One year ago, Chronic Pain Lifestyle didn't exist. I'd thought about creating a blog that had a very loose, free and easy, editorial agenda, but didn't know a thing about blogging. Nothing at all. I strongly felt that the web already served the community of sick and disabled people with hundreds of medical sites, both informational and through patient forums. But there was a hole, a gap.
It was the forums where I thought a fresh approach might help people like myself. I'd been a regular contributor to COFWA, which had provided me with a strong if opinionated support group. COFWA threw me out, literally tossed me from the membership for asking if any other members had experienced a decrease in sexual activity due to pain. Apparently there was a rule against the topic of human sexuality. My post wasn't specific nor was it prurient. I'm a happily married man with four kids, but struggled to maintain a normal (sorry) physical relationship with the woman I love.
An acrimonious mud slinging campaign was followed by my being asked not to post again. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but felt that I was singled out. Many people wrote private emails to me offering suggestions. Others publicly stood-up and asked why this topic was off-the-table when nothing else related to our condition seemed to be.
In any case, no one would ever be subjected to "mob" justice. People would be allowed to post anonymously. Firebrand attacks simply wouldn't be published. I wanted to create an "anything that's bothering you relating to your condition" would hit the page.
If something made you feel good, bad, sad, happy, confused, embarrassed then I consider it germane. Personal experiences, disappointments and achievements all made it. Opinions, whether popular or not, were fair game. Spirituality was welcome, even encouraged as a healthy practice; lack of spirituality was treated exactly the same way.
I made wonderful friends. Anne joined me almost immediately as a co-author continuing to publish her work in a special category, "Anne's Corner". She's become a great friend and partner in this enterprise.
The beautiful pictures that bring life to our posts are the generous gift of Dorothy Gantenbein who gives us the opportunity to use her work. Please visit her site, www.dorothyphoto.com , you'll be amazed
The first week was humbling. If 8 people stopped in it was a lot. Compare that now to our regular daily readership of over 100 readers.
Getting back to the idea of a forum, as a gift from Heaven, I received an email from a woman named Jenny Desmond (Jen D) at a fantastic forum called CarePlace.
Three things attract me, and I hope you to this lively forum:
- Numerous open forums on many, many topics, most especially, chronic pain. I've been peeking at the exchanges from the bushes, and have already joined. I strongly encourage you to give it a try as well. We're handicapped on our site by the inability to respond to questions in a timely manner. No such problem here.
- Very high quality discussions and numerous responses. As I mentioned, the board is lively. I did not recognize many participants since Jenny first contacted me. Please mention, when you post there, that you were directed from Chronic Pain lifestyle. If there is enough interest, we'll create a directed link between the pages, so we've got to know when people from here went there. I think this will create a better Internet experience for all of our readers, AT NO COST.
- In increased capability to create chat rooms without having to leave the site. This will allow us to schedule interactive live events, public and private, with ourselves and Doctors, Lawyers Accountants, etc. on topics that are specific to us. Since we'll have screen names, anonymity is guaranteed. Feedback on this topic is greatly appreciated, so please let me know. Several well known authors have already expressed interest in speaking to our group.
But, the proof will be in the pudding. Jenny and I are hammering out the final details, but if you want a head start, sign-up and go. Please keep us in the loop. Obviously, the greater the number of participants attract more widely known experts. Hoping this works out, even for one person, I am, Colin. God Bless.