My First World Diabetes Day, Twitter Style

This weekend, I celebrated World Diabetes Day for the first time in the whole five years that I’ve lived with this darn disease.

It was my first World Diabetes Day because, prior to this year, I’ve shied away from my diabetes a lot, which you can read about here. Blogging and connecting with others in the Diabetes Online Community this year has given me a great deal of confidence in the condition that I live with. The Diabetes Online Community has sparked a real interest, and a passion for the disease that I live with. So, a big part of World Diabetes Day for me was being able to join this community for a 15 hour Twitter chat and speak up.

Throughout each hour, a guest host tweeted five questions relating to a particular diabetes topic that we would discuss. There were many thought provoking topics brought up, experiences shared and issues discussed throughout the 15 hours, many of which I’m sure I missed.

It was really great to have one day where the Diabetes Online Community came together to speak, listen, advocate and support each other. I also forged some new connections along the way, some of which I’ll share with you.

First up, Cayla. Cayla is a young college student in the States, and I really admired the enthusiasm that she maintained throughout the chat. At one point I talked about how I would love to fundraise for my Public Hospital Diabetes Clinic, and Cayla told me to go for it. There were many more.

Next up was Kristin. Kristin is the mother of an 11 year old type 1 girl. It was inspiring to hear how Kristin’s daughter leads the diabetes discussions at home, as well as setting the boundaries of what she doesn’t want to talk about. Kristin, I’m sure your daughter has a bright future ahead of her.

Next up was Kate. Kate and I found some common ground chatting about how we both find a lot of support from our families and the Diabetes Online Community, but not as many in real life.

Then there was Karen, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 49 years. Karen told me that she didn’t feel that a lot of people understood her diabetes. Karen, I’ve felt exactly the same way many times in the past.

Finally, hats off to Chris for a marathon effort for the whole 15 hours of chat.

We’ve actually been following each other for a while, but we haven’t really chatted before. Chris is a freelance writer and owns his own SEO business.

We had a good laugh at the fact that both of our respective school teachers hated our writing, and yet now it is a significant part of each of our lives. You can also check out Chris’ blog, The Life of a Diabetic.

If the sense of diabetes community is something that appeals to you, I strongly encourage you to create a Twitter account. People in the Diabetes Online Community are very friendly, and there’s always somebody around to help you day or night. The diabetes community also comes together every Wednesday night from 9-10pm ET (US) to chat, and you can join in by following the #DSMA hashtag.

Thanks again to all of you who joined in and made my first World Diabetes Day a bright one!

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