Google can be used as a helpful search tool in an array of situations, however, when you are feeling ill or notice something is off using the search engine may not be the best choice; even Oprah Winfrey can attest to that. 

PHOTO: Vogue

In the November issue of O Magazine,  the media mogul opened up about a health scare she faced that seemingly came out of nowhere. Thoughts of the worse filled her head as she tried to figure out what caused the random swelling of her neck as she prepared her Friday morning breakfast. 

Like most people, she went to Google for a diagnosis but was met with results that were not promising in terms of finding the cause of a swollen lymph gland. While some may have stopped there, Oprah went on to call an internist, an internal medicine specialist, and described her systems which resulted in a same-day appointment. 

“I tried to recall any sense of not feeling well before standing over the stove, everything I’d done that morning and the night before. What had I eaten? Could it be the remnant of a cold? Except I hadn’t had a cold since 2015. When I finally opened my mouth to say ‘ahhh,’ I was prepared for the doctor to say, ‘I’m so sorry, Ms. Winfrey, you have.’ Insert terrible disease.”

In fact, the doctor revealed to the 64-year-old she was suffering from a blocked salivary gland and while it was alarming, it had an easy fix: drink plenty of water, and suck on some lemons to stimulate your salivary ducts. For Winfrey, that was too simple to be true. 

“I couldn’t believe it. I’d worked myself up to a blood pressure reading of 150/80 thinking about how I was going to rearrange my life to deal with whatever this was. Drinking water and sucking on lemons couldn’t be the answer.”

She went on to call another doctor via FaceTime who confirmed the previous doctor’s findings. Winfrey followed the doctors’ instructions and by the next day noticed a significant difference. Not only was she thankful the result was not as bad as she worked herself up to believe it would be, but she learned a new lesson about the functionality of her body. 

PHOTO: The Verge

“Our bodies are amazing. And too often we are not grateful for their perfect functioning, balancing bacteria and enzymes, managing blood flow, thrumming the sinus rhythm beat, beat, beat of our hearts day in, day out. As they say, you don’t appreciate your health until you no longer have it.”

Before this scare, Winfrey admits she’s never even paid attention to her salivary glands and we are sure many of us have not as well. Moments like the one she describes brings those things into foresight and also allows us to recognize the greatness that is the human body. 

“Wherever you are in your life’s journey—whatever the status of your career, your relationships, your finances, whether you’re successful or struggling, happy or not—I know for sure that you need look no further than your own body to offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Truly, you are a marvel.”

If you do find yourself in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor, make your way to an urgent care facility or the emergency room. You rather be safe than sorry when it comes to your health and remember, Google is a not a certified physician! 

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