When I first started this blog, I didn’t actually know many people with diabetes. I had two extended family members with type 2 diabetes. My great grandmother, who passed away before I was born, had some form of diabetes in her old age that she treated with insulin. There were two people who I went to school with, before I was diagnosed, who had type 1 diabetes. There was also someone at work who I knew of, but didn’t really know, who had type 1 diabetes.
That’s about it. I didn’t really have anyone in real life who I could talk to about diabetes. Well, I did, of course. But I didn’t have anyone who actually “got” it. And that’s where the Diabetes Online Community came in handy. Or the DOC, as the cool kids call it.
I started this blog because I didn’t think that there was much online about actual life with diabetes. I knew there was lots of boring information and research heavy stuff out there from organisations. But I never expected to find such a large and vibrant community of people sharing their stories online. Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough…
I absolutely love the fact that I can pick up my phone and I’m instantly connected with people on the other side of the world who have diabetes. I know that I instantly feel better by being able to connect with this community of supportive people. I know that I’m inspired by this community to live my very best each and every day. I know that this community has opened my eyes and ignited a passion for the very disease that I live with every day. A passion that drives me to write and to share so much, so often.
Here are just a few of the places in the DOC where you can get started. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge, confidence and motivation towards my diabetes since finding the Diabetes Online Community, and I hope that it can do the same for you.
- Diabetes Patient Blogs. Every day I read moving pieces of writing that I instantly just “get.” You can find links to some amazing writers in the DOC on my Blogroll, although I’m sure that I’ve only covered a small fraction of them.
- Oz Diabetes Online Community. Every Tuesday night, a group of us hang out on Twitter and answer a series of questions around a particular aspect of life with diabetes. Just follow the hashtag #OzDOC on Twitter every Tuesday night at 8.30pm AEST (GMT+10) to join in. You can read more about how it works here.
- Great Britain Diabetes Online Community. Exactly the same format as OzDOC, for people living with diabetes in the United Kingdom. Join in every Wednesday night at 9pm GMT by following #gbDOC on Twitter.
- Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. Exactly the same format as OzDOC, for people living with diabetes in the United States. Join in every Wednesday night at 9pm US Eastern Time by following #DSMA on Twitter.
- Diabetic Connect. Another weekly diabetes Twitter chat with a greater focus on diabetes management, with involvement from diabetes healthcare professionals and organisations. Join in every Tuesday night at 9pm US Eastern Time by following #DCDE.
- TuDiabetes. TuDiabetes is a forum designed for people living with diabetes. Once registered at tudiabetes.org, you can participate in the lively forum discussions, live stream events and access a wide range of resources for living with diabetes. You can read more about it here.
- Facebook groups. There are plenty of friendly diabetes groups on Facebook that offer a space to connect with others in a private and supportive environment. Peruse at your leisure.
- Twitter. Many people with diabetes use Twitter, and you’ll find me on there quite often. It’s a great way to stay up to date with diabetes news, connect with others, participate in Twitter chats and share information. If your profile identifies as a person with diabetes, there’s a good chance that these friendly folk will follow you back.