I’m sitting here at my keyboard trying to figure out how to get started on this blog. There is so much I want to cover and tell you about so it is a tough decision. I will make the decision that the most logical place to start is with me. The next post in my blog will simply list the autoimmune diseases I have, what they are, some of the complications I dealt with, and how I have managed living with a chronic illness.
In my blog posts, I will get into more details, list various resources, and tell you about the things that have helped me the most in my quest for relief.
I want this blog to be a place that others with similar medical issues can search through and see some of the things that have helped me cope.
It is very important to me that I provide you with legitimate sources for accurate information. I feel that I have become pretty much an expert on finding and verifying legitimate sources of information.
I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other kind of health practitioner. I haven’t even played one on TV. I do like to think of myself as an educated patient. I have had multiple autoimmune diseases and complications for as long as I can remember. I’ve been researching long before the Internet as we know it now existed and long before Google or social media was even thought about.
At the risk of giving away my age, I started researching back in the days when you had to go searching for books and pamphlets to get information!
No More Dr. Google!
While Google is an excellent search engine Dr. Google can be quite scary! I will admit to using Google to search for sites that have the information I’m looking for BUT I also verify that the website is an accurate source of information. When using Google to look up a symptom or to get information about your disease, it is important to stick to the more official websites such as the official organizations for your disease. These usually have the disease name followed by .org. Other sites are the major hospital and research sites such as John Hopkins, Mayo Clinic, and Cleveland Clinic. It is important to do your research on multiple websites and not just one.
Another source of information is the peer support you can find in various Facebook groups. These groups are helpful in making you feel not so alone BUT and it is a big BUT, be sure to take what you read in these groups with a grain of salt. Remember, the people in these groups are just patients. Some members of these groups are much more informed than others. This means that there can be a lot of misinformation. Both Google and peer support groups can scare the you-know-what out of you if you let them mostly due to misinformed or outdated information.