By: Meagan Esler
Sometimes I forget just how amazing the diabetes online community is. I mean, I know I adore the people I’ve met over the almost 19 years I have lived with diabetes, but the things they have done for me go way beyond a kind word or virtual hug when I needed it. I believe they’ve literally helped save my life.
There are so many examples of times where someone in the DOC has helped me, but most recently it was when I clicked on a blog I started reading years ago. It was written by an online friend from the UK named Daisy Shaw on her blog Diabetic Dais. I had begun blogging close to the same time as Daisy so that I could connect with other people living with diabetes.
While we shared in our diabetes, we also had a nearly identical A1c when we started blogging, which, sadly, was over 10. I truly believe that finding friendship within the DOC, as well as our voice and strength against diabetes helped lead both of us to lowering our A1c significantly. I find it beautifully coincidental that we both have A1c’s around 7 now. I was ecstatic when I read about Daisy’s starting point and current A1c because I realized that a few years after joining the diabetes online community I also had a much healthier A1c.
I spoke to my husband about the similarities between Daisy and I during our blogging years and we agreed that blogging about diabetes had allowed us to accept our diabetes instead of ignoring it and wishing it would go away. It proved to me just how dangerous denial really is. The proof is in the A1c.
In the closing words of her celebratory blog post, Daisy thanked me for being there as a reader. I was touched that she recognized that and I wanted to let her know how similar our paths had been. This couldn’t be just a coincidence. I have never shared my A1c, not with anyone, but I couldn’t help but share the fact that we had both lowered ours in a huge way in part by linking up with the diabetes online community.
I follow many amazing blogs that have helped me along the way. I enjoy reading about other people’s experiences with diabetes and sharing my own because it’s all about helping one another with a difficult and exhausting illness that never sleeps. That support makes all the difference.
Though I have wonderfully unfailing support from my family, none of them can really understand what I go through. They don’t know the fluttery panic that occurs with a low blood sugar, or the anxious thirst that accompanies a high blood sugar, or the fears I feel about the future. I need my online community about as much as I need my diabetes supplies.
Thanks to you, I’m testing more than ever before. Thanks to you, I’m addressing health concerns and seeking answers. Thanks to you, I know I’m not alone. None of us ever have to be. Thank you all for being with me on this journey.