Message Monday: Everyone’s Diabetes Is Different

Today kicks off the Seventh Diabetes Blog Week, an annual event in the diabetes online community from Karen at BitterSweet Diabetes. Here is today’s prompt:

Lets kick off the week by talking about why we are here, in the diabetes blog space. What is the most important diabetes awareness message to you? Why is that message important for you, and what are you trying to accomplish by sharing it on your blog?

I began writing this little blog of mine almost a year and a half ago. I knew very little about diabetes, or what was going on out there in the diabetes community at the time. I wasn’t a very “switched on” patient. I used to shy away from my diabetes a lot. I can’t even say that I was very interested.

It’s been quite a journey for me, writing this blog. As Georgie pointed out last week, I look back at some of my old posts and I see how much my attitude towards my diabetes has developed. I am so much more passionate about diabetes today. I am so much more motivated to do better. I know exactly what I want from my diabetes team, and I fight for it. I’m getting started on an insulin pump today, and I can’t imagine that I would have had the courage or motivation to do it if I weren’t a part of this community.

I am here in the diabetes blog space, because it is something that genuinely interests me. Writing this blog has helped me enormously in dealing with my own diabetes. Sometimes it’s there as a way to express what’s on my mind. Other times it’s there simply as a way to get my point of view out there when I see something I don’t agree with. Blogging keeps me grounded and focussed in my efforts with my own diabetes.

Last week, I had the privilege of spending 2 days with a group of Australian diabetes bloggers at Abbott’s Diabetes Exchange event in Sydney. Disclosures can be found here.

We all came from different areas of the country. We were all diagnosed at varying points in our respective lives. Some people had decades of diabetes experience, while others had only a couple of years. Some people used insulin pumps, others were on injections, and one used an inhaled form of insulin. Some people worked in the diabetes space, while others were simply consumer advocates. Some knew each other in real life, while others were meeting for the first time. Some people selected the toast and the muesli that was served at the breakfast buffet, while others opted for the fruit and the eggs.

Even though all of us in the room had diabetes, we were all different. We all had different opinions. We all employed different tools and methods in order to manage our diabetes. We all added different issues to the conversation that reflected what we each felt most strongly about.

Yet we were all able to sit in the room together for 2 days without murdering each other. We were all able to engage in a healthy conversation. We were able to contribute our different points of view, while listening and being respectful of others who might have a different one. We were able to sit together at the dinner table on Thursday night until the lights were switched out and the hotel staff had closed up for the night. We were able to prepare and share a meal together at the Sydney Fish Market on Friday afternoon. We were able to Tweet at each other throughout the conference, even though we were literally sitting next to each other.

No two people’s diabetes are the same. The way I manage my diabetes is not necessarily any more correct than the way in which you manage yours. I try my best to be mindful of this as I write here, and in the way that I conduct myself online.

If the Diabetes Exchange event in Sydney last week was anything to go by, I believe that we can each manage our own diabetes, while being friends at the same time.

To read other posts related to today’s prompt, click here.

Side note: Thank you to Hannah and Laura for putting together a fantastic blogger event in Sydney last week. Thank you to the Abbott team for your hospitality and for the privilege of allowing me to be a part of the Diabetes Exchange program. And to the bloggers, it was an honour to meet you all in person. 

Why Australians With Type 1 Have It Better

Happy Friday!

I’m in Sydney today for day 2 of Abbott’s Diabetes Exchange event. I’m officially hooked up to the FreeStyle Libre, and I’ll post some observations here in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, you can follow along on Twitter using #DX2Sydney and on my Facebook page here.

Second order of business: I recently wrote a column for Insulin Nation, in response to the ongoing health insurance stories coming out of the US. It’s titled Australians With Type 1 Have an Easier Time With Health Insurance, and you can read it here.

Finally, Diabetes Blog Week kicks off on Monday. I had a great time participating last year, and there’s just such a great sense of community about it. If you’re thinking of starting a blog or adding your voice to our great community, it’s a great time to do so. Head over to to see what it’s all about and to sign up.

Have a great weekend!