Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth! The newly launched Carnival of Compassion (edition No. 3 here), the definitive showcase of how insta-publishing technology is allowing people with all variety of afflictions to reach out, share, inform and care for one another.
According to the Wall St. Journal, no one officially tracks patient blogs, but "there are 'hundreds of thousands' of people blogging about illnesses, caring for parents, dealing with end-of-life issues and pregnancy," estimates David Sifry, founder of blog search engine Technorati.
"Hundreds of thousands"?! Where are you all? As this weekly roundup is a new endeavor, I decided that rather than wait on submissions, I'd follow the spirit of "reach out" and go out looking myself. This rather long post summarizes what I found. Hopefully just learning that each other's blogs exist will provide some comfort -- and motivation to keep up the good work.
As a visual accompaniment, I proudly present the original artwork of one Elizabeth Sobel, fellow diabetic and artist who sought me out and kindly thanked me for "putting myself out there." Her work reflects the innate human need to reach out...
* Patient Blogs
* Medical Advances & Technology
MEDGADGET -- my favorite "crossover blog" keeps the medical and scientific professions (and the rest of us) up to date on emerging medical technologies. Exciting news for us PWDs (people with diabetes): a new Prototype Subcutaneous Glucose Sensor will be displayed at the NYC MoMa this month.
* Caregiver Blogs
ASK DUTCHY -- offering practical ideas and advice for assisting the elderly with Alzheimer's disease, Dementia, Parkinson's, disability, and general long-term care. Are you ready to Make the Tough Choices?
DEAF SURVIVORS BLOG -- a(n) heroic new blog by Mike McConnell in New Mexico, with the mission "to help deaf and hard of hearing people find each other and provide emergency info after catastrophic events such as Hurricane Katrina." Mike on the need for Visual Access to Emergency Information: what FEMA, the Federal Government, and a host of other agencies need to do, fast.
Like my grandma used to say: if you got together with a group of people in a big circle, and everybody laid out their troubles in the middle, you'd take one look around, GRAB YOUR OWN AND RUN! (the perverse moral being that some comfort lies in knowing that others are at least as bad off as we are...)
Finally, I dedicate this post to our readers: all the NON-BLOGGING patients and caregivers out there. Rest assured that you are not alone, as you can very well see!
(NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Co<3 is still SEEKING A HOST for next week's Carnival. Sign up HERE)