Sharing thoughts with strangers online has been an illuminating experience. Originally the attractions were (a) having a ready outlet for personal reactions to the seemingly endless barrage of health related news, announcements and media stories and (b) having access to a platform to tell blog readers about some things that I feel are important and deserve to be more widely known, such as the Ask Awards that I wrote about in my last posting.
I quickly discovered that the principal requirement is a very thick skin. At times, being the sole non-medic Onmedica blogger has been rather lonely and I have sometimes felt that doctors and patients do come from different planets. Having thought I was writing about ideas, the personal attacks in some responses came as a shock. But any experienced blogger would have told me that it comes with the territory. And there’s one thing worse than personal abuse - getting no response at all.
I’ve gradually learned that whatever I write, people will read what they want to in the blog and that may well not be what I thought I was saying. It’s been unexpectedly rewarding to look on when respondents developed lively interchanges, sparked off by the original blog but with their own momentum.
When the Thyroid Storm erupted, patients invaded the blog space and the ferocity of the debate took me by surprise. Maybe this indicates a need for more opportunities for professionals and patients to interact on equal terms - I’d like to think it could be a learning experience for all of us.
This will be my last blog, at least for a while. Other stuff means that I need to give up blogging, but it has been great fun and, if you enjoy writing and are not too sensitive a flower, I thoroughly recommend it.