As I scroll through my Facebook feed, I see status updates from medical moms and dads.
They are my tribe, my community – these wonderful people who innately get what it’s like to live with a kid medical stuff – because they live it too.
Some of these people I have met in the real world – we have most likely shared coffee or wine or a meal. We have most certainly hugged and laughed and probably shed some tears together. Many of these people I have “only” met virtually, thanks to the magic of social media. We have gotten to know one another from an online support group, a virtual message board or through the connection of another friend.
As I scroll I see posts like “We are inpatient day 7, labs look better and the doctors are pleased, but the pain for Tommy is not being well managed. Hopefully we’ll be going home soon” or “We finally have a diagnosis that makes sense. We are so glad”. I’m often conflicted about what to do in response to this information. Do I like these posts? Well I like some parts of the posts….but I definitely don’t like the post as a whole. What is a medical mama to do?
These bits are complicated. Pieces of lives, condensed for easy reading the general public. Ways to communicate the challenges we face and ways to update friends and family about what is happening, without delving too deep. Facebook is in need of an empathy button. For our tribe to virtually say to one another, “I see you” or “I’ve been there” or “that sucks”.
We summarize. We synthesize. We find connections and create connections. Even without this empathy button, we support one another in this complex life.
I want you to know that I see you. And I get it. And that is what makes us a tribe.
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