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Pat M. and all newcomers -- please don't go away!

Posted by Nancy S. on 4/21/00 at 00:00 (019115)

Pat, you are no bother, far from it, and please don't take Robin's wish for people to use the search function more as a reprimand or as a request for people to stop asking questions. (I for one, as I'm sure you've seen, still need to ask questions, and I've used the search many times). Like you, it took me a little while to even notice the search function -- there's so much on this site to explore, it takes weeks. And five months later, I still find new stuff.
I do agree with Robin that people could use the search more, and I think Kim has an excellent idea for Scott -- to highlight the search function more, explain how it works, give it more center-stage-ness. It has helped me a lot.
But that said, I also agree with you that there's much more to this site than what can be found in archives. Some of that info. is outdated; some of it has been added to and expanded upon greatly since the posts first appeared. And most of all, I think that in the message board context, nothing can replace the back-and-forth communication about each person's individual situation and questions. Many (most?) of us have found this sorely lacking in our experiences with doctors, and also sometimes in our friendships and other aspects of personal lives. This is the only place where we can KNOW that people understand and will really focus their minds on trying to help. And this is one big reason why I don't like the 'best of' idea -- it would probably omit the 'back and forth,' the thinking out loud, and the little gem-like ideas that sometimes pop out in the middle of an 'ordinary' post. A lot of the value of this board is tucked in corners, or is spread out over a whole thread of posts on a topic.
When I made my very first post, I was in bad pain, considering leaving a useless doctor but also considering surgery by him, and I'm sure I asked about a lot of things already addressed on this board in the past. And I still remember the three people who first answered me: Lori S., Wendyn, and alan k. They brought me in and gave me good advice and perspective, and it was the beginning of what is starting to feel like recovery. The search function added a lot to that, but it couldn't replace it.
So Pat, I'm mainly trying to say to you: Please don't leave, you are more than welcome here, and continue to ask all the questions that occur to you, as many of us still do -- newcomers and oldtimers alike. Scott's 'voting' idea has just raised issues about how to deal with all the information here, but I don't think any of the discussion about it is directed at individuals. Take care, and please keep posting, and also I'm glad you have a May 2 appt.! I hope it's helpful and that you get the referral you're hoping for. --Nancy
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