Why I’m (still) here – #DBlogWeek ’16, Day 1
Today’s topic is a peculiar one.
I’ve asked myself this question a lot lately, as I contemplate what my future in the Diabetes Online Community should look like.
I’ve withdrawn from the community for stretches at a time, each stretch longer than the one before it. I’ve pondered whether this is the place for me. I’ve found that full and total immersion in this community can be burdensome, cumbersome, and draining. I’ve realized that the diversion created by putting energy towards on all-things NOT diabetes is far more therapeutic than deeply focusing on things that are.
Many times, I’ve come close to shutting this blog down and disappearing from the Internet. After 35 years (less a week) living with this disease, and far fewer years (but still enough to be significant) discussing online, I’ve doubted that there’s anything more for me here. I’ve seen it, read it, been through it. The names change, but the stories remain the same.
From a diabetes perspective, I’ve reached the end of the internet.
So I force myself to remember why I’m here.
Because it’s here that I learned that I can play a physical sport while wearing a medical device.
Because it’s here that I learned how to find my IOB at the touch of a button.
Because it’s here that I learned the “Super Bolus” technique that I now use daily.
Because it’s here (somewhere. I can’t find the actual post) that I learned that the amount of insulin a person requires doesn’t mean a damn thing.
Because it’s here that I learned that this newer, sexier insulin pump isn’t for me.
Because it’s here that I found comfort in dealing with my son’s chronic ear infections (it’s not all diabetes).
Because it’s here that I was first privileged to be in the company of industry, and where I learned my opinions and influence could really matter.
And it’s here that I found, for the very first time, that someone else out there is going through the same thing as me. Only this blogger had crossed the line between clinical-narrative and life-narrative so often in her story that the line became indistinguishable, and the intertwining of narratives became, to me, acceptable. (Sadly, the blog’s been dormant for 8 1/2 years, and I often wonder about Melissa and how she’s doing).
. . .
It’s also here that I learned how it feels to watch another diabetes diagnosis enter the family, day-by-day and play-by-play. (More than once).
And I learned how it feels to lose a loved one – even someone I’ve never met – through the words of a person whose name is practically synonymous with “love.”
Out of compassion and a general sense of “what feels right”, I won’t add hyperlinks to those last two. But you know who you are, and I’ll remember you forever.
. . .
I make no promises about what will happen in the years to come, or how (if) I’ll be involved. But each of those links to the past – both the messages and the people who delivered them – have made a lifelong impression on me. I can’t turn my back on that.