Thank you for your continuing support. As a mature member, you have joined in the discussions in the gout forum. There is no definite point when you become a mature member. It simply happens as you continue to use the forums.
You will have joined a few discussions, and started one or two more. What happens next, is really up to you. The best members continue to contribute in the forum. How often depends on your time commitments. It does not matter if you post every day, or once a year. If I had to nail down a definition of a mature member, it is someone who has passed on the gout lessons they have learned to a new forum member.
Answering the questions of other gout sufferers is a tremendous way to give something back. It is a generous use of your time, but you get a benefit as well. I know from experience that I have learned more about gout from answering other people’s questions than I ever got from trying to solve my own gout problems. You will probably find that your own understanding of gout increases as you respond to questions. That helps you manage your gout better, and stay pain free.
Moving from 2013 into 2014, I am adding new services to provide more personal care for gout sufferers. This will be in the form of personal gout management plans. As an active forum member, you will get priority as I introduce new services. Please take some time to tell me what extra services will help you in the Using GoutPal forum
I will also add achievement badges and other ways to recognize and reward contributors. Again, if you have opinions or experiences of similar schemes, please share in the Using GoutPal forum. In fact, please use that forum to suggest any improvements that you can think of. I want to make all the GoutPal websites a useful resource for you, so please tell me how I can help you better.
I have one final request. I know that time is precious, and you may not have time to devote to the forum. I also know that all gout sufferers, or people who suspect gout, should have a uric acid blood test at least once a year. If you are taking allopurinol or other uric acid lowering medication, you should also include kidney function and liver function tests. Please keep in touch by sharing your annual results on the gout forum. It is a wonderful encouragement to new gout sufferers to see how managing gout properly leads to a pain-free life.