Tag Archives: diabetes community

D-Blog Day 2011

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The blog topic for this year is: Why you feel the Diabetes Online Community is so important? especially to you personally? Give examples of other diabetes involvement may you have, on or offline, how it helped you etc… How do you think “we” as an online community can band together to reach broader audiences to help even more people living with or affected by diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease that requires more management from the patient, than the doctor.  It would be impossible for me to call my doctor 15 times a day and have him help me make decisions on how and what to eat and how much insulin to give and when to give it.  I have to be able to do all that.  Because of this fact, diabetes puts an immense amount of responsibilities on the person who has it.  Out in the workforce, jobs with more responsibility typically pay more.  Diabetes doesn’t pay and it doesn’t necessarily play fair.  One can keep rather good diabetes control and still succumb to complications.

So due to all the above, a long term stress management solution and support system is in order.  One important aspect to that would be a community of people who listen to and support each other through their unique struggle.  The Diabetes Online Community gives people with diabetes a place to constantly connect and relate and get support and feedback.

For me personally, the DOC has been an amazing learning experience.  When other people share what works for them, I pay attention.  Every time I get feedback on a post, I am educated.  When others express different opinions, my mind is opened.  When it comes to my thirst to always learn more, the DOC is priceless and irreplaceable.

And then there are the people with diabetes I’ve had the pleasure to get to know.  It’s been so great to find friends who I can relate to AND who get what I’m going through.  I only wish we all lived closer to each other.  If computers died, I’d snail mail you all.

I think that we as an online community can reach more people by doing a lot of what we have been doing.  I think we need to walk the walk as much as possible.  We need to try and keep an open mind and avoid assumptions about each other.  We need to be bold and step out into our communities if we can.  Something I plan to do when my children are older is get involved offline and help those who are perhaps unable to get online much.  We can all do something to help, it just means recognizing our individual gifts and using them.  So many people in the DOC do just that, and it’s incredibly inspiring.

What the DOC is to Me

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So to start with I want to say I tremendously appreciate the connections, sharing, and activities having to do with the DOC.  I wish I had been able to experience this many years ago as a teenager.  I really do.  Since “connecting” with all of you I have learned countless of practical things.  I have learned lots in the realm of philosophy and have broadened my ideas having to do with diabetes.  I have felt more validated and whole.  I have also been tested and challenged as a result of coming into contact with so many different thoughts and opinions.  It’s all good, albeit sometimes complicated and twisty.

Relationships are challenging, we all know that.  They help us grow.  Growth isn’t easy but it’s very useful because it is assumed we become better human beings in the process and it also provides a sense of fulfillment in life. I think that growth is a big part of being human.

The DOC is like any other relationship.  Have you ever read something on a blog that inspired you to be a better person?  I have.  Have you ever read something on a blog that reached out and poured salt on a wound?   Was it on purpose?  Probably not.  Most likely, a vulnerable area was stirred in you and a challenge to face a truth or face a fear was moved in you and what you experienced was your reaction.

When these reactions happen to me I have tried to learn to think about them.  Instead of come to assumptions, I have to reflect first.  Why did something affect me so?  Why was I touchy or emotional?  Why did those words make me cry?  Why do I agree with someone?  Why do I disagree?  Where is that person coming from?

To me, the DOC is a relationship that is constantly encouraging me to grow.  This is often painful as much as it is exhilarating.  When it gets frustrating, I ask myself why something is having that affect on me.  When it is helpful, I’m simply appreciative.  When it’s overwhelming, I step back for a moment and get some air.  When I come back, the support from others reminds me what it’s all about.

So whether you lurk occasionally or hang out often, do what’s comfortable to you and know that your participation is priceless to others.  Remember that our differing opinions come from our differing circumstances and personalities.  Remember that differing opinions are a thing of value because they reflect a real way of thinking for other people and demonstrate courage to speak up.  This leads to discussions that lead to effective communication which leads to powerful community breakthroughs if people are humble, honest, sincere, and brave.

A powerful force for growth, change, and a better way of life for people with diabetes, that’s what the DOC is to me.

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