Reminder: What This is All About

I was at a diabetes retreat for young adults, the first time I have really been able to interact with people close to my own age. No one knows it but due to issues in my life I was very close to taking WAY more insulin than I should have and being around those people was the only thing that kept me from doing it.

- Submitted to My Diabetes Secret

Don’t ever discount the power of “me too”. It’s a powerful, sometimes life-saving feeling. While it may be a bit hyperbolic to say that all of these diabetes blogs are saving lives every day, we’re certainly helping fight the good fight.

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#dblogcheck Update: The Tribe Has Spoken

Next Tuesday (July 22) I’m encouraging everyone to comment on every single blog post they read. Even if it’s just a “Check!”, leave a comment on everything. It may seem like a tough task, but it’s worth it.

For those of you catching up to this whole #dblogcheck thing, here are some posts to provide background on what’s going on.

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Bringing Back #dblogcheck

I still maintain that I don’t need to be the person to direct the mob on this one, but there was enough of a push to gauge interest so here we are.

For those of you new to the fun, I had the idea of a “Check-In Day” last year, and I think it went well. The objective for this was not based in metrics. This isn’t about pageviews, or clicks, or referrals, or anything like that.

I like the idea of a check-in day because it helps remind members of the diabetes community of the size and scope of what all of this is. It’s another way to reaffirm the notion that we aren’t alone. It’s an opportunity to say “Hi. I read this. Thank you.”

And, it’s a great way to connect with people new to the diabetes community and discover blogs new to the Internet.

So what do you think, eager-readers? Is this something you’d be up for? We can set a date later, but if we drum up enough momentum are you game to comment on every single diabetes blog you read for one day?

Remember, a comment can be as simple as writing “Check!” on our day of fun. Sharing posts with #dblogcheck on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest? will help everyone find other blogs, too. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but I think it’s worth the time and energy.

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Revisiting #dayofdiabetes

And with that, we’ve settled on Thursday, April 10 as a new #dayofdiabetes.

I’m calling this a revisit because I shared my first #dayofdiabetes last May and a bunch of people gave it a go after that. Engaging with this project is not something that I recommend on a daily basis. Looking this hard at my diabetes management, recognizing every action that I take that has a diabetes influence, and remembering to share that thought with Twitter…it’s exhausting (more so than simply living with diabetes.) That said, the advocacy and awareness impact of doing this is immeasurable.

For all the blog posts and independent tweets we share with the world, putting them back to back for a full day provides real insight into what it’s like to live with this disease. That’s the power of sharing a #dayofdiabetes. It’s just one way we as a community can spread diabetes fact rather than let diabetes myths pollute the conversation. It’s one of the most personal ways we can educate each other, and the general public, about the similarities, differences, struggles, and successes that come with living with diabetes.

So this Thursday, I invite you to share your Day of Diabetes. If you’re interested in participating, let me know in the comments or send me a message on Twitter @iam_spartacus. If you want to Storify your own tweets after you’re done, feel free. I’ll do my best to capture each of your days and post them up on the Day of Diabetes blog.

If you want to see what past entries look like, you can visit dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com.

And if you are afraid you’ll be alone in your tweets, fear not…

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The Great Divide

For those of you that are catching up, I moderate a blog called My Diabetes Secret that hosts anonymous submissions, or secrets, from the diabetes community. These submissions are typically confessions about life with diabetes. Fears. Anger. It’s really heavy stuff. I read every single submission before queueing it up to go live on the site. I get a notification every time someone likes or reblogs a post. It all goes through me.

Lately the frequency of submissions addressing the great divide among the diabetes community have been increasing. Normally I wouldn’t write about this, as it’s sadly something I see far too often among comment threads and miscellaneous tweets and blog posts and it’s something I don’t feel properly equipped to tackle. But because this is a home that I’ve built, I can only endure so many attempts to dismantle something that I’m quite proud of despite its relative digital infancy.

I’m of multiple minds when it comes to these posts. Part of me wants to delete them. Pretend they never happened. Something along the lines of “don’t feed the trolls”.

Another mind says that this is the reality of the diabetes community; well, this is the reality of a subset of the diabetes community. I realize that the Tumblr audience is a bit younger than most of the people with diabetes I interact with on a more regular basis. Maybe, and I’m being incredibly reductive with this one, they just need time to grow up?

While I’m not going to all-out deny submissions on the blog, I’ve found a middle ground that, for now, I’m comfortable with. Rather than cross-post to Facebook and Twitter, submissions adding fuel to a fire that I want no part of will be queued for publishing, but not shared on Twitter and Facebook. Until I can wrap my head around a better way to proceed, this is how I am handling those posts.

But there’s still something deeper at play with all of this. I’m not smart enough to know the answers, but I’m naive enough to ask some questions. So here we go.

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Spare A Rose

The Spare a Rose campaign kicks off on February 1.

The idea, as the title suggests, is that if you spare a rose in the bouquet of flowers you will (likely) buy your significant other for Valentine’s Day, and donate that money to Life of a Child, a child with diabetes will get insulin for a month. If you decide to spare a whole dozen, that means a year of insulin.

In trying to think of the best way to equate the cost of your donation, I tried looking up things $5 can buy. My thought process was that if you went without [thing you can spend $5 on] just once, that money can go to a great cause.

This search led me to http://hackthemenu.com/. Now I know prices vary by region, but for the most part (based on this site’s data, so take that with a grain of salt) we’re talking about skipping one trip to Starbucks so a child in need can have enough insulin to live for another month.

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Apply Yourself

Over the next week or so I plan on writing a crude FAQ to supplement the 2014 Medicine X ePatient Scholarship Application, which can be found here. I want to recall my hesitations before applying myself two years ago and do my best to assure you that applying for the scholarship is the right thing to do. For now you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

In addition to that side project, I’m going to be moderating two Google Hangouts in the coming weeks that will also aim to answer questions and motivate the fence sitters to apply for a scholarship for next year’s conference. If, after all of that content, you’re still unsure if you’re the right fit for Medicine X, feel free to reach out to me directly. One of my roles as an ePatient Advisor is to help make the upcoming conference as great as it can be, but that can’t happen without people like you, my eager-reader, applying and hopefully attending the 2014 sessions.

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