What We Document.: Solving for "Why."
Dexcom graphs that look like gigantic Ms and Ws? I see those all the time. But when I sift through the pile of photos I have on my computer (in the folder marked "Diabetes Crap;" I can write real good, Ma), the Dexcom graphs I see are all pretty. Nice, straight lines or soft bell curves, without the sharp angles.
I know these pictures aren't representative of how my diabetes is controlled, on a day-to-day basis. There are way more times that I'm muttering "You stupid jerkface pancreas ..." than moments when I want to whip out my camera and take a snapshot for posterity. But I like having these happier photos outnumber the ones that make me grimace, because when I need a lift, it's nice to have a catalog to draw from. This is what I chose to document, visually, because it inspires me to earn this photo opportunity again, you know?
I chose to document this, because it made me feel good.
May will mark the end of my seventh year blogging at SUM (and starts the eighth year - jeepers), and when I look back through the archives, I'm weirdly proud to see a diversity in what's documented. There are some really high moments (high as in "emotionally high," not "OMG, how did that 312 mg/dL sneak in there?" high), like when the Bird was born or when Chris and I got married. And then there are low moments, like trying to be a strong advocate for PWDs while going through burnout, or when blue candles start peppering our Facebook feeds.
And then I look at other people's blogs (holy crap, there are a lot of us!), and see that they're chronicling the good, bad, and decidedly 'eh' of life with diabetes. The real stuff. It's crazy how honest we are with the Internet. I see people writing about things online that they might not be sharing with their doctor. Or their coworkers. Or their very closest friends. But it's shared here, and there's a power to sharing our stories.
I'm amazed at what we chose to document, as a community. From celebrations of a no-hitter to scoring a quality pair of blue shoes, to difficult moments of feeling burnt out and admitting that we're struggling, what we document shows our strength as a community. We're not afraid to share the stuff that really scares us, or empowers us, and we have one another to mark different milestones with. What we share, as a global community, could help any one of us improve our health, emotionally and physically.
Diabetes isn't a perfect math where you can just solve for X. Usually, we're solving for "why." And part of that equation is acknowledging, and appreciating, the sum of our community and what we document, every day.