Get The Picture? By Sherry Hopkins

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 26, 2009


Dear Don’s Rx for Sherry? Stay off WebMD

I think I may have Chinese drywall disease. Well, maybe I don’t but I do have some of the same symptoms and we did have drywall work done in our house in the past couple of years.

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What am I talking about now you ask?  After listening to a morning radio talk show Monday I became concerned when the lawyer on the show told horror stories about the Chinese drywall that has been used in Mississippi (and in other states, mostly southern) since Hurricane Katrina. It seems as though a chemical that is in the drywall emits a noxious odor and fumes that can be fatal in large doses. In lower doses, which are what most homeowners here are experiencing, you may have nosebleeds, sores in your nose, dry eye and other asthma-like symptoms.

I try to remember back to when my symptoms started but I can barely remember today’s lunch. So I go to my trusty Google to see what else I can find on Chinese Drywall.

Lots of class action lawsuits and sick folks all over the south. That’s what I discover.

So how do I determine if my drywall is the offensive one from China? Will there be Chinese writing on it perhaps? I didn’t buy it; the contractor who installed it in my house bought it. Will he know? I doubt it. Should I go on a covert mission to see if that type drywall is being sold in our area? Maybe.

I should probably just take a deep breath and try to remember that I’m prone to think I’ve had various and sundry diseases (hypochondriac) since the invention of WebMD on the Internet.

If I have an ache or a pain I run straight to the website, type in my symptoms and see what pops up. Depending on the seriousness of the disease will determine whether or not I believe what the site has to say about it and if I truly have it.

Dear Don suggested a while back that I stay off WebMD for my own, and most likely his, peace of mind.

It seems as though I now may not need to listen to talk radio programs featuring ambulance chasing, fear inciting lawyers.

I certainly wouldn’t go to a real doctor every time I exhibited some strange new manifestation. Why, that would cost money and we all know I’m tight with a dime.

So I guess I’ll go back to music on my radio and news on the Internet. That way
I won’t know whether I’m sick or not.

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at <>)