Patient Bloggers

Over at Six Until Me is a great post about Health 2.0 and Bloggy Bits.  With apologies to Kerri, a slight modification:

Who Benefits From Patient Blogging?
I blog, therefore I am … a better diabetes RA patient

Not exactly.  Even though I’m blogging about diabetes RA,  I am not a perfect patient, and I won’t ever be.  (Is there even such a thing?)  There is a misconception about patient bloggers – that we have it all figured out.  

Patient blogging is so powerful because it isn’t about finding perfect control or flawless diabetes disease management, but about sharing what real life with diabetes RA is like.  Patient blogging brings people with diabetes RA together, confirming time and time again that we aren’t alone.  It’s about sharing best practices and little coping mechanisms and those resonating moments of “Hey, me too!”  It’s the support community we need when diabetes autoimmunity becomes a little “heavy.”

But patient blogging doesn’t just benefit the patients.  Writing daily about diabetes RA has connected me with doctors who read to better understand the challenges of diabetes chronic illness “au natural.”  Even though they take care of us and help us make sense of our medical condition, the closest they get to “understanding” is through our blogs.  Patient blogs offer a window into the personal side of disease management, one that our doctors wouldn’t see unless they bugged our homes or camped outside our windows.  By simply tuning in to the lives of bloggers who represent their patient base, doctors can better understand, and better treat, their patients…

The beauty of patient blogging is that it touches so many lives:  the doctors who want to learn more about their patients, the parents of children who cannot yet describe how they feel; the spouses of people living with this disease; the friends and families; the readers who tune in every day; and the bloggers themselves.  “Health 2.0” and other buzzwords don’t properly capture the positive influence of the diabetes RA community.  Through these moments of sharing, we learn from and support one another, and live fuller lives as people with diabetes RA.

And my health – my life – is better for it.

Yes!  Thank you, Kerri.  I took the words right out of your mouth.

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used with permission