Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 25, 2007
Another great post by guest blogger Kerri Morrone. I think it’s one we all can relate to. Thanks Kerri.
Kerri Morrone, Six Until Me. (www.sixuntilme.com)
A few years ago, I was feeling alone. Despite my supportive family and a strong network of friends, diabetes was something I dealt with privately, the lone diabetic floating along in a sea of healthy people.
“It can’t be just me,” I said to myself as I tested my blood sugar and saw a number completely out of range, despite my healthy lunch and my calculated insulin doses.
“It can’t be just me,” I murmured as my insulin pump tubing caught on the doorknob and tugged at the infusion set.
“It can’t be just me,” as the tears of frustration pooled up in my eyes after reading the letter from my doctor stating that my A1c was, once again, over 7%.
Google “diabetes” back in 2005 and you would scare up little more than a list of complications and frightening stories. Tales of my kidneys ceasing to function. Stories about blood vessels in my eyes collapsing onto themselves. Dramatic tales of amputation, heart attacks, and hypertension. According to Google, diabetes was a fancy, medical-sounding name for a disease that eats you up from the inside. The page filled with a litany of links, urging me to take fastidious care of my feet, to schedule annual eye exams, and discussing the benefits of testing my bloodsugar at least four times per day. Organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation cropped up, along with countless medical and research articles.
But I didn’t feel sick. I felt frustrated. And alone. I have had diabetes for most of my life, so by necessity I knew the essentials and then some. It wasn’t that this information was useless to me, but it was mostly clinical and statistical and besides, who were these people writing this stuff? Where were all the people who were living with this disease, like I have been since I was a little girl?
Enter blogging. At the recommendation of my now-fiancé, I started a blog called Six Until Me, referring to the age I was when the first signs of diabetes presented themselves. Six years until diabetes – six until me. I talked about life with diabetes – not so much the specific numbers on my glucose meter, but more how the disease affected my emotions. How it touches every day life, from the spotty scars on my fingertips to the dots of past infusion sets on my thighs that tell a silent story.
The response was overwhelming. The “Me, too!” sentiment rang out loud and clear, showing me that I wasn’t the only diabetic for miles, fumbling with test strips, insurance companies, and highs and lows of all kinds. In May of 2005, I was one of four or five diabetes bloggers. Now I am a proud member of an enormous diabetes blogging community who prove every day that I’m not alone with this disease.
Blogging has changed my perception of diabetes from one of isolation to a feeling of community. I feel like the little, quirky bits of my life that are related to diabetes management moments aren’t parts of myself that I need to smooth over, but instead parts of me that I can embrace and feel comfortable with. Yes, I have diabetes. Yes, it’s an insulin pump. Yes, I have a job. Yes, he loves me and we’re getting married, regardless of my diabetes. Yes, I will be okay.
Every day we face this disease. There are days when we feel like we’re on top of the world and others when we feel like we’re trying to keep it from falling on us. But for me, every day is a easier knowing that there are people out there who understand completely. Anyone who writes a blog about diabetes, or any disease, proves to be a daily solace. Every day, every post I read, inspires me. You understand what it’s like to really live with this disease. Google “diabetes” now and you find people actually living real lives with diabetes.
It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one.
Read more from Kerri at her blog Six Until Me