For reasons I would rather not get into, the past few weeks have been very stressful. On top of this, summer is always hard for me because of the heat. I have to use my available resources to first keep up with work and other responsibilities with the blog coming after.
The silver lining to this situation is that it has forced me to realize that I absolutely cannot keep doing this the way I have been doing. It is not safe for me. It has forced me to think about what tasks can be delegated and the best way to educate mast cell patients and providers as a group to lessen the burden on me and others like me in various organizations.
I’m taking a few weeks off to come back in August with a stronger team so that MastAttack is not synonymous with me. I will continue to produce content, answer questions and interact with patients, but additional help in some other areas will make me better able to serve this community.
A number of people have reached out to ask how they can help. I have the following needs:
• Technical blog posts need to be edited to include bulleted summaries without jargon at the top of each post.
• Frequently asked questions need to be compiled with answers and posted on the blog as a page. These answers are assuredly on the blog already, it’s a matter of putting it all in one place.
• Older posts needs to be curated to ensure that the information there is still accurate. Wherever possible, any information from older posts that is still relevant should be incorporated into newer posts and the older posts removed.
• Redundant posts need to be combined and organized.
• Any research for requested posts would be really helpful. You do not need to have a science background for this, but I need to feel confident that you have a reasonable understanding of mast cell biology.
• Research or posts on conditions that commonly occur with mast cell disease. Again, you do not need to have a science background for this, but I need to feel confident that you have a reasonable understanding of mast cell biology.
• Questions for me need to be prioritized. For questions that have already been answered somewhere on the blog, the person should be directed to the appropriate post.
• Suggested reading lists need to be generated for the blog to ensure that the reader reads posts that describe more entry level concepts prior to reading posts that describe more complex concepts.
• Messages and emails describing complex cases asking for my opinion need to be distilled down into shorter, more digestible information. The biggest reason it takes me forever to respond to emails like this is that I have to absorb four pages of information and then think about it before I respond. I have to think about exactly how I want to do this because I understand patients may be uncomfortable with someone else reading these messages, so don’t worry about it yet. I think I could set up a separate email for that or maybe a form that shows how to structure information.
• The Master Index and subpages need to be updated as newer posts are published.
• Monthly summaries need to be updated as newer posts are published.
If you are interested in helping, or have other suggestions for how to improve efficiency, please email me at [email protected]. I’m really excited about the future possibilities for MastAttack.