I've been curious/concerned about facebook lately and its influence on the masto community. recently this sort of meme-thing went around about how Christopher Reeve had mastocytosis and it might have played a role in his death (i guess the story goes he had an anaphylactic reaction to antibiotics) Now, I don't know the specifics of his death, I wasn't there, I don't know the Reeve family (though I do support their foundation, as even though they don't support masto research, stem cell stuff may help us in the future) so I can't comment on whether or not there is any validity behind the claim that mastocytosis killed Christopher Reeve. I mean it's possible. It's also known that he had a severe spinal injury that most people don't survive. I know when I get a cold or cut or bruise myself badly my mast cells flare up into full effect. I can't even imagine the impact of a spinal injury would do, of what being a quadriplegic would do to the mast cells.
What I -do- know, without reservation, is that even with mastocytosis, Christopher Reeve was superman. He was a student at Cornell, a stage and film actor, he was an athlete, an equestrian, he was asked to run for congress....he had a ridiculously full life -and- he had mastocytosis. He did all that in spite of the disease we have.
Don't let the circumstances of his death (which are cloudy) overshadow the fact that he achieved a lot. he lived. fully.
What upsets me is that i posted a very abbreviated version of this on someone's page on facebook (who constantly posts about masto in the most negative and ill informed light, inferring we're going to die, that we will need organ transplants) and they "unfriended" me and then wrote some passive aggressive shit about me.
Now, I'm all for forming a community for people who deal with this disease. I think it's crucial, I think we need each other. But we also need to not throw daily pity parties and spread around dangerous misinformation too...and I see a lot of that happening on FB, way moreso than I do on the various mailing lists that I've written about in the past. It's interesting because both the mailing lists and FB provide us with community, but they seem to come from completely different angles. I almost get -scared- when I feel like I'm "teaching" someone who has masto about their disease, especially if they're being very vocal about stuff that doesn't make sense.
None of this makes sense. We'd need to be MDs or PhDs for this to all make sense, and I get that. But I guess I just am wondering if I feel the need to be educated more important than the need for masto-friends...But don't take this to mean that I don't want masto friends, because I totally do. I want people that I can relate to, who won't look at me with pity or fear if I get flushy or rashed up.
In other news, I might have to step on a plane soon for the first time since my diagnosis. It's still very up in the air at the moment, but it's quite nerve wracking too.