Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blogging about others.

I blog about myself and my oh-so-healthy-body. I don't really blog about other people and their stories. I mean I occasionally whine about a co-worker or a doctor or a rocket scientist that did something earth shattering utterly stupid. Crooked politicians, medical researchers, and scammers also hit my blog once in a while.

But I do not blog about other people and their medical ailments. I have family members who have their own health problems. But that is their story too tell. Its not for me to tell.

But Frances over at Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog writes about blogging as a way to share experiences, about their health problems or life and about others when they are terminally ill - as a way to cope.

I do feel it is their story to tell. Also, if all of a sudden I started blogging about another's health and someone who knew the family member but not about their ailment would find out about it through me and not through the patient.

Am I making sense? Sometimes I wonder. I believe that if you get an ailment, unless you are under 10, you should take responsibility to tell who you want to know. There is a line of privacy. Imagine if you are a high school student and you get diarrhea (a moderately embarrassing ailment at that age), do you want anyone to know? Should your mother's note say - he was sick and couldn't come in. Or should it spell out the intimate detail of mad dashes to the bathroom?

The same thing goes for the rest of your life. Its your body, you get to decide who knows what. I don't want to be the one to tell. If someone wants to write about your ailment and you don't want them to, they should start a private journal and not share it. That's their problem and not yours.

And its your choice to decide when and if to tell your story. I think I blog about this a lot but I think its important to me as well....

2/2 - I'll add an update and a clarification based on Frances' comment below. The way I read her blog post was that blogging about others illness is a way of coping. From my point of view I would never write about another.


Frances Shani Parker said...

Caroline, I had to go back and read my blog post to see why you think I "promote blogging about others, especially when they are terminally ill - as a way to cope." I don't promote that, and that is never stated on my post.

The post is about a research analysis with bloggers who wrote during and after illness of family members who died of cancer. This was reported in a prominent medical journal with a link. I simply explained the research which lists both pros and cons about this type of blogging, not just as "a way to cope." I included another link to a blog this an example of blogging about a relative's terminal illness. I also thanked you for adding your perspective in the comments. Know that I wish you the best.

Happy endings,
Frances Shani Parker

Lisa said...

I also must disagree with how you took her blog post. She was telling what the RESEARCH showed. I did not read anything that told what her specific opinion was about it.

And for me personally, I feel quite the opposite as you do. I have a small blog with very few followers. I blog about myself, my life. Right now, my life consists of two loved ones battling cancer, so I AM blogging about it -- I WANT TO blog about it. I don't give all the gory details (as most wouldn't) unlike what you suggest would happen. These are my LOVED ONES, and I'm not blogging to shame them. Also, I don't give their full names and addresses, so they are anonymous to anyone who doesn't know them personally. I am not gleefully relaying their daily lives as soon as I can, either. It's always just a "she is having a terrible time with the treatment this time", or "please pray for her procedure tomorrow!" Some days it is too painful to post anything lately.

I haven't read your blog except little bits just tonight, but it seems that you are struggling with health issues, and that is why you are focused on blogging about that. However, the struggles *I* am having in MY life right now are about trying to deal with and come to terms with watching my dearly loved ones go through something so devastating. It is tearing me apart and I have absolutely NO control over it. I get strength, love and hope by blogging about it and from the comments, "hugs" and prayers from my caring followers. It IS a way to cope for me.

Ultimately, blogging is about the blogger. I don't think the bloggers in the study were setting up blogs expressly to write about the illnesses of their loved ones. I think you blog about your illnesses because that is what your life is about right now, and I (and others) blog about the illnesses of others because that is what MY life is about right now.
Please do not pass judgement on me for that. You are not more noble than I am -- your life is just focused differently.

And believe me.....I wish with all my heart and SOUL that this WASN'T the focus of my life now, and what I think about all day, every day. I long for the days when my blog was about paint colors and gardening.

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