Posted on July 16th, 2012 by Admin
Editor's Note: Sejal P. is a patient who submitted the following essay as part of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Patient, Caregiver Scholarship Contest. To vote, simply use the Facebook "Like" or Twitter "Tweet" buttons at the bottom of each post to share or leave a positive comment. The top vote-getters will be finalists.
I would love to have the opportunity to participate in the Social Media Conference primarily because I have had experience both as a patient and the education of a medical doctor. I have always wished to share my personal experience with all my health occurrences to help empower patients that you will be ok and you can live a healthy positive life. I am 32 years old but I have seen a lot of things that most people at my age have never even learned much about.
I was diagnosed at the age of 11 with type I diabetes and was able to manage that successfully until I turned 28. I had just graduated medical school. At this age I found out that my kidneys were failing due to an unknown cause and I suddenly went to the doctor and found out my only option was a kidney transplant. My health situation didn’t allow me to complete my residency at the time but I plan to complete my training when my health is in a stable condition. But the positive part of having a new kidney was the accompaniment of a new pancreas curing me of my diabetes.
After two years of being on the waiting list, I was able to come to Mayo Clinic and receive my transplant. I thank my donor and Mayo with all my heart for saving my life. Recently after that I suffered from a broken tibial plateau fracture from the kidney failure and rejection medicines weakening my bones. Since then I have had three other bones that have broken including both my ankles and calcaneous.
I feel like I would be a great patient advocate for social media because I not only use Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter readily, I’m also in the process of trying to write a book to help educate and inspire everyone out there about how organ donation can save lives and how life in general as it changes from when you could walk normally to not walk at all doesn’t have to put a damper on your attitude or life. There are tons of ways you can adjust and have a life as equally joyful and fulfilling as everyone.
If I get selected to attend the conference I would love to contribute how public education and awareness of topics that are often not known to many would bring about an understanding and more of an acceptance of topics many do not know about. I am constantly trying to tell friends to sign up to be donors but many have a fear that if they do and the time comes doctors wont try as hard to save them. It is rumors like these that I would love to educate people about and help them to understand what the truth is. I also would love to encourage others to know and be on the lookout for signs of health changes or know the symptoms so they don’t ignore issues and suffer ill consequences from simple ignorance of not knowing about certain conditions.
By this social media awareness we could save many innocent lives or even prevent some very serious illnesses. I hope to learn more from others about how they use social media to help promote awareness and expand on my volunteer work by elaborating. I also want to use my techniques I use now with the combination of what I learn from others and what I am taught at the conference. I think that the more ideas combined the better. I would love to share my insight as being a patient at Mayo as well as having a medical background with others. I would love to learn from others experiences and would appreciate the help to find new strategies and to enforce my own ideas.
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