I just have to say for the record that I confess. I never realized how much fun, how much camaraderie and how much support a chat room can be. You see in the past, I was familiar with online chats as an invited expert guest to the then existing PainAid. Those few times were chocked full of interesting experiences shared and fascinating questions. Yet I completely “missed the boat” about its intrigue until I began to participate with TPC chats on a regular basis.
TPC’s chat room is a blast. I look forward to reading and responding to the conversations from the variety of people who join in. No day is the same. Some days so many get online and chat it up so intensely that it’s hard to get a word in (and I type pretty fast). I have actually felt dizzy trying to follow the different topics of discussion. Other days, the conversation is intently focused on helping out a fellow member who is having a tough day. Watch out then boom……….the conversations becomes filled with LOL, ROFL, SMH and an abundance of humorous quips. “All hands on deck” (did you like that BD?) occurs when someone is in need—that someone is a member of TPC’s chat family. Yes, this online support community is a family—one that cares and reaches out to each other not only while online in the chat room; it extends to the discussion forums and through other more familiar social networks, such as Facebook.
What is different with TPC chats? For that hour, there is an immediate connection—a strong interaction between participants—all either live with or care for someone with pain or both. Members share in “real time” and do not have to wait for delayed comments as with typical social networks. Many can participate at the same time, instead of the one on one that you may experience with instant messaging. TPC chats are fluid, dynamic, kind, private and members are anonymous, by using their alias aka nickname or play name. Any TPC member can participate—whether you are a seasoned veteran with pain or someone just beginning their pain journey. All are welcomed.
For me, as a pain management nurse, I feel that these chats are the much needed “partner” to other forms of support. They do NOT replace a face to face support group or a telephone support group. They enhance them. All have immense value. In the ideal world, each form of support would cross promote each other, so that the person with pain would benefit no matter the day, no matter the time, no matter the reason.
Now, as an individual who is experiencing pain on a more regular basis, I feel that when I am online chatting with others…….I have forgotten the hurt, for that moment in time. I can share frustrations, and ask for advice from others who REALLY understand. I feel honored to be a part of a very special group of people. As I have said before, and I will continue to say until I can no longer speak, “People with pain are some of the strongest people I have ever met”! I am so blessed to be a part of your lives, even if in a small way. You teach me more than you know.
SO………..Chat room, please take me away—that I may enjoy this life journey with you. Welcome all. You can join the ride every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-12noon ET for hosted chats. New chat times are on the horizon. Also, since the chat room is open 24/7, you can plan to meet up with your fellow TPC members any time you like. If you have preferences or other tips, please comment.