topics of current interest under the headings Latest Headlines and Top 12 Health Topics. The information is reliable and useful for day-to-day life, and is compiled by leaders in the field of health and medicine - in fact it's often used as a reference tool for doctors themselves. At the time of writing this column, the WebMD website dealt specifically with healthy holiday shopping, the truth behind recent E-coli outbreaks and the elimination of trans fats in restaurants. As an ongoing reference tool, it provides a comprehensive guide to virtually every medical condition you can think of, including information on symptoms, prevention, remedies and treatment. As snowbirds, we may find ourselves in the position of having more than one doctor; one at home in Canada and one down at our winter destination. This increases our need to be more informed as patients. To this end, WebMD proves to be an invaluable tool. It can help us gain a more meaningful understanding of the medical conditions we are living with, the method behind the treatments our doctors prescribe and may even provide options for alternative treatments that we otherwise wouldn't have considered. Another tremendous benefit of this particular online resource is privacy. We may have concerns about medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction, depression, Alzheimer's or anxiety that we aren't comfortable sharing with our doctor, our coffee partners or even our spouse. Searching the Internet for information and answers certainly isn't a substitute for practical medical treatment, however WebMD allows us to investigate these issues at our own pace and on our own terms. At best, you will fi nd that your concerns are unfounded and your "phantom" symptoms are of little concern. At worst you will learn that seeking professional assistance from a doctor is the appropriate course of action. You can take that step with the confidence of knowing that your medical condition is not unique and that there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. In other words, there is nothing wrong with YOU. You just have a medical condition that can, and should, be dealt with. There can be a great comfort in the realization that you are not alone with your medical condition. There are countless others who have lived with the same symptoms and difficulties you have. Those who take the time and steps to learn about, understand, and become informed about their medical condition will invariably be farther along on their road back to good health. And better yet, use their information to remain in good health.

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