The diabetes blogging world is a multi-layered place where around every corner and behind every door lies another treasure. The DOC is alive. It pulses and throbs and, once you've discovered it, you can almost feel it growing and evolving as more and more people join its ranks. You have the veterans who have been here for years, the teenagers who have figured out the ropes but haven't been here long enough to be 'famous' yet and the toddlers who are still getting their feet wet.
I started blogging in early 2011, not long after I discovered the blog of Dave Hingsburger, a disability advocate. His frank, thought-provoking daily musings inspired me to begin chronicling my own journey. I decided to focus my blog on diabetes and running - two topics that are near and dear to my heart and that wouldn't tread too closely to things that are best kept out of social media (namely work).
After writing my blog for a few weeks, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, there was someone else out there writing about diabetes and running.
So I Googled the terms diabetes + running and...
I found Scully (aka Canadian D-gal). I still can't believe that the first blog I found was written by a type 1 runner who lived less than an hour from me and was training for her first Around the Bay at the same time I was. I whipped off a quick hello and, in no time, met my first T1 friend ever. We've shared a pile of adventures already and I feel honoured to know her.
Scully's blog was the jumping off point for me. I clicked on the blogs she had listed on her site, I clicked on the people who commented on her blog. I clicked on their links, and then their links' links. I discovered a world of people all connected, or perhaps I should say united, because of Type 1 diabetes. I found athletes, parents, teenagers, seniors, advocates - all struggling with and overcoming their own daily diabetes challenges.
I found Jeff - who I originally thought was a bit crazy with all of his reports on cycling, swimming and running that he was posting. 'Man this guy is HARDCORE' I thought when I first started reading his blog. Now I look to him for advice as I try to balance my own running/cycling/swimming schedule. The guy is a wealth of knowledge, has a wicked sense of humour and loves everything French. We met up in real life a few months ago and he's even cooler in person. Smart as a whip but needs to work on his curling skills a bit...
I found Pearlsa - a fellow Canadian albeit a few hours behind. Every time she posts I click on her blog never knowing what I'm going to find. She posts recipes, she posts reviews of diabetes products. She posts funny little stories, beautiful quotes and gorgeous pictures. Her blog is rich with colour and makes we want to cross the country and join her for tea.
I found Lindsay through a weird twist of fate. She was chosen as one of last year's Medtronic Global Heroes. So was one of my good friends John. They met up, John told me about her and I jumped on the Lindsay bandwagon. I love her stories of people she spies on public transit. I love reading about her trail running, her hiking adventures (and misadventures) and her relay races. She also loves the colour orange - which makes her very cool in my books.
There are twenty or thirty diabetes blogs that I check each and every day. Some educate me, some scare me, some inspire me, but I have not found one that I have not connected with in some way. The fact that nearly 200 people have signed up for D-Blog week is staggering. Apparently I'm still a teenager in the DOC - I've been around long enough to learn that I have way more to learn.