First and foremost. This is not the end of the world. I know someone who recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with type 1 diabetes – http://kaylaslifenotes.blogspot.com/2013/09/success-on-kilimanjaro.html. There will be adjustments, some immediate, others you can’t predict, but this is totally doable.
Starting with your endocrinologist, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. Contrary to belief, they are just *one part* of your diabetes team. And if they aren’t working with you, find someone that will.
Support is key with this disease, which is why I rely on social media. If you’re on Twitter, this list: https://twitter.com/iam_spartacus/lists/wilfordbrimley, is a good place to start if you’re looking to connect with other PWDs (people with diabetes). A popular hashtag that people use when sharing thoughts and comments is #dsma – I encourage you to lurk on that hashtag, particularly on Wednesday nights at 9pm eastern (there’s a weekly Twitter chat that centers around that hashtag) to reinforce the thought that you are not alone with this disease and find likeminded people to connect with.
I’ve been thinking more and more about Hannah’s comments on my post last week about the impact and significance of connecting with others in the diabetes community through our various platforms of choice and I want to try something. I’m a firm believer that comments make the world go ’round, as far as blogging is concerned. Yes, there are stat counters and analytics reports you can run, but pageviews and unique visitors don’t mean much to me when it comes to sharing personal stories and experiences. What matters to me is when someone reads something I write, and then takes the time to leave a comment.
Sometimes it’s feedback. Sometimes it’s a high five. Sometimes it’s a pickmeup. Sure, there’s a weird satisfaction in knowing that someone found value from something I share on a silly diabetes blog, but I think there’s something else going on. I think comments can be a positive reinforcement that you’re on the right path. I share, you comment, it encourages me to share (more? again? I couldn’t decide on the right word). You share, I comment, it encourages you to share.
It’s the circle of life?
This post has nothing to do with diabetes, but I think this video deserves to be mentioned in as many places as possible.
While I’ve never dealt with bullying first-hand, I know it’s something that can’t be taken lightly. I encourage all of you, my eager-readers, to spend the next few minutes watching this.
“This is a social media site for people with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating, food & body concerns, and eating disorders to interact and submit creative self-expression (art, writing, anything original that reflects the experience of having diabetes and food and body issues). Please help promote it. My research depends on people registering and participating. All user-submitted content will become my data, shedding light on the experience of people with diabetes and disordered eating, and how creative expression and social media might help them.” -Lee Ann Thill
Sign up for the VIAL Project here.
If you’re reading this and you’re in the Des Moines area, I hope you’re planning on hanging out at the You Can Do This Project booth at TCOYD this Saturday. Kim has done incredible things with the You Can Do This Project and the stories I heard and told at Friends For Life this summer are a testament to the value of support when it comes to diabetes health and overall happiness.
For those of you counting, and I sincerely hope you aren’t, this is post number one thousand. I really don’t know what else to say.
“It’s always interesting to meet adults with diabetes because they look like a window into what my daughter’s life will be one day. And to see you guys all living so well with it, it’s not just hopeful, it’s heart-warming.” -Scott Benner (@ArdensDay), from Just Talking #147
Even more than two weeks after I first recorded this little portion of the podcast at Roche’s Social Media Summit, Scott’s comment is still rumbling around in my head.