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April 12, 2024



... seriously, don't ask ChatGPT health questions and don't trust Google's new summarized questions/answers without reading a larger chunk of the source (they often reference the wrong snippets of info to answer the question, which results in the wrong question/answer pairs; either because a "not" was left out or because Google decided that two things are the same that aren't the same). It's 1. frequently inaccurate [individual words that make a big difference: "not" or "high" vs. "low" aren't as important to the algorithm as whether these words are frequently adjacent in similar-ish settings], 2. often-convincingly confident, and 3. does not cite real sources, so it's harder to confirm them; you need to then search what you get from ChatGPT and see whether studies agree or violently disagree with ChatGPT, which can be problematic when there are things like for-profit studies by manufacturers in the mix, since the shape of your question affects what Google gives you. The NIH database is basically unprejudiced, but requires a lot more sifting through and a *whooole* lot more ability to read jargon.

(if your blood test said you had low B12, though, you would have low B12, but it's pretty cheap and easy to supplement.)

(One of Google's snippet responses to the Googled question "Does not smoking increase your risk of lung cancer?"
One of Google's listed questions: Are non smokers more prone to lung cancer?
Google's listed snippet answer to that question, in its entirety: Smokers and non/never-smokers tend to develop different types of lung cancer; the latter group is more likely to develop lung cancer as a result of a genetic mutation or abnormality.)

(their first listed snippet was clear, though, within the snippet of text! But you get how this sort of computer-guessing is often... at least a bit misleading, at least when providing answers to things where you *aren't* already familiar with the territory? Even when the science is *very* clear and extremely abundant and there is a ton of text on the topic going *all* one way?)

But also that is hilarious. :-) (and also, I've done the "why do I have mystery back/rib pain" thing before. but not with a phone charger...)


Kc - I think the key thing is that no matter the answer, I would never have acted on something form the internet.


GOOD. I was about to write that reducing unnecessary panic is also good, but on the other hand, sometimes having test results in hand stresses us out if we don't look at them, and then seeing numbers that are out of the reference range stresses us out if we don't look up what that might mean... just: assume that ChatGPT is smoking something, and also do not believe WebMD that Everything's Cancer (I think they've repaired that to some degree but still...), and focus on the most benign, most stupid reasons for things.

Okay, that and also remember that even the websites often don't list the *actual* most stupid reasons for things, like "they used too small of a needle, so the results got messed up for this particular test" (SERIOUSLY) or "they didn't process the sample correctly" in some way or other. (oh. There was also that one time my numbers came back *all* terrifyingly low... and it turned out to be because I was on an IV at the time and the person drawing blood took it from that port (GOOD) *without* turning off the saline first (BAD), so the blood sample was significantly cut with saline. That'll mess things up quite nicely!

Anyway. I hope all goes well, and hope all the blood tests that are "off" are the generally meaningless ones (i.e. biliruben; my biliruben has bounced around all over the place and while they pay attention to it as a potential signal *if* there are some specific other things going on, the number for a large chunk of the population is apparently more noise than signal, so if biliruben is high, you check that the patient's eyes aren't yellow and call it a day), or that they're something that can be Fixed and that will make you feel better [i.e. anemia]. :-)


KC - it seems to be that the Mayzent physically blocks my white blood cells, so my red blood cell numbers look wonky in comparison.I do still enjoy looking at my numbers and soeculationg, but it is just speculating.

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