Every once in a while I like to check out my stats, mostly to see where new readers might be coming from. And to allow my neuroses to kick into overdrive if my readership numbers dip. "What am I doing wrong? Why doesn't anybody like me any more???" It's sad and pathetic, I know.
Anyway, some time last week, I think, I noticed that someone had arrived via a medical-sounding site called Right Health. Weird, I thought. Why would that site link to me?
I decided to investigate further.
Apparently on that site you can, like on other medical sites out there, do a search for a symptom or disease or something and the site will pull up articles and information.
They also, with the help of Google, offer an image search function. Which, if you think about it, makes lots of sense on a medical site. Like if you're looking to see what, say, a Lyme disease rash looks like. Pictures are so much more helpful than words in cases like that.
Someone had typed in the words "hard lump above breast" on the site.
And just seeing that, I cringed, already feeling concern for the person who had initiated the search. Maybe it's nothing, of course. But still…there's always the fear that it's SOMETHING.
But still…why in the world would that search lead them to something on my site? Well, maybe any of the individual words…like "lump" – a lump of dough, for instance. Or "Hard" – like "it's hard for me to stop eating home baked bread once I start" – you know, silly things like that. "Breast?" – oh, maybe I was making something with chicken.
Anyway, those thoughts flitted through my head. Then I went in and clicked on the little arrow thingy that will take me right to the page that brought the anonymous person to my site.
That was when I found out it was an image search.
There was an image of one of those step-by-step how to give yourself a breast exam in the shower posters…
an image of a pink ribbon…
an image of a medical-looking diagram with little circles all over it (lymph nodes maybe?)…
a picture of two little girls (not sure how that fits, but still, it's not HORRIFYING)…
a tasteful picture of someone doing a breast self exam…
a cartoonish picture of people eating at an outdoor cafe (again, I don't get the connection, but still, it's not HORRIFYING)…
And then I saw it.
The image that came from my website.
And I gasped.
Because I immediately thought of the poor person who did the search on A MEDICAL INFORMATION SITE and what he or she might have thought when this image appeared. Under a search for "hard lump above breast."
Here's the image.
Can you imagine?????
Seeing that in the "hard lump above breast" search context??????
And not remotely related to hard lumps or breasts at all.
But if you don't know that…and you're thinking "lump" and "breast"…oh ugh. It looks like something…skinned.
Anyway, this has been bothering me a bit for some time now, and I just had to get it off my chest.
No pun intended.
At least not initially.*
(* And please, before anyone jumps on me about that tiny bit of breast humor, I've lost loved ones to breast cancer, and I would bet that any of them would have been the first to laugh. Or they would have made the joke before I did. So please count to ten before you get mad at me.)
But once again - I do want to apologize or send hugs or comforting thoughts to whoever had the misfortune to come upon that frightening out-of-context image while searching the Right Health website.
I sincerely hope all is well.