Hello and welcome! I am so glad that you have decided to take some time out of your day and spend it with me. I hope that we get to know each other better over the coming months, and years. In 2015, I started a health-themed blog, The Eclectic Data Hunter. I enjoyed it and it gave me a creative outlet for educating others. However, after my diagnosis with hemiplegic migraines, fibromyalgia, and an aortic valve defect, I struggled to continue writing. Despite an outpouring of support from family and friends, I did not feel that anyone could relate to me. I found that my daily life no longer resembled that of someone in their 30s with a young family and a promising career. There was so little information about my migraines on the web and I never felt as if I completely meshed with others in local support groups. The fact was that I felt incredibly alone in my health struggles.
Several months ago, on a lark, I decided to try Twitter. I was feeling particularly angsty and those who I met in my earliest days on the platform could surely attest to that. But then, I noticed that people started to talk to me. They were actually interested in what I had to say. I was shocked, especially since I had heard such terrible things about the trolls of Twitter. As the days passed, I started to connect with scientists, health care professionals, health educators, those with chronic illness, and those caring for those with chronic illness. I was invited to participate in chats, attend webinars, and sign up for conferences. In one of the supposedly worst corners of the internet, I found friendship, support, and a whole new world passionate patient advocates. Their stories and strength of character inspired me and I found that as each day passed, I gained a growing sense of purpose. Coming from a background in public health and education, I found that I could offer a unique perspective both as a patient and as a health professional. While my advocacy work is just in its relative infancy, I am committed to making my impact on the world, by giving others hope and the tools to become an involved and empowered patient.
I hope to see you again soon.