On this first day of #dblogweek, why am I here? Why am I writing this? Why am I still blogging about diabetes after all of these years? The truth is, when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was only 4 years old and the only diabetic around me was..........me. I was the only person in my grade school who had juvenile diabetes until the middle of high school, but we only knew we were both diabetics because the nurse had their extra supplies in her office. I was the only one who had to poke my fingers in the middle of class. I was the only one in my school who needed insulin before eating lunch, who had to have sugar free popsicles instead of those red, white, and blue ones. I was the only one who had a purse, well a [big] purse full of life saving supplies at a very very young age. I was the only diabetic trying to use an insulin pump and wearing the pump site or taking a shot, feeling how much it hurt. Diabetes wise, I felt alone.
Now don't get me wrong...my sister and I, along with our Mom and Aunt Mama, my diabetic angels, began advocating for more funding for research to find a cure when we were 5 years old.
We were featured in a weekly "Video Diary" on Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. We all were speaking for those who couldn't. Being able to tell my story, to hear Jackie, without diabetes - talk about what it's like as the sister of a diabetic, to hear my Mom describe how she barely sleeps at night, because she is awake worrying about me...To tell other people, not just diabetics, how much we need a cure, that is my diabetes awareness message - whether it's through blogging, testifying, through our music to donate to research, or through those video diaries.
When I first started blogging, there wasn't a name for our community or a hashtag, but we all knew of each other and kept a "blogroll" of our diabetic friends. We each shared experiences, maybe daily conversations we had with other people, new pump stories, our [many] frustrations, and positive things too! (I know! They do exist!)
But really, until I met what is called the Diabetes Online Community (that's "DOC" for short) where I found other people writing about their experience with diabetes I found out I wasn't the only one.
Yes, I met other diabetics at conferences and Fundraising Galas, and Walk to Cure Diabetes Events, but it's not like when you're 10 years old, you're going to talk on the phone a lot, send a fax, write a letter, and email each other about diabetes, right? But we did. And technology changed, so web-chatting became blogging. I started blogging because I knew there were other diabetics out there looking for the same information I was. Even if it was just to read my ranting of my day sometimes, it's what I am going through, and if my message of the day is not always positive or perfect, that's ok, because diabetes has it's ups and downs. I can go from "yay, my blood sugar is 100" to "i hate diabetes today, i want to throw my pump across the room" moments.
Diabetes is a roller coaster, whether we see it on our CGM graph or not. Sometimes it's only on twitter, or a picture on instagram, or I will explain exactly what I'm feeling like with a lot more than 140 characters on here, but now, I know I am not alone and I hope you know you aren't either. We're all in this together, and we all have moments to share, and I am grateful to have a place to go to share my experiences!
What is Diabetes Blog Week? Click here for an explanation and to sign up.
You can also check out the topics over here and you can find a list of participants over here. And don't forget to check out the DBlogWeek Facebook page here. Sending a special Thank you to Karen Graffeo, of Bitter Sweet Diabetes!