Oct 30, 2007

Grand Rounds and grand managers

Make sure you check Grand Rounds this week. Paul Levy is hosting it and the theme is a personal experience in a hospital that changed beliefs. What a wonderful idea! The change of perspective from medical professional to being in the patient's shoes. Brilliant as always!

And another blog that I recently started reading - Seth Godin's blog . Great marketing ideas and just plain good sense for websites and life. Here's a post that reminded me of Paul and his management style.

That's how most CEOs and top managers make decisions. Not based on unemotional data, but on emotion-rich, experience-based stories. And if management isn't permeable to the outside world, the whole organization is going to suffer, isn't it?

Oct 28, 2007

Bloggers, back pain and embarassment

Back in May, I had a post with a link to the Fitness Fixer. I am reading Jolie's blog since then and I like it very much. she had a Neck and Backpain Workshop for the last two week-ends relatively close to me and I went there. I also went to a yoga class with her. It was great! She's so different and challenging and seeing and doing this so different than everybody else (hmmm, just like me?). So if any of you live in Philadelphia, go meet her!

Jolie is very nice and very smart. I liked her a lot and I hope I will use what she taught us to never get backpain and to help some of my friends that do. Visit her blog! There is something to be learned from there.

I enjoy meeting people through blogging. It's easier and feels safer for us. I prefer this environment to anything else to getting to know others.

And now the funny part: I sent Jolie the comment I had in May about her blog, so she knew that I have social anxiety. She went out of her way to make me feel good. (Jolie, if you read this, you are great, and I love you very much and you did just fine, so please don't get upset with the rest of this) . Jolie challenged me more than physically...

I had to laugh at all the nice things she did for me that embarrassed the hell out of me: all we want is to be lost in the crowd, don't single us out. She hugged me and noticed how nice I am. She got me a ride for two blocks so I can get to the yoga class - Oh, the horror of riding in a car with 4 perfect strangers... I would have happily walked in the rain than try to make conversation. Good thing that it was really close.

My husband joked about the similarity of my feelings and my 2 years old's feelings when he sees a big dog or some other scary animal (we went to the zoo and he saw a big pig at the petting farm - he declared - nooo pig, no pig, no pig and clutched on tightly to my husband). The same with me: nooo people, please, no new people!

Thank you Jolie for challenging me in all sorts of ways! Now that the danger is gone, I am very amused at the whole situation, really!

Oct 22, 2007

Joke on social anxiety

My husband made up a brilliant joke:

"You are arguing with yourself and you are too shy to answer. Now that's social anxiety!"

About copying and feeding from this blog

I have noticed a website feeding off my and SA Dave's blogs. While that website seems to be in work, it makes us uncomfortable to see our posts copied somewhere else. This is not Technorati or Bloglines or some other common RSS feed, it has our blogs under headings with social anxiety, suggesting that we are somehow doing SA therapy. Please appreciate that we are not feeling good about this and stop feeding on our blogs.

They say that copying is a sign of flattery, but I don't feel flattered. I am feeling way more shy to write anything. I'm no expert. I have no medical degree. I can speak for what I feel about my anxiety and maybe that is what some of you feel, but I'm sure there are just as many people with social anxiety that do not find themselves in what I am saying and for which this is much worse.

Thank you for your understanding. I deleted my email from my blog, but I'm allowing anonymous comments, and will not post a comment if you mention it. So if you want to contact me just send a comment.

(BTW one other reason I'm shy about posting more is not getting any comments. I must be a bad writer lately... oh, we are so dependent on other people's feedback!)

Oct 17, 2007

Preeclampsia awareness

This is a post for those of you that are interested in pregnancy and preeclampsia issues.

My very good friend and founder of the Preeclampsia Foundation, Anne Garrett Addison (gosh, Anne, there are so many double consonants in your name!) was nominated as a Woman of Worth by L'Oreal

She just had an interview on NPR. It is worth listening to. It is a story of the need to empower patients in being active in their own care, in understanding their conditions and partnering with their doctors for their care. Anne has been my and hundreds of other women's mentor in becoming empowered patients. It was my brush with preeclampsia that made possible my researching more about social anxiety and about being able to live (pretty well) with it.

