Participants Point of View
Week 24 Participants Point of View by Kim (@txtngmypancreas)
“If you could use one word to describe diabetes in 2010, what would it be?”
I’d like to amend my answer to “unrecognizable”.
When Cherise asked us during last week’s #dsma chat, “If you could use one word to describe your diabetes for 2010, what would it be?”, my original answer was, “improving”. It wasn’t until I wrote a year-end wrap-up on my own blog that I realized that word doesn’t quite cover it – 2010 was a Year In Diabetes like I’d never experienced before.
Prior to 2010 (and especially prior to 2009), diabetes wasn’t something I really talked about or put a whole lot of effort into. I had it, I dealt with it in the best (or, at times, the most convenient) ways I could, and the only time I spent really thinking about what was going on occurred in my doctor’s office. Diabetes wasn’t a cornerstone of who I was or how I spent my time. Diabetes was my own struggle; my own battle. No one else “got” what it was like – heck, even I didn’t get it sometimes. Like so many of us do with topics we don’t understand, we ignore and avoid – and so I did, in many ways, with diabetes.
What started to turn this past year into the most diabetes-focused year I’ve ever had was – you guessed it – discovering and immersing myself in the DOC (diabetes online community).
It began by reading some diabetes blogs. Involvement shifted from lurking to actually participating in online communities like Juvenation and TuDiabetes. I became more active on Twitter. The more I read and related to, the more I wanted to share and be related to. By June, I felt like I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and started my own blog.
The second half of 2010 found me joining committees at my local JDRF chapter, making phone calls to Congress, attending a diabetes conference, and divulging some pretty heavy stuff about myself online. And with the way things are taking shape, 2011 should be even more transformative and busy.
Being a person with diabetes now feels like a character trait, rather than a setback. I’ve endured and flourished in spite of what living with this condition has thrown at me, and that’s something I can feel proud about – I think we all can. Not everyone has to deal with all of this stuff every day, yet we do just that, and so much more. This “weakness” can develop a great deal of strength in all of us, if we allow it to.
In the span of a year, The Kim Who Doesn’t Talk About It became The Kim Who Wouldn’t Shut Up About It. My old self probably wouldn’t recognize the person I am now – one who proudly wears diabetes on her sleeve, and an insulin pump on her hip. And I have to say: This is working out a lot better for me.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Texting-My-Pancreas/130790406980470