I recall little snippets of my life before the new found madness that is, living and managing Type 1 Diabetes.
* Alone on the pre-school playground where my mom used to work.
* Playdough heaven.
* Brownie friendships.
* Chocolate kisses from my Grandmother during my bout with chickenpox.
* Always hating milk in my cereal.
My symptoms were the typical unquenchable thirst, frequent bathroom parties and constant napping during first grade. Special birthday treats were set aside, sans sugar of course. I did my best to be a “normal” kid, as much as I hate that word, but I did try. I would sneak treats into my lunch until the lunch lady caught me. Not much I could “hide” about my situation as my mom works for the school district I attended. I would just go about my day and do what needed to be done, all while trying to just be a kid.
I recall bits of the day the Pediatrician told my parents. My mom crying, my dad asking questions. I sat quietly; starring, wondering and definitely not understanding.
Diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes on May 15th, 1985.
Soon enough I was shooting up oranges and preparing to pierce my precious young skin. My very first shot was in my right thigh. I begged my sister to turn away (she didn’t, she still owes me) as I hesitated for what seemed like eons. I finally took the plunge, all so I could join in the neighborhood sleepovers. Ah, I miss my youth.
Flash forward a couple decades later. I was tired. So very tired of “feeling” alone. I knew I wasn’t, couldn’t be the “only” one living with Type 1 Diabetes.
For 22 years support in dealing with my Type 1 Diabetes eluded me. I knew others amongst the Dtribe existed. I just simply did not seek them out.
In October of 2007 I starting searching online for support. The internet was finally at my fingertips and they sure enjoyed the initial journey. They are a bit worn out but that’s mainly due to the gagillion blood tests I’ve done through the years.
I was a Dlurker for many months, reading DiabetesMine daily, found other bloggers discussing living with Diabetes and finally felt less alone. I then joined TuDiabetes. It was my first online social experience related to my specific situation. It changed my life.
In April of 2008 I started my first blog. I am glad I started blogging via Blogger, then eventually tweeting via Twitter. Both keep me away from some great Dcommunities (Diabetic Connect, Diabetes Sisters, Diabetic Rockstar and Diabetes Daily) but I lurk on those from time to time. There is just not enough time in the day.
After all of those years without feeling connected, I am glad to have encountered and actually met some wonderful people who get what I go through. I would be lost without the Diabetes Online Community.