Are You An #ePatient, Still “In The Closet?”

196762_10150477974860019_6825465_nIf you know me, you know @IM4PBS.

My twitter handle copies the license plate I’ve had since I began working for PBS in 2002.

And in the beginning, I used an avatar on Twitter, to show my PBS pride.

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I’d change it up whenever Congress threatened to cut PBS funding, which eventually seemed to become a year-round affair. 

I’m no longer working directly for one of the best content providers the world will ever know, but IM still 4PBS, so I kept using the same avatar and general bio on Twitter:  

Successfully communicating in this new media frontier – forging & sustaining relationships – is a lifelong adventure, not for the faint of heart. Yippee-Ki-Yay! 

I felt my identity was safer, but still true, and required someone to dig deeper to find my #ePatient history.

Why would one be wont to hide behind an avatar and benign Twitter profile?  

Because I am a cancer survivor now living with other chronic conditions, byproducts of my initial treatments. Because I was unemployed and unable to find a job, any job with health insurance, here in the Neo-Luddite Triangle, for far too long, even after COBRA and unemployment benefits ran out. Because I don’t have a spouse with benefits. Because I am afraid survivors, like myself, are still open to discrimination, despite attempts to legislate against it (GINA, 2008).

I don’t think I am alone.

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