The WEGO prompt for today is to create a care page. The suggestion is to list websites that might be helpful to people newly diagnosed with diabetes. I’m not sure I can do that.
For everyone who is told they have diabetes there is a different set of emotions, a different set of reactions, that take place. Some people want to know all there is to know from the first moment, some want to put it on a shelf and ignore it for a while. Some have enormous family and medical support while others have no support at all. Reaching out and asking for help is not something everybody finds easy to do. So, instead, I thought I would describe how I came to become a witness to the diabetes online community and perhaps this will help someone looking for information, help, support.
When I was first diagnosed, my doctor kind of brushed it off, not even calling it diabetes. She called it hypoglycemia. Her attitude of nonchalance made me feel that it was not something I needed to take very seriously. It remained this way until my pregnancy made me face some realities of this condition as I struggled to keep my blood sugars in a normal range.
After my pregnancy, my condition escalated so quickly that there was never a chance to really think about what was happening. One day I was taking every new pill approved for type 2 diabetes, the next I was again injecting insulin once a day. But, again, the sentiment from the doctor was wait and see. I don’t think it was until about two years ago that I really became concerned about my chronic high numbers and realized I was never going to get the information I needed from either my primary physician or my endocrinologist. It was then that I began to take to the internet for answers.
I had done some basic research on the internet regarding diabetes, but most of this research centered around what I should eat (which I have never really found a clear answer on). Then, one day, I stumbled across Diabetes Daily’s university. They were offering a class to teach people how to control their diabetes. I thought I knew it all (a bad habit), but decided to take the class in hopes it would help me feel more motivated to fight my rising blood sugars. The best thing that came out of that class was a response the doctor made to one of my postings, assuring me that my feelings of failure were not justified and that support comes in all kinds of different packages. This, more than anything taught in the class, motivated me to become a better patient.
After the class ended, I began visiting Diabetes Daily every morning. Through this website I stumbled upon many of the wonderful blogs that are available out there, including the ones listed on the right of this blog. More than anything, it was hearing first hand stories from Kerri, Christopher, Linds, and Ginger that helped me break out of diabetes burnout and to begin taking charge of my own life.
So, for me, a list of websites just didn’t do it. I needed the personal stories, the knowledge that someone else is fighting the same fight I am and having some success. While my story is not exactly the same as theirs, we have enough in common that I find inspiration from them. So I would suggest to someone who is newly diagnosed and is like me, someone who needs to know what it is like first hand not just generalities, then go to a place like Diabetes Daily where there is a list of diabetes themed blogs you can read. And while you’re there, check out the message boards. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration there, as well.