I’d like to pose some questions, and trigger some introspection. I’ll tell you why I like diabetes stories, then you tell me why you like them.
When first diagnosed 4 years ago, I read a kajillion posts on a half dozen bulletin boards to help me figure out my new life. I looked for the little snippets that helped. Like how to manage my pump, or handle eating at a restaurant. I read the boards intensely for a couple years, and posted replies when I thought I had something meaningful to offer.
But my involvement trickled off to almost nothing. Boards that saw me daily wouldn’t recognize me now. I think it’s because I want more from my interactions. I want something more than a snippet. While I appreciate all the little factoids, and words of comfort and support that go to newbies, and those in trouble, I just grew tired of them.
So what do I want now? What do I like now? I like to hear a diabetes story. I want to know who the principal character is. I want to hear the way their life is being lived. One of the first in-depth posts I read after dx was on dLife’s BB. Somebody with severe suicidal tendencies had posted at length. And dozens replied. And the story remained unresolved, the suicidal poster leaving off in the middle of the saga…
Now I’m building the picture of some people I admire in the diabetes world. I’m learning their stories through a little web interaction, a little in real life. A team captain for ADA Colorado’s Team Red cyclists, a manager at Animas who also drives a piece of the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association. It’s lots harder to build these stories given my access, but it’s proving very worthwhile.
Why do I like diabetes stories, positive or negative? Because I can compare and contrast my life to those I learn about. How do they deal with their condition? How do they maintain their mental state? As a T1, I’m constantly comparing the lifestyle of T2’s with mine. I try to withhold judgement of those who trash their bodies, their life. I try to learn from the good and the bad.
More than anything, right now in my life, I’m trying to figure out how one maintains this lifestyle over the long haul. I hold great admiration for those diagnosed at an early age. I consider myself lucky to have postponed it all until my mid-forties. I really want to know the secrets, the tips and techniques for mental balance required for the duration of this event.
That’s why I like diabetes stories. To learn more about myself, by learning about others.
Why do you like diabetes stories?