Why you feel the Diabetes Online Community is so important? especially to you personally?
I come from the era of Aol chat rooms and instant messaging so it only made sense that when I was first diagnosed with diabetes on November 25, 2000 the first place I went to to find the answers was the Internet.
Now let me just rewind for a minute and say that being diagnosed during the holidays was tough. My first encounter with depression and a crazy meltdown happened exactly one month after my diagnosis. I was at work and a box of chocolates that was given to us by a company was put on my desk. I looked at the box and immediately started to cry, in fact I went to the bathroom and cried for half an hour (yes, over a box of chocolates). It was the first time it became real to me that I was going to be living with a disease that had changed my life forever. It was the moment that I first felt different than everyone else. I couldn’t just pick up that box and eat two candies without feeling the repercussions of a disease that could kill me if I didn’t take care of myself.
The only person I knew that had type 1 diabetes was my mother’s sister who was going through kidney failure and dialysis at that time. It scared the living hell out of me to think that could happen to me. I didn’t tell anyone what I was feeling or about the concerns i was having because I was afraid that I would be a burden to my family or they would even make fun of me for making a big deal about it. I didn’t even ask the endocrinologist what I should expect to go through. I was going through every possible emotion you could imagine. I didn’t even want to leave the house to go to work. I needed to find others like me ASAP.
When I first typed “diabetes support” into whatever search engine I was using at that time, the first link that came up was Joslin Diabetes Message Boards. I didn’t know it at the time but that was my entry way into the world of online support. It was important for me not to be alone. So, when I was so completely fed up with my pump sites gushing blood there was a thread for that, When I wanted to get advice on what glucose tabs taste the best? There was a thread for that. And over the years, the level of support available online has grown dramatically. When I want to learn about the latest technology or research that is going on? There is a thread and tweet for that.
When I just need a friend to talk to because I feel like I can’t handle anything at all, I know my pals from The Diabetes Online Community will be there to help me get through it. There’s always someone online that I can count on to be there when I need them most.
Some of the friends and relationships that I have made online are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. You guys have become my extended family and I love you all.
Happy D-Blog Day everyone! See ya next year!!