Monday, June 21, 2010

The Value of the Internet


A year or so ago this very funny gentlemen called from Texas to let me know him and his wife Marty would be coming to Missouri and since I was on the Interstate in Illinois could they treat me to a cup of coffee. My answer was a resounding yes. So maybe you are wondering what is so extra special about this. Well, Victor (V-Wig) , and I are members of an ever increasing number of chronically ill patients who have met on the internet and at some point travel to meet each other. Five years ago this would have been unheard of and even in 2008 when I made my first trip to Atlanta by car fom Illinois with a preplanned list of people to meet from our site Patientslikeme.com, my children raised one "x@!?> of a fight about me heading out on my own o meet total strangers FROM THE INTERNET.....well total stangers they were not. As you can see by this picturem we were quite happy with each others company and had never met before that day but had spent endless hours discussing our illnesses and clowning around with no one to tell us we were just to sick or old to do "That." We would meet for virtual "Coffee" in the morning before we started our day. One morning we went step by step as one of our friends took us through charging up her DBS System in chat. We're not looking for dates (husbands or wives) just a hug across the miles for both patient and caregiver. Victor and Marty have been happily married for years for sure.
Then there is a little gal I meet off and on when her family are traveling from Montana to the East Coast to visit her family. They pull their mobile trailer on to Walmart parking lot and give me a call. I go pick up a bucket of chicken and all the fixings and when I get their Jodi, her three daughters and her husband have the string lights up outside welcoming me in for supper.
In 2008 I traveled to Denver to a Davis Phinney Meeting and met one person from the site then flew on to California and stayed with another and one came down from La Honda and we all traveled around San Francisco for a couple of days. I went to Atlanta and stopped twice to meet two members and their families. In Atlanta I met so many more at the YOPN Conference.
Then off to the Unity Walk that year and so many from the site and last of all that year to Indianapolis, Columbus and Cleveland for a week to celebrate a 76 year old dear friends birthday in the winter.
To some this seems so silly. To just throw this money away. It is never useless folly. I'm not rich by anymeans, but I really know how to save and so save I do. The smiles and hugs are worth all the gold in the world to me and I suppose they are to those I visit also. Just to be able to talk honest , face to face with someone who is going through what you are after you have become such close friends on the Internet is so, so special to all of us...Pokie

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Today With PokieToo and Parkinson's and Acute RA Disease