Showing posts from February, 2018

Remembering What Diabetes Community Looks and Feels Like

The concept of "community" has been on my mind a lot lately, as I watch the shifting winds of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). Specifically, all the emotions and connotations that come with the word "community" have been rolling around in my brain. Maybe it's my recent birthday that marks the final year of my 30s, or the fact that I'll soon hit my 34th dia-versary, or the recent loss of a beloved DOC friend... Our community isn't the same as it was a decade ago, obviously. Not even the same as a few short years ago. One of my observations is that these days, it seems more people with diabetes (PWDs) in the DOC are constantly on edge. Always fighting. Protesting. Walking around with metaphorical middle fingers up and not embracing the peer support side that started this whole contemporary DOC experience more than a decade ago. It often breaks my heart, because I feel the connections and friendships that made this such a truly life-changing part of my

AADE Gets Serious About Embracing the Diabetes Patient Community + Peer Support

The American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) is remaking itself in recent years, under new leadership that's far more "plugged in" to patients' real challenges and new technologies/online activity than ever before.  This professional org, historically focused inward on the careers of its ~ 14,000 members, has come into the spotlight of patient advocacy in recent years with the growing recognition that these folks are on the front lines of diabetes care, as their role is to offer PWDs practical real-world advice. Thanks to some key individuals -- notably 2016 AADE president Hope Warshaw, new 2018 president Donna Ryan , and CEO Charles Macfarlane -- the org is getting serious about embracing peer support and collaborating with the DOC (Diabetes Online Community). They've recently taken three important steps to make this a reality: Revamping their National Standards to emphasize that "peer support paired with diabetes self-management ed

Happy 39th Birthday To Me + Spare a Rose 2018

Hello, 39. The final year of my 30s begins... before that big milestone birthday that has been creeping ever more closely. Now here we are. And in just over a month, that diaversary time will also be here once again. Amazingly, I look back over the years and find the Diabetes Online Community (our beloved #DOC) has certainly been one of the highlights in the context of diabetes. I find it incredible that a dozen years have now gone by since first finding those early blogs. So much has changed, and it still fascinates me that I managed to care about this enough to merge it into my career path. Never would have predicted that earlier in my life. Anyhow, that mantra of You Are Not Alone continues to ring true and my most recent visit to North Texas for a JDRF summit reinforced this message. Our D-Community is incredible, and seeing the peer support, the heart that so many have is priceless. It fills the heart with so much joy. I'm a bit bummed that I came do