I am a compulsive search engine user. From work problem where I dig out improbable solutions to seemingly impossible technical issues to finding the meaning of words hitherto unknown to me ( i didn't know what bespoke,segue meant till a few minutes ago ). And for the past 2 years , since I am a mother , I am using the great WWW to find things about child rearing and milestones and the like. Now I have to admit that I have never handled a baby before my son and didn't know that it took so much effort ( seriously , I look at my mom with newfound respect because everyone who came to visit my son between 1 and 4 months said , " You were a terror as a baby - no sleep , no eat and always throwing up ". I am sooo glad they said "as a baby" coz I sometimes think I am one now too - terror that is , not baby ). And I work in a mostly male-dominated office so I don't have a support system of peers in office to discuss this with. Thankfully , I live with my in-laws and they are around to help in the most trying times when my child is sick and I am ready to throw in the towel.
So I turn to the web - Indiaparenting saw me through my pregnancy ( Thanks to Archie there who helped quell my fears on IUI, progestrone, dealing with alarming oligohydramnios diagnosis at 36 weeks and Hetal - who's an absolute gem typing advice from rashes to feeds inspite of having two kids - Neerja and Samarth ) , ammas.com ( for some relationship advice ) and of course, the trusted webmd.com for coughs, colds and other nits of toddlerhood. And all the mommy bloggers out there - MadMomma, Boo,Moppet's Mom - who're literally my lifeline in the absence of a social life and circle of mommy friends. Thanks to all of you women from the bottom of my heart !!!
And so it came as a rude shock one sunday morning as I was telling my MIL about my son's ongoing sore throat that I had read online that stomach acidity and throwing up can cause a sore throat which will subside over time as the stomach settles. To which there was cold silence followed by a vicious "Yeseterday in the paper, I read how one woman killed her father by advicing the heart surgeon how to do the operation ".At which point , I lost it and screamed at her saying "Oh ! so what you read in the paper - which YOU know how to read - is correct . But what I read in the internet - which I know how to use and which YOU don't know even know how to use - is NOT !"And then I went on to remind her of the time when she was rubbing boiled rice and ghee on my FIL's spreading boils till I looked up the internet , found herpes/pox diagnosis and fixed an appointment with the doc and ascertained herpes and probably saved his eye nerves from getting infected. OK , I will stop now as this is not meant to be a MIL rant post ( I promise that I will post one though !)
So what do other women do ? I am sure stay-at-home moms do their bit of internet searching, blogging and networking . But where do you draw the line on letting the WWW guide you versus some good old-fashioned elder's advice ?
And on June 7 , I add:
My Father-in-law asked me to look up side-effects of a drug he's been prescribed by the doc . I asked him if he told the doc he was taking blood-thinning medicines for BP. He said it's in the file so he should have seen it . So I asserted - "But did you actually tell him ? I don't think doctors actually read the papers carefully". Anyway , I look it up - and wonder of wonders , you do have to be careful taking this drug with BP meds .
And thanks , appa, for having faith in asking me to look it up . I am redeemed !!!!