By Amber Clour
Now that National Diabetes Awareness Month has wrapped up, what better topic to write about than the impact the diabetes online community (#DOC) has had on my life. It has been clear time and time again how I did not fully appreciate the value of this random group of souls until I tapped in.
The past four years have led me to this life-changing realization. Just before my 30th Diaversary, I met Ryan Fightmaster, a fellow T1D. It was the first time I felt comfortable sharing what life was like with diabetes. He got it, and every time we got together, it was a therapy session of sorts. We knew there was more to this disease than what we were getting from our endocrinologist’s office. No one was talking about going to prom, running a marathon, dating, and all of the other normal things folks do.
With this newfound T1D friendship, it was time to take action. So I created a blog, DiabetesDailyGrind.com, to share the real life, which has since grown to include guest writers from across the globe. After a year or so, we thought some of our adventures might be better told in person, so we rallied up the courage and launched a podcast. The Real Life Diabetes Podcast is inspiring fulfilled diabetes lives through honest support and practical tips. We saw an opportunity to share our humorous stories, transform lessons learned into how-to guides, and produce a type 1 and type 2 diabetes podcast to inspire folks with the disease to get the most out of life. By getting at the heart of what matters, we hope to offer a message that fills a much-needed void.
We’re not experts, just people doing our best and starting conversations.
We often share with newly diagnosed T1Ds or the parents of T1D kiddos the importance of knowing other people with diabetes (PWD). This might seem simple, but we’re often on a “diabetes island” and can’t grasp how alone we are until we find another kindred spirit with whom we can unleash our fears, anger, and deepest thoughts. Each PWD is different. Our ways of connecting, listening, and sharing our stories are unique, so finding the right DOC outlet is key, in my mind, to living the best life.
There are numerous sites you can tap into, but in case you don’t have time to search, I’ve listed a few that come to mind. For the record, I’m still exploring them myself…
Websites and blogs:
Beyond Type 1
Bitter Sweet Diabetes
College Diabetes Network
Our Diabetic Life
Tales From A Type 1
Texting My Pancreas
The Diabetic’s Corner Booth
The Wanderlust Days
Need help searching? Check out #dblog or #DOC on social media outlets.
If podcasts are more your thing, you can search #dpodcast on Twitter to score the mother lode.