How exciting to here that you will be participating at the Diabetes 2 event on Dec 7. You asked about our thoughts that we would love to share with the attendees. Here it goes.
I go online every day, I sign on as if I was reading a morning newpaper. First stop, Six Until Me. Keri Sparling. Keri’s blogs and stories made me realize that I am not the only person out here with diabetes. As I read her blog I find myself laughing when she writes about little slick, sly things that PWD occcasionally do. And cry when she writes about challenges of getting pregnant or getting a box of juice for a hypo in an airport. I recognize myself in her stories, finding that I feel the same way. I thought it was only me that juggled and struggled with this diabetic life.
Next stop, Diabetesmine. Amy writes of information of diabetes, i.e. new books about diabetes, guest writers, new diabetic gadgets, diabetes bloggers, Pharma. She does a great job keeping you up to dates about online diabetes sites. It is exciting when her blogs ruffle my feathers and I write comments and put my two cents in the conversations.
Home base is Tu-diabetes. I love the creative ways how PWD express their views on the site. Videos, art work, music expression. It is always exciting to sign on and check out what is going on. Make Sense of Diabetes Videos, Synchronized Glucose Testing and Events of World Diabetes. But my favorite is how PWD have a great opportunity to tell their story. Hi, my name is … and I have had diabetes for 37 years. This type of blogs, conversations is my daily therapy to deal with Diabetes.
It allows me to talk about what is going on in my life with someone else that truly understands what PWD go thru everyday. People that do not have diabetes just don’t get it. Doctors and CDE will never have the time to talk about it during our appointments. Tu-Diabetes is a place where I can express my feelings with others like me. Online encourages me, to take care better care of myself and be a survivor.
So Manny, you asked:
What needs are filled by the online connections with others touched by diabetes?
Answer: It is my online diabetes therapy. Just talking about it, helps. I am not alone.
Has being online helped you cope with living with diabetes?
Answer: Yes, it makes me realize, If I take care of myself, I will be able to stay out of the complication cycle.
Has it resulted in improvement in my care?
Answer: Hell ya! I walk into my Dr office, I am better prepared and get the care that I expect!
What has surprised you the most about the oneline community you frequent most often?
Answer: 1. People with diabetes have the same similar fears, struggles as me. 2. That there are other Type 1 diabetics that are surviving 30, 40, 50 years. They are thriving individuals without complications. My prior self image was getting older and one day I would have an amputated foot or leg. Or asking my self, "Will I die tomorrow? Screw that Sh%#!
What are three things someone should walk away knowing about the online world?
Answer: 1. ONLINE IS NOT YOUR DR. OR CDE! 2. Online will give you a feeling of community, motivate your selfcare, remind you to take care of yourself. 3. It gives you a sense of reflection. Gosh! I feel the same way.
Is there anything else you’d like to share in terms of connecting with others with diabetes online?
Answer: Sign on, TEST, Read Daily, TEST, Learn, TEST, Share and laugh with the community of PWD, TEST. And one more thing TEST!
Manny thanks so much for your conversations.
P.S. Manny please tell Dr. Jay Skyler at the DRI event Hi!. He was my Endo 30 years ago when I was pregnanet. Tell him that I am still kicking. Also tell him that I am going to start prayer campaign online. Lord, please help Dr. Skylar and other scientist at DRI find a cure.