It’s interesting to live in a technology-driven world. I’m a baby boomer generation member – a child of the 1950s. It’s remarkable to think about how far technology has advanced since I’ve been earning a paycheck. I learned to type on a standard typewriter, punching down keys without any rhythm, trying to pass a typing test back in high school. I rejoiced when the standard typewriters were replaced with the IBM Selectric models that made typing correspondence such a pleasure. Yes, we’ve come along way, baby!
It’s remarkable the way technology has given us ways to easily connect with each other through social media sites. When I was first diagnosed with AIH, I began a frantic search for medical information and patient support groups, online. There weren’t any community groups for patients with my particular autoimmune diseases in my city. Thankfully, the internet provided medical information and an anonymous, peer/patient support environment to help me through those dark moments of despair when I was first diagnosed.
I’ve posted most of these links in previous posts, but they are worth repeating and re-posting. I’m a huge fan of the American Liver Foundation’s (ALF) Facebook page, and I follow their Twitter feed to learn more about liver disease research news, particularly AIH. I follow the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about autoimmune disease research, too. These organizations provide links to free, medical resources to educate patients and the public about liver disease and autoimmune disorders. They provide online, anonymous patient support groups that let us know that we are not alone during out times of crisis. Check them out. Share their information with your friends, family, doctors and coworkers. You never know who might be in need of reassurance or medical information.
I began writing to help others through that feeling of despair that came with a frightening diagnosis. It’s such a good feeling to be able to throw a life-line of support to a fellow AIH or Hashimoto’s patient seeking help and medical information. Pay it forward.