Since 2005 I've been blogging here, on Christina's Considerations and more recently on Twitter @cthielst. I've purposefully kept it professional, only sharing a few personal stories for the purpose of improvement. I will continue to do so, but will get more personal with my experiences as a patient.
In late December I experienced flu-like symptoms. Yes, I had my flu shot. No I didn't think much about it at the time. Then about a week later I started to notice numbness in my toes. Fast forward to today, and I have a diagnosis of idiopathic peripheral neuropathy. Getting to the why, and identifying the underlying cause, has been my struggle for five months ...and it continues as I wait for more appointments and testing.
Meanwhile, I'm having to learn to live with functional limitations (beyond the arthritis in my knees) and I don't take "no" very well. So, I'm constantly problem-solving and thinking of how I can regain some of my independence back. The result is some innovative thinking and applications and a little less-frustrated and exhausted family. Specific examples include being able to garden again and taking laundry or other household items from one room to another. There is also my growing ability to open my own stuff and walk around nature.
My blog originally was a vehicle for me to use my voice and it continues. My voice has changed over time as my interests have evolved to topics, such as, health information exchange, telemedicine, community-wide disaster planning and more. My renewed focus on the patient experience will go deeper into my experience as a patient with functional limitations. I'll also be launching a store on my blog to feature products mentioned in my posts and thoughtfully considered and user-tested by me.
I hope my existing readers and site visitors will enjoy this shift. I also look forward to broadening my audience beyond health professions and adding more consumers of healthcare, patients and their family caregivers.