Thursday, November 1, 2012

How The Internet Helps Lupus Patients

I'm so excited about this month's 30 posts in 30 days challenge from WEGO Health. I participated in one of these challenges in April, but had a very bad lupus flare and had to stop. With the knowledge I've gained since then, I'm hoping I can maintain the daily pace and complete all 30 days.

The Greatest Thing About the Internet


The internet is the greatest thing to happen to health care. It's obvious to anyone who takes 10 seconds to think about it. As with anything, it does have a few negative effects, but the positives smother the negatives in its many rolls of fat.

The first best facet of the internet is the ability for anyone to look up doctors. Anyone can look up doctors and their credentials on the internet. They can find other patients' ratings of hospitals and doctors and it makes it easier to avoid doctors and hospitals that have had medical malpractice or sanctions. I always check the education of doctors I am considering visiting and try to choose the most qualified and well-liked doctor. Best site for that? HealthGrades.com.

Another amazing benefit you get from the internet is the connection between people and a seemingly infinite amount of health resources. From foundations dedicated to certain diseases to sites like mine, run by patients, there is something for everyone. And when doctors I go to spew medical terms like pleura and synovium, the internet is there to explain it to me.

Random Creepy-ish picture in honor of Halloween. Even
though it's over.

The Greatest Thing About Social Media


My biggest concern when I was first diagnosed (other than "Am I going to die?") was being understood. Sometimes I felt like I was being swallowed by my loneliness. That's where social media came in. The first thing I did was look for blogs about Lupus. And right after that, I took to twitter, using the #Lupus tag to find fellow Lupies that I could follow. Knowing I was not alone on this journey made working towards getting my old life back so much easier. And some of the advice I got improved my health immensely.

The second best thing about social media is the sharing of information between people. It's a bit like we're all sitting in a circle in our rockers gossiping about our health like the senior citizens at the morning exercise class. We share and ask for advice. We talk about the medicine we're taking the way some people talk about the new gadgets they've got.


What's your favorite thing about the internet or social media in terms of health?

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