Learning to live with a chronic, rare disease is a daily process. Thankfully, I can rely on the American Liver Foundation to keep me updated with medical news concerning liver diseases, particularly autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). October is liver cancer awareness month. For those of us living with liver disease, it’s good to track current medical news, particularly as it pertains to our own chronic diseases. You never know when you might need this information or who in your support circle might need new medical information, too.
How do I learn about new medical updates pertaining to liver disease? I follow the American Liver Foundation (ALF) via the ALF Twitter social media account (@liverUSA), the ALF website, and several ALF Facebook community pages. It’s a fun way to get snippets of timely, news information throughout the day. If you haven’t begun following these social media sites, I suggest you begin, NOW. Social media sites can be a great way to stay connected and feel supported in time of medical crisis. Many chronic diseases can make us feel isolated and disconnected from mainstream society for many reasons. It times of autoimmune flare or illness, I have a tendency to stay at home, away from people, until I feel healthier. By checking my social media sites for news, I feel less isolated and more in tune with the world and people around me. Participating in social media is a good way to get answers and information to questions about many medical conditions or learn how to participate in special events being sponsored by ALF and other medical support organizations in your community.
All it takes is a little time and a good computer or smart phone connection to stay connected and informed in the medical world around you. Take advantage of the free wifi offered in many coffee shops and restaurants. Your local public library offers free wifi, public computers, and technology workshops to teach you how to connect to the Internet. Not sure where your public library is located? Check out this nifty Twitter site to help you locate your local public library (@AtYourLibrary). How cool is that?? Yep, I’m a librarian.
If you are hesitant to share personal medical information in social media, some social media sites like ALF, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (@AARDATweets), Inspire (@teaminspire), Patients Like Me (@patientslikeme) support communities afford patients a chance to remain anonymous while actively participating in many social media communities. It’s difficult to live with chronic liver disease and other related autoimmune diseases. Reach out for support and news to feel connected to the world around you. You might be surprised by the people you meet, waiting to offer medical information and comfort to you during your time of medical crisis.
Thank you ALF, Inspire, Patients Like Me, AARDA, and other medical support organizations who keep us aware of new medical news, research, and support opportunities! You can follow me for more information about liver diseases, autoimmune diseases, autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and other medical issues @mags58h on my Twitter account. For current medical information and timely medical news, finding support is only a mouse click away!