I'm sure that we all have personal medical stories to share. Hopefully good stories and not just bad ones. Did your uncle survive into his 90s while smoking a cigar a day? Did that young doctor in town do something awful to Elizabeth in accounting? We all have a collection of tales.
When it comes to determining what is right or wrong with medicine anecdotal evidence is considered weak. Mainly because the more evidence and the more cases and the more numbers involved the stronger any correlations and links you can find. Smoking is linked to certain cancers and diseases. Not everyone who smokes will get those diseases. They're just much more likely to get them.
But anecdotes aren't unimportant. Every trend starts with the first observation. A few anecdotes may lead to the collection of much stronger evidence.
Plus anecdotes can be incredibly moving, personal, and powerful. Empathy is a powerful force.
My Brain Forgot... by Lucy Ambrose is her story of a back injury that spiraled out of control. It describes how a 'simple' injury turned into a dark nightmare and how she eventually got help that worked. Stories like Lucy's may not be representative. Her story may not reflect what happens to most people. It does however tell you what happened to her specifically.
For even though a single anecdote is not a sound basis for changing medical policy it may help to remember that each person will end up with their own story. We are going through our own story of illnesses and issues and of diagnoses and treatments.
Each of us is an anecdote in the making.