Case and point. Last night I received the most lovely direct message via Twitter which assured me, for the first time in my seven months of blogging, that I'm doing this for the right reasons.
I don't mind putting myself out there...reality is, we're in the information technology age, and I might as well use it in a productive way, not wasting my time. I'm only one small drop in the ocean of Twitter. You'd be amazed to see how many patients are online seeking comfort, advice and knowledge from other patients and physicians. For someone looking to have their hand held through a journey like mine, implant reconstruction after a BRCA diagnosis, I'm here. If she is a mother of children wondering how to tell them of her BRCA diagnosis or upcoming surgery, I've written about that. If they just can't make the decision between implant or DIEP, they can read my take on my surgery and then hop on over to my friend @6state, DIEP extraordinaire. If she's looking for a closed and private support group, she can seek out @NickiDurlester. If she wants to know how I chose my surgeon, @mchrysopoulo, and why I'd recommend him to anyone, even my own children, I've explained it plenty. I'm putting it all out there because someone will have those questions, they will seek them out, and it's not their primary healthcare physician they turn to first...it's the Internet. But its not just us patients advocating online.
As a result of my recent journey, I've been very fortunate to get involved with some pretty amazing doctors on Twitter; doctors who are putting themselves out in the public eye, hoping to share knowledge with not only other physicians, but patients too. They are providing a wealth of information regarding breast reconstruction, both from the scientific and the patient points of view. A bridge is forming, connecting the wide gap between the doctor and patient. We're all learning from each other, supporting each other and trying to change how medical decisions are made. We're seeing a more socially responsible healthcare system. Patients are feeling more supported, heard. The same patients who read my blog or tweet with me, are also tweeting with these doctors and asking questions.
Shared decision making (SDM) is a collaborative process that allows patients and their providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient's values and preferences. http://bit.ly/1qKkl8S
Hashtags to follow: #shareddecisionmaking #breastreconstruction #plasticsurgery #brca #SoMe
Twitter users to follow to get you started: @mchrysopoulo @diepflapbreast @6state @olivierbranford @danielzliu @lguzzardim @dr_samuellin @brcaresponder @karenbrcamtl @brcainfo @pisano_dr @chetnastala @droscarochoa