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Health 2.0 and Bloggy Bits.

I'm so blogging this.  Dude.I wrote this post on Diabetes Daily a few weeks back, but I wanted to share this here, too.  When it comes to patient blogging, there are plenty of people who want to know more and who benefit from the collective sharing of our stories … including those of us who are blogging:

Who Benefits From Patient Blogging?
 
I blog, therefore I am … a better diabetic?

Not exactly.  Even though I’m blogging about diabetes, I am not “a perfect diabetic.”  My blood sugars still ping all over the place at times and I’ve confessed to consuming more than my share of E.L. Fudge cookies.  I am not a perfect patient, and I won’t ever be.  (Is there even such a thing?)  Blogging about a disease doesn’t make me any less “diabetic.”  There is a misconception about patient bloggers – that we have it all figured out.  

Patient blogging is so powerful because it isn’t about finding perfect control or flawless diabetes management, but about sharing what real life with diabetes is like. This was a topic I blogged about early last week and the response from the community was overwhelming.  Patient blogging brings people with diabetes together, confirming time and time again that we aren’t alone.  It’s about sharing best practices and little coping mechanisms and those resonating moments of “Hey, me too!”  It’s the support community we need when diabetes becomes a little “heavy.”

But patient blogging doesn’t just benefit the patients.  Writing daily about diabetes has connected me with doctors who read to better understand the challenges of diabetes “au natural.”  Even though they take care of us and help us make sense of our medical condition, the closest they get to “understanding” is through our blogs.  Patient blogs offer a window into the personal side of disease management, one that our doctors wouldn’t see unless they bugged our homes or camped outside our windows.  By simply tuning in to the lives of bloggers who represent their patient base, doctors can better understand, and better treat, their patients.

My own doctor at the Joslin Clinic reads my diabetes blog.  Sometimes she emails me links to articles she’s come across that speak to my personal goals.  Other times she helps me out with things like insurance appeal letters.  She knows what kind of insulin I’m on and how I attempt to dose.  But through reading my blog, she also knows that there is so much more to me than my diabetes.  She sees stories about my life – my wedding, traveling, stupid cat stories – intertwined with diabetes moments.  It’s not just managing my diabetes specifically, but helping me manage diabetes in my life as a whole.  

The beauty of patient blogging is that it touches so many lives:  the doctors who want to learn more about their patients, the parents of children who cannot yet describe how they feel; the spouses of people living with this disease; the friends and families; the readers who tune in every day; and the bloggers themselves.  “Health 2.0” and other buzzwords don’t properly capture the positive influence of the diabetes community.  Through these moments of sharing, we learn from and support one another, and live fuller lives as people with diabetes.

And my health - my life - is better for it.

Thanks for hosting my post, Diabetes Daily, and feel free to share how you've benefitted from patient blogging, either as a blogger, a reader, or as a medical professional.

Comments

Your blog has touched so many lives it's incredible! There are those of us bloggers out there who read your blog and look forward to the wealth of information shared by you and even laugh and cry at your life stories.

My 8 1/2 year old daughter has been living with diabetes for 7 years, and I pray she has the care and concern of a loving husband such as yours and the knowledge that you have about taking care of ones self to help her in her future.

Patient blogging, parent blogging, self blogging, any blogging that deals with diabetes, positive or negative, is a help to SO MANY! There's so much to learn from others and this may be the only way others learn.

Thank you Kerri for being a blogger that makes my days and reading your posts something I and others look forward too!

Kerri, since being Dx I have found you, without this blog I would still be sitting in the corner crying. Thank You Endlessly

Nice, Kerri. Very well said!

(Don't mind me if I quote you on this some time soon :)

Patient blogs offer a window into the personal side of disease management, one that our doctors wouldn’t see unless they bugged our homes or camped outside our windows. She knows what kind of insulin I’m on and how I attempt to dose. But through reading my blog, she also knows that there is so much more to me than my diabetes.

When I found your blog a few months ago, I spent 2 weeks reading everything you ever wrote. I am not a stalker! I have only recently found one other type one in my area (a guy who shoots it old school), I have known one other female type 1 well, and no other female type 1's on the pump (I had just started looking into them). I had to explain to my husband that though it seemed like you were my new best friend (I spent A LOT of time reading)I was just so excited to find someone who understood what my life was like. I am able to feel a part of the community of like minded blood testing, carb counting, insulin addicts that all face their days in at least one similar way to mine. With hope, fear, frustration, joy, tears, and diligence I feel like I am not alone in this fight. My husband is able to provide me with strength, support, and love and you provide me with the practical aspects of loathing, loving, and living with diabetes. Thank you.

I'm not even type 1. I'm type 2 and this blog helps me.
Heck, sometimes just for living. I went to the Hero Factory yesterday & "wasted" 20 minutes of my life. I passed along the link and so it goes.

You know I used to blog but then I found out it is just too personal and too hard to talk about what effects us daily and really it stinks to have this disease to begin with and having to deal with day to day things and for some dr to come along and try to tell you that you are doing it all wrong . I think they have no idea that I am claiming victory by proudly saying that my diabetes does not define who I am or what I am but rather a person who lives with what is called diabetes . Thanks for sharing and allowing us to share with you.

Just thoughtI'd lok @ what's available for type 1's.
I'm 49, diagnosed last May.
I enjoyed reading the posts.My therapist says to do the best I can. That
was the best advice I got.
It helps me to not get anxious.

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