Self diagnosis is not easy, very often you give yourself the benefit of the doubt. 12 years ago I waited a week for an abscess to be removed and in that week contracted necrotising fasciitis ( the human flesh disease) which resulted in 14 days in intensive case ,32 operations in 3 months and scarring to this day . So the legacy of this is an excessive and neurotic concern for the most minor ailment .
This week I decided my toe nails could do with some clipping. This I did with excessive zeal resulting in an inflamed big toe. My father an excellent doctor had a treatment for this which was to soak the nail with an antiseptic powder called Cicatrin by which he swore. An in curable optimist he would accompany the treatment with the words ” I think we are are going to get away with it” a phrase which summed him up as a doctor : no need for a referral, up beat and treating the infection as a cheeky lightweight boxer might his bigger opponent. Sadly the modern GP is so submerged in his computer that you could hardly get eye contact. The toe remain inflamed for a couple of days and now the tenderness, the redness and I assume the infection all gone.
Then there was my sore lip. I recall a kiss from a friend on Friday who is a counsellor . She mentioned she called the herpes association to see how they operate counselling. Too daft to assume she could have got herpes over the phone but this was the last time that I heard speak of incurable skin soreness. needless to say after a day this disappeared and was probably no more than reaction to the cold change,
Modern medicine is prophylactic : adverts on cancer and diabetes are common to get the person more aware. There is an irritating ad on Classic fm in which some bloke with a northern accent smugly informs you that blood on your pooh is probably nothing but check it out with your GP . I can’t switch him off quickly enough
Generally speaking we know if we are well or not. The basic criterion most adopt is a time one, namely if its still there after a week and getting worse go and see your doctor. And hope he is as sensible as my dear dad.