A couple of years ago I had a bleed between periods. I was at work and I didn’t stop going to the bathroom all morning to look at my panties. I bled very little but it scared me a lot, like every time my body does not function normally. And, like so many other times before and so many after, before telling anyone or making an appointment with Doctor Gavilán, who is my family doctor even though he has the name of either the protagonist of a telenovela or the figure of a children’s series in which animals talk, I went to Google.
“Indent between rules,” I typed in the search bar. Google recommended Medline Plus to me, an old acquaintance in which I had already found the answer to why my lower back hurt and why my wisdom teeth bothered me. I discovered that they were called “breakthrough bleeding” on the Saber Vivir website, which was another one that the search engine returned to me, so my immediate subsequent search was “breakthrough bleeding.”
From there and putting myself of course in the worst, which is what we usually do those of us who turn to the Internet every time we have an ailment, I convinced myself that it was either an implementation bleeding, which meant that I was pregnant although she had been using the contraceptive ring for three years, or had endometrial cancer. Because for those of us who compulsively Google everything is always cancer. Nothing is ever a pimple, not gastritis, not a normal headache.
I left the newsroom to give me some air and my heart began to beat very fast thinking about the child I would have to feed from then on if it was a pregnancy or what the hell I was going to do during my long stay in the hospital and in What a bitch if it was cancer. I noticed that I was sweating, something that on any other occasion would have seemed completely normal because it was August and it was the center of Madrid, but my first reaction was to think that I was having an anxiety attack and to go back, of course, to Google. “Anxiety attack symptoms”, “sweating and tachycardia”.
Like almost all stories similar to mine, this one had a happy ending. It was neither cancer nor pregnant. When I went to his office, Doctor Gavilán sent me home with no other prescription than a pat on the back and an invitation to stop being so brown.