I am new to the blogging world and even less experienced with the diabetes blogging world. Before January of this year, I had never read blogs and it never occurred to me that I could find friends out there in the blogosphere. Statistically, I knew that there were plenty of people with diabetes out there…somewhere. But, truth be told, I really didn’t know any of them. I have a few people in my life who have Type 2 diabetes but diabetes never played a key role in our relationship.
I knew no one with Type 1.
On a whim I decided to start blogging and, as a result, discovered other blogs. One here, one there. It didn’t take long for me to start clicking on other bloggers’ favourite blogs and it just mushroomed. I discovered that there is a huge, diverse, passionate diabetes community out there. We have one thing in common – diabetes.
I started out by looking for people like me - Type 1 diabetics with a passion for running. It took a whole ten minutes to find someone my age, with a similar story, living 30 minutes down the highway. At the time she was also training for the same 30k race I was and we even use the same insulin pump (only hers is purple instead of blue). Ah-mazing! She makes me laugh, makes me think and shares some of her tricks for trying to keep blood sugars in check.
My next discovery was a father with Type 1 diabetes who has five children, two of whom also have Type 1 diabetes. I follow his daily struggles with trying to find ways to afford all of the supplies they need to stay healthy, keeping a close eye on his youngest daughter who doesn’t feel her lows and staying on top of his own A1Cs. His daily reports give me perspective when I face my own struggles with the incessant demands of diabetes - financial, physical, and psychological.
I also found some pretty hard core athletes who were blogging away about their triathlon training sessions, their crazy workouts and fabulous race times – as well as their blood sugar struggles and tricks for carrying supplies during marathons. They keep me motivated and inspired. A perfect example of if they can do it, so can I.
Finally, I branched out a bit and found others who share the same disease but who struggle with things that do not appear on my radar. The struggles so many Type 1 women face for good blood sugar control because they so desperately want to get pregnant and have a healthy child. The struggles with depression, with fear, with complications. The struggles with trying to raise a child with Type 1 diabetes.
I read them all.
I am left humbled. Inspired. Sometimes angered. Always touched.
The best thing about diabetes you ask?