We have finally reached day 7 of Dblog week and once again it was challenging week. The topics asked me to look at things from a different perspective. I loved the great pictures of all things diabetes and appreciated the unique perspectives that we all come from.
Today we are asked to discuss what the diabetes online community has done for us. For me, it kept me sane! I began this journey into the online world approximately ten years ago. Before that time I knew very little about computers. I knew nothing about the Internet and had no clue as to how one created a website. I lived in a small, isolated community and was raising two young boys with no immediate family around to rely on. I often felt overwhelmed and alone.
My mom convinced me to join the age of technology and "go online". I immediately searched for other people like me "Parents of Children with Diabetes". For those who are PoCWDs, you know exactly what that search came up with. I came across my first and most lasting support source of support--the Children with Diabetes website. They offered me answers. They taught me what questions to ask. They gave me the courage to stand on my own and to stand up for the rights of my son and others. They offered me a safe place to vent and a place where people understood.
The online community expanded and I have been blessed to meet many more people who have Diabetes as an unwelcome house guest. I created my own website that attracted new friends to me. We worked together and amazing things happened. Over time the online community began to change. People wanted to know more about our lives and so my blog was born.
I had written about our challenges in fighting for the disability tax credit. I discussed the fight that was involved in getting insulin pump coverage for our province. I also chatted about the challenges of living with diabetes. Family and friends who didn't have diabetes did not always understand. My blog became the place to help them have a glimpse into our lives.
It worked. Some people learned. It also became great therapy for me. I could vent and scream (as much or more than previously) and people began to comment that they were living the same life. I began to follow their posts as well and my diabetes world expanded that much more.
What has the diabetes online community given to me? A place of understanding. A group who "gets it". A place to challenge me to rise to new heights. A group of people who inspire me. A group of people who ground me. Its not a bad group to be a part of!