It is late at night and I really need to go to bed, but I will update this post with more relevant links about preeclampsia awareness and patient empowerment. I am very grateful that I had preeclampsia and that made me meet Anne. Thank you Anne for all that you did and are still doing for us and for me!

Oct 16, 2007

Growing pains

I think I'm growing a bit these days.

My first revelation is that it's unfair to judge anyone because you can never know everything that is going on with that other person. Unless you know all the factors how can you say whether someone is doing or not the right thing. This has to do with my last post and with my previous rants mainly about doctors. I got to understand a bit more about a couple of doctors that I complained about in the past. I got to see how one of them is really trying to do things better and I think this is what is important: continuous improvement rather than perfection.

My second growing point and the answer to all the people that get to my blog by searching for "is social anxiety ever going away" and "emotional immaturity" is that I will live with social anxiety for the rest of my life. It will not get better. I might lose jobs, opportunities, friends, relationships, etc. over this and this is OK. Other people are losing jobs, opportunities, friends, relationships, etc. over other things. I will have to accept it, live with myself, get over it as fast as possible and move on. Emotional waves will come and go, some will be stronger and more painful than others. I just need to know that they all will go away eventually.

I met someone that might be useful in achieving my impossible dream. I was breathless, speechless, said the wrong things, had the wrong attitude. It will not go away. I might fix it by sending an email or going back, or maybe not, but the only way to get that job is to continue to do this over and over again until it becomes so normal that I can do it without overwhelming emotions or until someone will be able to see through the emotional content. Either way the emotional maturity and the social anxiety won't matter anymore. The only person that this is a big deal for is myself.

It was painful to see someone interested in what I had to say and seeing me running away from talking about what I want to talk about most.

I will try to work on a marketing speech to help me get through easier, but I will expect even this to fail. I cannot win if I will always run away.

Oct 10, 2007


I read this article in Medical Economics and I got offended.... big time offended. You advise doctors to write notes that detailed to avoid a malpractice suit? This mean doctors spend more time writing notes than they spend talking to patients? And this for the 1% or less patients that would sue them?

Can't they come up with something more economic? Can they record the conversations during appointments - that would embarrass us a lot, but how is it different anyway? It can only be used if you sue them.

Can we come up with some promise that we are not set to sue them? Like marriage? In sickness and in health... We're not all after you! Shouldn't the lawyers work on doing something like that than on suing doctors... I guess that wouldn't bring enough money.

When I had a breast lump, I had two doctors give me breast exams without a chaperon. I very much appreciated their ability to see me for what I was - a scared woman - rather than a malpractice suit waiting to happen. These doctors gained my full respect. Of course I wouldn't blame anyone that uses a chaperon (you need to do what you need to do), but having the guts to do otherwise needs to be appreciated.

What a mess!

Oct 8, 2007


I added my avatar on Social Anxiety Friends. I am Piglet... If you didn't read Winnie the Pooh lately, do so. It's really fun reading. Here's a description of the characters:


Other books that we read to our kid that were fun:

- The Princess Bride

- Grimm's Fairy Tales - I got the complete works volume... they are not as fairy tales as you'd think! Lots of real life lessons!

- Mary Poppins - she's not that nice

- The Jungle Book

- The Wizard of Oz

Oct 1, 2007

New poll and old poll results

Here are the results of my latest poll:

Out of 29 voters

2 do not have social anxiety

The other 27 use the following to help with social anxiety (options are not exclusive, more than one item could be selected):

  • 10 (34%) - Read books, blogs, etc.
  • 9 (31%) - Do individual therapy
  • 6 (20%) - Do nothing
  • 5 (17%) - Take medication
  • 5 (17%) - Exercise
  • 4 (13%) - Blog, diary, other writings
  • 2 (6%) - Meditate
  • 2 (6%) - Other
  • 0 - Group therapy (I guess I am not popular with the Phoenix group ;) )

I was impressed with the large number of people that do nothing and the small number of people that meditate... I guess you guys felt just like me when you tried to meditate. It never works well at home.

This inspired me for my October poll: how much does social anxiety affect your life. It affects my life a little, but not to a level that it stops me from doing things: I would avoid a party or talking to someone, but I still see people, work, do new stuff, etc. How about you? How bad is it?