Shortly after publishing my letter to Dr Richard Besser, I sent him a tweet:
I have to admit, I was not expecting a reply. I could see that Dr Besser is active on Twitter, but I honestly thought my posting would go ignored. Just over an hour later, however, I received a reply:
I was initially excited to receive a reply, then a bit dismayed as I read it. I replied to a friend on Facebook:
I have to admit, I needed some time. I was getting the kids ready for baths, reading and bed, trying to figure out how to politely re-reference the literature that I had already referenced in the letter. I was struggling with phrasing and wanted to be certain that I came across with the right tone: as someone who is still learning all this stuff (aren’t we all?) while still be authoritative enough to warrant listening to. And then – to try to pull it off in 140 characters with an individual who has no previous interacting with me? I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off.
Then my phone started vibrating as @joebrence9 joined in the conversation…
…and Dr Besser was receptive!!!
Then @PTSkeptic joined in as well…
…and this began a dialogue, which closed with Dr Besser…
I thought this was a positive outcome and I went to bed a pleased little blogger. If nothing else, I (with the help of friends on Twitter) had introduced new materials to an influential educator; he had seemed open-minded and receptive to some of the concepts that we were trying to share with him. Nowadays, that is a victory when trying to get someone to consider that pain is not strictly a bottom-up phenomena.
I was especially surprised the next morning, though, when Dr. Besser reached out to us with an inquiry:
For the rest of the day, Dr. Besser engaged physical therapists on Twitter, many of whom shared resources and cited references to various studies related to postural changes, positioning and their correlation with pain. Links to some ‘threads’ on Twitter can be found here, here, and here.
Dr. Besser closed our conversation on the 27th with the following tweet:
It was a genuine pleasure to participate in such a courteous and respectful exchange, especially considering many of the participants had differing views on the material being discussed. Later that day I sent the following tweets to those who jumped in and graciously shared their time and expertise – I show those tweets here to thank them (again) for their contributions.