This Blog Does Not Contain Medical Advice (But What Should it Contain?)
I am dismayed by the number of people who told me they read my post on magnesium and immediately started taking 700 mg of the supplement. They didn’t look into recommended dosages or side effects, they just started taking as much as I said helped me. In the almost seven years since I began The Daily Headache, this is the first time I’ve felt like what I’ve written has been misconstrued as medical advice. Fortunately, magnesium is fairly safe and the effect of taking too much — diarrhea — is pretty obvious. But the situation did get me thinking about this blog and its purpose.
I blamed myself because I didn’t include details about magnesium and its potential dangers in the post. I resolved to not post (much) until I had written a thoroughly researched piece on magnesium. Hence the dearth of posts for the last couple weeks. As much as I want to, I simply don’t have the energy to research and write the post. Because I have chronic migraine, I spend a lot of time feeling too brain dead to write. When I feel good, sitting at a computer is the last place I want to be. I love writing and research and, yet, I spend so much time on my butt that I want to be cooking or cleaning or talking with friends when I feel OK, not isolated at the computer.
Since I began blogging again in November, my posts have been more my personal experience and less about what’s in the news or researched headache or migraine information. Being on the computer is no longer a trigger — I have special glasses that help with that — but what I’m interested in writing about is different than it was seven years ago. People tell me that my own stories are actually the most useful to them, but I struggle with feeling like all I care about is myself. Now that one of my personal posts has lead to people taking medication without further research, I’m conflicted.
So now I’m wondering: How do I balance sharing personal experience without being self-centered? Should I restrict the topics that I write about if I’m not up to doing research about them? What should this blog be? Do I write about what I’m thinking about or what I think readers want to read? What do you think?