Apr 8, 2022

Alarming Symptoms Of Illness (Per Facebook) And What They May Mean!

Take a deep breath. Well, not too deep.

By Ed Goldman

Facebook occasionally runs ads for medical products or services we don’t know we need until we pore over the list of symptoms and decide we’re suffering from every single one of them.

 To help you separate the wheat from the gluten-free chaff, here’s a handy guide to the danger signs indicating you may be desperately ill and what, in fact, you may actually be experiencing. 

Edgy Cartoon

“Ev’ry Little Breeze/Seems to Whisper Disease…”

As a quick disclaimer, I:

(a) Am not a doctor;

(b) Do not play one on TV; and

(c) Have probably set regional records for how many doctor appointments I postpone in the course of a single year. As a result, by the time you read this, I may be in a medically-induced coma—one that might well have been prefaced by a physician muttering to a nurse, “This should shut him up for a while. If not, hand me that cudgel.”


Do you find that when you sit in one spot for more than an hour without budging, it’s difficult to stand up right away, even if someone runs into the café screaming that molten lava from a no-longer-dormant nearby volcano is inching its way to your present location? You suspect that you may be experiencing early signs of phlebitis, gout, arthritis or, in keeping with this decade’s most popular malady, a torn ACL. 


  1. Your legs cramped up from a combination of inactivity and the consumption of a coffee drink with a minimum 1,700 calories, to which you then had the barista add a generous dollop of whipped cream and, on the side, a chocolate chip/peanut butter cookie the approximate circumference of a dinner plate.
  2. You live in Hawaii, the Seychelle Islands or on the set of a disaster movie. If the latter case, don’t be alarmed. The lava will be computer-generated in post-production. 


Someone you love doesn’t respond to your texts within 30 seconds of your having sent them. You suspect that he or she is having a series of small strokes or blackouts, or has taken a new lover, and that there must be a drug on the market you can ask your physician about if you can ever get through his or her phalanx of telephone assistants.


  1. Someone you love has a life.
  2. See #1 above.

Amazon Daily Deals

Search the hundreds of daily deals.

Limited-time deals.  Change hourly.

Start Shopping.


You’re one of the only people in your diminishing circle of friends who’s never streamed a movie, TV series or concert. Your TV is all set up for it but you simply don’t reach for that other control which will enable you to expand your viewing universe. You suspect you have a terrible fear of devices and have even put your refrigerator’s icemaker under TSA surveillance. You wonder if there’s an over-the-counter, non-addictive opioid to help you overcome this irrational dread.


  1. You were raised to think it was disrespectful or sacrilegious to watch a television show except when TV Guide informed you it was scheduled to air.
  2. You, just like that someone you love, have a life.
  3. You think there’s such a thing as a non-addictive opioid, which means you may be delusional.


You firmly believe that you contract every COVID-19 variant, and that you may be coming down with a form of avian influenza ever since you bought a parrot that speaks Latin. In addition, you refuse to attend funerals because you’re afraid of catching what you refer to as Severe Deadness from the deceased. You think you may need to consult with a psychiatrist but aren’t sure if psychiatrists hire consultants like you.


  1. You are a danger to yourself and others, but don’t take that as a negative. You probably excel at scrapbooking and journaling, so there’s still hope you can lead a vapidly productive life.
  2. When you “consult with a psychiatrist” the doctor is the consultant, not you. You’ve been a doorknob installation trainee for five years.
  3. If you make an appointment with a psychiatrist, I’ll be happy to postpone it several times for you.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).