Every day I log on to a charity website. This site saved my sanity when I was going through a rough time. I found other people who were experiencing the same thing, who could reassure me that I was not going mad, who could tell me I would get through it. I found an organisation set up after a young woman had died as a result of a misdiagnosis, full of compassion for those of us who experienced this medical trauma. I found an organisation backed up by the best medical research in the world, intent on teaching GPs and emergency room doctors the basics about this medical condition. I found information that helped me understand what had happened, why it had happened, what the treatment options were, and what the future might hold.
I found friends. There was safety in the anonymity at first, but our voices were clear, our personalities spoke through the internet’s series of tubes. So when I travelled to the UK, it was as if I'd known these special women for years.. Some of them travelled here. Friendships developed. Real friendships. I send their children birthday presents, send them NZ wine as wedding gifts, share their ups and their downs, and with their help I coped, and grew, I survived and yes, even prospered.
Most importantly, I found myself.
And now, every day I log on to that charity website, and see other women going through what I did. I find them young, vulnerable, terrified, angry, confused, despairing. I reassure them that they will get through this, that what they are experiencing is normal, and that it is not their fault. I listen to them, wipe their tears and hold them across the ether.
I realise how far I've come.
Helping others. It helps me too.