Four Ways Your Self-Diagnosis Could Be Wrong: Why It’s Worth A Visit To Urgent Care

With all the information available on the Internet today, it's easy to go online and think you've figured out what's wrong when you're not feeling well. But there's a reason doctors spend so much time and money going to med school. Here are four missed self-diagnoses that could prove fatal if left untreated--definitely worth a trip to urgent care!

Arm Pain

You've been running errands all afternoon, picked up your grandchild about a million times, and walked the dog. It's only natural your arm should hurt, right? It's probably just a little muscle strain.

That's possible, but if it's just one arm that aches, especially if it's the left one, you may not have muscle pain. You could be having a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack.

Muscular pain from doing the kinds of activities described above is usually bilateral, meaning it would occur on both sides of the body--and probably not until the next day or two. It can be hard even for physicians to separate mechanical pain from cardiac pain. Here are some signs of a heart attack:

  • You feel chest pain or heaviness.
  • You experience shortness of breath, for example, getting winded just going up the stairs.
  • You feel dizzy or light headed.
  • Your jaw hurts.
  • You are sweating more than normal.
  • You feel nauseous or have vomited.
  • You have a history of heart disease or take medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

One-sided arm pain is nothing to treat lightly. Better to be safe than sorry and stop in at urgent care. They can check your symptoms, run an EKG, and draw blood to check your cardiac enzymes.


Everyone gets the hiccups from time to time. But if you have hiccups that have been going on for hours, it may be just more than a nuisance.

Hiccups are caused by a spasm of the diaphragm, the muscle between your chest and abdominal cavity. That spasm could be caused by a stroke, which affects the body's nerve and motor function.

If you have what are termed "intractable hiccups," that is, hiccups that won't go away, it's worth a call to urgent care to see if you should come in.

Spider Bite

Florida is full of big, icky bugs. So if you have a large red bump on your arm or leg (or another part of your body), it's easy to write it off as a spider bite.

However, that oozing pustule may not be the fault of an arachnid but a much more prevalent enemy of the state: MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a particularly potent type of staph infection often misdiagnosed as a spider bite.

One clue is that the victim doesn't usually recall seeing any spiders in their home or the act of being bitten. The only way to tell for sure, though, is to take a sample of the wound and look at it in the lab, just like having a throat culture.

If it is MRSA, it will require aggressive treatment to prevent it from spreading, and you will probably have to have your family seek medical attention as well. Urgent care is the place to start.

Frequent Urination

Have you been running to the bathroom a lot lately? It's probably just a urinary tract infection, right? Hmmmmm... How long has this been going on? And there's no pain when you urinate? Are you thirsty all the time?

It could be diabetes. If you have what sound like the symptoms of diabetes, you may be able to wait until you can get an appointment with your regular physician to have it checked out. However, if you are experiencing black outs, excessive sleepiness (especially after meals), periods of weakness, or dizziness, it may be better to stop in at your local walk-in clinic and get a urine or blood test.

Urgent care or a walk-in clinic south tampa is a great option if you have a medical problem that doesn't necessarily need to be seen in the ER but can't wait until your doctor has an opening. However, if you experience any symptoms that you feel are life threatening, such as the symptoms of a heart attack as described above, it's okay to dial 911 and be seen at the hospital.