Guest Post: A D-Mom Tweet-Up.
Nan from My Pump Gear is today's guest poster, and she does such a great job of introducing her post that I'm going to just hand it over to her. :) Take it away, Nan!
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Okay … I am thrilled to be a guest here @sixuntilme!! Kerri’s is the first diabetes blog I started reading. I remember searching for answers to my questions like “How in the world does a 3 year old wear an insulin pump?” And there she was!...talking about diabetes and fashion! Well, I scoured her sight and archived posts until my eyes were bloodshot. It was the starting point in discovering that my daughter, Claire, can actually live a full and happy life with, yes … diabetes.
When this opportunity arose to be a guest poster here, of course I thought of the exposure for our little business, My Pump Gear. And, then I thought well maybe I just need to share our 8 year old daughter’s diagnosis story. But, I’ve done that in several different ways online already. So, if you’re interested, you can find our business here: My Pump Gear and our diagnosis story here.
What I really want to share is a story of connection for me, a mom of 3, whose youngest happens to have type 1 diabetes.
“Twitter? Who has time for that?”
“A tweet? What in the world?”
“What can possibly be written in 140 characters that’s worthwhile?”
I remember having those exact thoughts as I set up an account. I thought it would be good for business, although I had no idea how or why. I went through the motions and began “following” people in relation to diabetes. And then I noticed someone whose location was the Monterey Bay area. This intrigued me. That location is like my second home, so I “tweeted” @notsostilllifes. I don’t remember exactly what I wrote. But it started a conversation.
That was nearly a year ago.
Since that time, twitter has become my go-to source for encouragement, inspiration and answers. It has connected me to a virtual support system. Parenting a kid with diabetes can be lonely. And, though family and friends offer their love and support, no one can truly relate to the constant of diabetes except those who live with it too. This diabetes online community, via Twitter, Facebook and countless blogs fills a void.
Last Friday, I had the opportunity to meet Melinda (aka @notsostilllifes) and her husband, Scott…live and in person! It was a D Mom Tweet-Up, as we called it. We got to visit for a couple hours. It was wonderful! We talked diabetes, of course. But we also talked about all of our kids, sports, school, our lives.
If you’ve ever communicated with Melinda at all, you will agree that she is a wealth of information when it comes to parenting a type 1 kid (and sea glass hunting too…but that’s an entirely different post!) Her son, Michael, will soon be off to college next year. He has had type 1 diabetes since the age of five. Michael was to join us that day and meet with all of us too. But other demands prevented him from traveling around the bay that day. We look forward to meeting Michael (aka Captain Insulin) on a future visit! He has the perspective on diabetes that we all should have.
It was interesting … while visiting, Melinda would begin explaining something and I would think, Yes, I know that about you or I remember that story. You see, even though we had never seen each other in person, I felt as though I was meeting an old friend for the first time. There was a bond between us already, even before our meeting that day!
Connecting with others in similar life situations is so important. I felt pretty isolated when it came to diabetes … for years after Claire’s diagnosis. The type 1 families we knew were very few. We craved interaction with people who really could understand what this disease means to our family. Who knew that support was literally just a mouse click away?
I look forward to our next D Mom Tweet-Up! Oh and, now, when people roll their eyes at the mention of Twitter … I just smile and nod. : )