Why the Diabetes Online Community is Essential

Living with diabetes sucks.

Our existence is filled with pricks & pokes. Our days sometimes seem to be an endless alteration of high's and lows. It's all too easy for us to grow dull.

We can't do it on our own. The weight is too great for even the strongest among us to bear. Surviving and thriving with diabetes is a team effort.

Endocrinologists, Diabetes Nurse Educator's, dietitians, and eye doctors all play an essential role in helping us live with diabetes. I do not mean to downplay their role. Despite playing an essential role, they are not enough. They merely help us to survive with diabetes.

In order to thrive with this chronic disease, something else is essential: community. In order to thrive as individuals, we need the support of others who're living with diabetes. We are the only one's who know what it's like to live the D life. We are in a privileged position to offer each other emotional support.

The Diabetes Online Community helps us to deal with a whole other set of problems that come along with living with diabetes.

In addition to the difficulties caused by the disease itself, we also have to deal with the pancreatically privileged. Oftentimes, this is (at least for me) the most difficult part of having diabetes.

We live in a world where we are often misunderstood and maligned. We inhabit a world that wasn't built with us in mind. Due to this, we often feel alone.

The Diabetes Online Community provides us with a place where we can know that we're not alone. Not only does this impact how well we manage our blood sugars, but it also can impact our perception of non-diabetics. It can engender an adversarial mentality towards non-diabetics, which can only harm our efforts to educate them. By diminishing our feelings of alienation, our involvement in the DOC has the potential to help us in our efforts to educate others.

In conclusion, I'd like to ask you a question: in what ways has your participation in the Diabetes Online Community made it easier for you to live with diabetes?

My main diabetes blog: http://t1dme.wordpress.com/

Views: 108

Tags: Community, Coping, DOC, Loneliness, Support

Comment by einafets on January 5, 2014 at 10:27pm
I have only just joined but it is statments like this obe that make me happy i have joined
Comment by GinaY on January 10, 2014 at 10:19am

Has literally saved my life.

Comment by David (dns) on February 16, 2014 at 10:40am

It has helped in ALL the ways you list, plus one more.

Health care professionals provide us with technical assistance (diagnoses, tests, scrips, advice) but that's just not enough. As we know all too well, every case is individual and every body reacts differently. The immense storehouse of shared experience that this community contains cannot be matched by any one person, no matter how credentialed and expert they may be.

Furthermore, HCPs are basically trained to deal with acute illness. Their training encompasses little or no real guidance on how to manage a chronic condition 24x7, day to day and hour to hour. The only people with real experience at that are those of us who actually do it.

So, to answer your question, I have learned more of a practical, pragmatic nature here than from any professional. Far, far more. I could take hours listing specifics, but won't. You get the idea.

The world being what it is, the "database" of our shared experience is something that simply does not exist outside the DOC.

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Diabetes Hands Foundation Team

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Manny Hernandez
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Emily Coles
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Mila Ferrer
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Mike Lawson
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Corinna Cornejo
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Heather Gabel
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