Monday, September 27, 2010

Question of the Week: How Do You Connect to Others?

elephant talkImage by gin_able via Flickr
I got together with a few of my friends yesterday.

We talked about our pets, new shoes and recent travels. The conversation got lively when the subject turned to the medications we take for our chronic conditions. That lead to a straw poll on TV commercials for fibromyalgia medications. The consensus: they advertise magical cures that don't happen in real life and all of us who have tried these medications want our money back.

After that, the conversation turned to reading books and how chronic illness makes even this simple task more difficult. Seems fibro-fog symptoms like short term memory problems mean a lot of reading the same page over and over again. I shared that since I now need reading glasses, it's made it more difficult for me to read. Someone suggested books on tape, which sounds like a good solution.

Eventually, the chat dwindled and we all went back to different pursuits, like watching TV, fixing dinner and getting ready for bed.

So how did I connect with my friends with chronic illness last night? By signing onto Twitter of course.

You see, when I first became chronically ill and disabled, I wanted to join an in-person support group. I wanted to meet face-to-face with other people going through what I was dealing with to give and receive support. It was a good idea, but after an exhaustive search, I couldn't find any groups. It seems getting together in person is a tall order for people living with chronic illness...

Then my friend Cyndie introduced me to the world of social media as part of our blogging challenge back in May 2009. Initially, I used social media to get the word out about my blog and share my posts. But then I started to discover how to connect with other people in meaningful ways by leave comments and sending tweets.

So my question this week is How do you connect with other people? Have you been fortunate to find in-person support? Do you use social media and, if so, where do you go online to connect? To participate, leave a comment here or head over to the Oh My Aches and Pains! Facebook page to join the discussion.

And thanks for taking the time to connect with me through my blog.

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Anonymous said...

Hi. I avoid the likes of Facebook and Twitter like the plague. Guess I'm like Whoopi Goldberg in that regard. So, I connect with other pwc's via my blog, and I also have a great sobriety support system at WFS online. I'm really sorry to hear that the meds they have for FM are useless. But at least they are working on FM, and at least they acknowledge that it is a real disease. Ever seen a commercial for CFIDS? Met many people who believe it is even real? Nope.


Oh What the Fog said...

I am on Twitter, not much, but it has helped me connect some. I like the informality of it and the fact that you can talk about the pain one minute and ice cream the next and nobody thinks you are strange. Not sure why, but I don't like Facebook at all. My blog is a release for me and just whatever is happening at the moment. But connecting is so important. I learn so much from all of you, ideas, tips, and coping strategies.

Anonymous said...

I have found twitter and facebook to be great resources! I also talk with those who comment on my website/blog or contact me.

Of course, I never know who I might end up talking to when I'm out raising awareness. Just mentioning a condition or an organization I'm involved with can easily spark a conversation that will lead to more. Many people want to know more or share info with someone they know who has the same condition.

When volunteering with my local Arthritis Foundation chapter there is often talk of chronic conditions. Although we might not all have the same condition, many of our struggles are similar. By volunteering we are all working towards the same goals of research, education, better quality of life and cures.