This week I'm participating in an extraordinary event with 141 other diabetes bloggers.
Each of us is writing about the same topic of how we live with diabetes on the same day. Type 1s, type 2s and parents who have a child with diabetes.
When this event started on an ordinary Monday, 95 bloggers were participating. Each day more and more signed on hearing of it through the magic of the internet.
Why? To share our voices with those who read us, and each other. To help pass on our every-day struggles and lessons learned, and so that there is some value in having had them. To keep going, one foot in front of the other, on our own yet together, strengthened by the online diabetes community.
Here are the 7 topics everyone wrote about and snippet excerpts.
Monday: "A day in the life...with diabetes." Give a rundown on an average day of how diabetes touches it: Blood tests, high and low blood sugars, meal planning, etc
From Bitter-Sweet, Karen's blog that began it all:
10:00 AM - I should really get on the treadmill. Hahahahahaha . . .
11:30 AM - blood sugar test...beep - 185 185?? After yogurt? I'd expect it after cereal, but yogurt doesn't usually spike me. Damn, I guess I should have gotten on the treadmill. Need bolus correction.
2:30 pm - Okay, I'd better REALLY have lunch!! shunk . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . beep 103 Yay! Now, how many carbs in my lunch? 35? Okay, 3.5 units going in and lunch in 20 minutes!
Tuesday: "Making the low go." Share your favorite way to treat a low blood sugar.
From Autoimmune Island:
Sometimes Olivia can feel a low coming on, but there are other times we check her like normal and a 29 will show up on her meter!! A 29 and she doesn't feel or she didn't show any symptoms...that is SCARY! You wouldn't believe how fast I move! What do we use for lows...a variety of things. Here are some examples that we use.....ABC style! Lol! (I think I'm procrastinating with my school work again!)
A is for Air Head Taffy (mini size)
B is for Bananas
C is for Cake frosting
D is for Dum Dum pops
E is for EL Fudge Cookies
F is for Fruit roll ups
G is for Glucose Tabs
H is for Honey
I is for Iced Animal Cookies
J is for Jelly Beans
K is for Kudos Bar
L is for Lemonheads
M is for Marshmallows
N is for Necco (wafer candy)
O is for Orange Slices
P is for Pudding
Q is for Quaker Granola Bars
R is for Reese's
S is for Skittles
T is for Tootsie Rolls
U is for Uh-Oh! Cookies
V is for Velveeta cheese with Crackers
W is for Wonka Runts
X is for "Xtra" Creamy Breyers Ice Cream
Y is for Yogurt
Z is for Zucchini cupcakes (okay, okay...maybe not, but Z was a hard one! Lol!)
Wednesday: "Your Biggest Supporter." Who encourages you, cheers you, helps you? Go ahead, tell them how much they mean to you!
From DiabetesStories, my own blog:
When he (my husband) accidentally lost my meter while we were in Finland one summer, which we discovered at midnight when I was ready to test my blood sugar before bed, over my protests he ran out into the midnight sun to the only all night drugstore open in Helsinki to bring me back a meter so I could test.
When we were engaged I said to him one evening, I want you to know that you can back out now. Life with a diabetic is unpredictable. I don't know what's going to happen to me and what that will mean for you. After my speech, he wrapped his arms around me and said, "I'm with you now and you're with me. That's all that matters."
Thursday: "To carb or not to carb." What do you think about carbs? What foods do you consider injection-worthy? What foodie wisdom can you share?
Dearest Pasta - we've grown apart and I've found that having you in my life, (not to mention on my plate) on a very limited basis works much better for me.
It's NOT YOU-it's ME. I'm the one who's changed. YOU'RE great and I will miss you-
It's just that my tastes buds now veer towards Spaghetti Squash covered in my fabulous Diablo Sauce with grilled salmon burgers sans the bun.
Don't take it personally-I just can't seem to achieve "Blood Sugar Nirvana" where you're concerned. I've found that whenever we get "it on" my numbers are elevated for hours if not days.
Friday: "Let's get moving." Exercise...love it or hate it?
We adopted Riley from the Humane Society in mid-2007, and one of the goals in doing that was to help us weave more exercise into our lives - regular walks every morning or evening, before or after work. That hasn't happened. We work on making it so. But, now it seems like the work-related walks in downtown Indianapolis during the day or the evening/weekend lawn mows are the extent of the activity. That is sad. And something we're trying to work on in the Hoskins Household - it is a work in progress.
Yet to come:
Saturday: "Diabetes snapshots." Share photos that speak for you and your diabetes.
Sunday: "Dream a little dream - life after a cure." Pretend a cure has been found. What is your life like now? What do you do on your first diabetes-free day to celebrate? How do you imagine you would feel if you were no longer a Person With Diabetes?
"Wild card - Blood Sugar Nirvana or Moronic Moment." Tell about the meal you ate that usually spikes your blood sugar like crazy but you managed to perfectly calculate and time your medicine to make you oh-so blood sugar happy. Or, the time your brain checked out and you did something you think is "stupid." Let's brag about our triumphs and commiserate about our d-bloopers.
For me, this townhall convergence speaks to the power of blogs and our desire to connect. That one patient blogger created an encyclopedia of shared wisdom and experiences is enormously creative and it is the power of online communities.
I recommend anyone blogging on a chronic illness or medical condition to start the same in your community. Instead of getting 1 view from your favorite blogger or 1 view from a medical professional, create your village green-encyclopedia of shared wisdom for all your readers.
I like to say, "Each one must teach one." Now we can add the power of "Many teaching many."
Follow Riva Greenberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/diabetesmyths