Stories about: community

MyViewPoints: Sharing information, connecting communities

Adrienne found online communities helpful when recovering from Lyme disease

About two years ago I became very sick. After dealing with illness for a number of months I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. Suddenly I had an explanation for all the symptoms I was feeling: aches and pains, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, memory loss, upset stomachs, anxiety, depression.

I was lucky to find a great local doctor and have a supportive network of friends and family to lean on. I took my prescribed antibiotics and felt better. I took time off from work and gave my body time to heal. Both played into my eventual recovery, as did the support network I found online. By connecting with an online Lyme disease community I learned what hurdles other people like me were facing, and how they beat (or at least coped with) those hurdles. I asked questions like what homeopathic remedies worked best for them? How did they alleviate anxiety? How were they able to ease the upset stomachaches caused by their antibiotics?

I was helping myself get better, and after a while started sharing my own remedies and coping mechanisms. The back and forth developed into strong, supportive relationships that were very important to me. They didn’t take the place of a trip to the doctor’s office or real life bonds I had, but it was so helpful to have access to people who understood my ups and downs, didn’t mind my occasional venting and were so eager to share information.

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This weekend–Milagros para Niños

This weekend, Children’s Hospital Boston launches Milagros para Niños, a three-day community event specifically for the Spanish-speaking community around Boston. The event includes a Radiothon on Friday and Saturday, and a Latino Family Festival at Fenway Park on Sunday from 12-6 pm, where families can celebrate the Latino culture and learn about staying healthy.

Hispanic children in the United States face some serious health risks, such as diabetes, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, asthma and obesity. About 20 percent of Children’s patients are Latino and 65 percent of our patients at Martha Eliot Health Center are Latino.

For more information, check out the Milagros para Niños event page.

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