[This page is a work in progress! Hang tight!]
Just the promise of maybe finding others was enough to start me down the path of sharing my story. Back in 2005, I started blogging at Six Until Me and the act of sharing my stories has made a world of positive difference in my diabetes health, and in my emotional health. Through the power of the Internet, I’ve found others who understand. I’ve found my “tribe.”
Just as day-to-day insulin needs fluctuate with time, so do emotional health needs. The support you need when you’re the parent of a child with diabetes is different than the support you need when your child becomes a teen. (And your teen with diabetes needs support, too, different than the support they’ll need when they’re an adult.) Which is why the tribe you need may change as your needs change.
Thankfully, the diabetes community has things as a whole, and as a niche, covered.
The links included on these pages are not the end-all, be-all of diabetes resources. Actually, that’s one of the best things about the Diabetes Online Community – it’s a constantly changing environment filled with real people and their real experiences. This list is just a place to start, if you’re unfamiliar, or a place to learn, if you’re in search of something … but either way, it’s a list that can help you connect with your peers.
You are not alone.
I wrote my first blog post in pursuit of kindred spirits, and thankfully, I’ve found so many. For a list (but not an exhaustive one) of blogs written by people with diabetes or their loved ones, check out the Diabetes Patient Advocate Blogroll.
If you are interested in finding out more about how people with diabetes are using Twitter, check out this Diabetes and Twitter 101 post. For a list (again – this isn’t everyone) of people with diabetes who are sharing on Twitter, visit this list of Diabetes Twitter Accounts.
If you are into video, here are some Diabetes Video Resources that might help round you out.
If Tumblr is your jam (a word that makes me think more of sandwiches than preferences, but I’m sticking with it), visit this every-growing list of Diabetes Tumblr accounts.
For a general potluck of resources, including links to communities, magazines, and medical information, visit this list of Diabetes Resources.
The Internet, for all of its cruelty and callousness in other arenas, remains a place where people can come together with their diabetes trouble and triumphs and find community, solace, and someone who will give them the “Me, too” they are in search of. The Internet hasn’t saved my life, but it has made it better, and I’m forever grateful to be a part of a community that, for all its diversity, remains strong at the core of its “sames.”
Peer-to-peer support can be as much a positive influence on your health as meeting with your medical team, as PWD are the ones who know what it’s like to live every day with diabetes. I, personally, had no idea how my health would be impacted – in such a positive way, by strangers from on the Internet simply saying, “I understand.” But it was, and continues to be, in all the best ways.