By Ginger Vieira
Before you’ve found the DOC (Diabetes Online Community), living with diabetes can feel very lonely simply because the chances of being able to easily communicate with people who know what’s like to live with diabetes are hard to find. In my own life, the people I know locally with diabetes I actually know thanks to the DOC! And hospitals and diabetes clinics rarely seem to make an effort to connect those living with diabetes, young or old, type 1 or type 2. (I once went to a diabetes support group organized by my hospital and there were 4 people there, all over the age of 70 with the type of diabetes I don’t have.)
Once you discover the DOC, which is an unofficial but widely spread group of people across the world who live openly with their diabetes on the internet, that loneliness will be a distant memory!
Benefits of the DOC
The benefits of the DOC are invaluable and endless, and able to be shaped around what you need for support in your life with this disease. Whether you’re a parent of a child with diabetes, the spouse of a loved one with diabetes, or living with any type of diabetes yourself, you can find support in this community.
- Realizing and knowing that you are absolutely not alone!
- Able to see what kinds of approaches towards lifestyle, nutrition, exercise, and more has been beneficial for other people with diabetes.
- You’ll have endless source of support and motivation, especially for those days or weeks when dealing with diabetes feels more challenging than other days! In the DOC, you will find more empathy than sympathy, because you’ll be surrounded by those who know exactly what those challenges can feel like having been through those challenges themselves.
- Celebrating with other people who know what it’s like to hit your goal A1C after months of working hard on your blood sugars, or rejoicing in the “no signs of retinopathy” moment after an eye doctor check-up…the DOC is filled with people who can share your happiness in the little and big moments of success!
Where is the DOC?
Everywhere, to be honest. If you’re reading this article, you’ve already encountered one of the many websites that are engaged and involved with the greater DOC. Here are other places to easily become part of the DOC and gradually expand your network of friends overtime:
- Twitter: Every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST you can follow the hashtag #DSMA on Twitter. Founded by Cherise Shockley, DSMA hosts a new theme each week, encouraging conversation and connection. You can simply watch, or participate by tweeting your responses to the questions post by DiabetesSocMed, including the hashtag #DSMA in all of your tweets from 9 – 10 p.m. every Thursday!
- Facebook: Search “diabetes” in the groups section of Facebook and you will be overwhelmed by your options! Overwhelmed, I tell you! While there are hundreds of diabetics who have become friends through their personal pages, many met through the groups created by other patients. If you don’t live the vibe of a particular group, don’t stop there, join another!
- Blogs & Websites: There are hundreds–I mean, hundreds–diabetes blogs out there today! But I’ll list just a few of the most popular: Diabetes Daily, SixUntilMe, The Type 2 Experience, tuDiabetes, Children with Diabetes, TCOYD, the College Diabetes Network, DiabetesMine, A Sweet Life, Diatribe, Parenting Diabetic Kids, Your DiabetesMay Vary and very many more. You can much larger list of many more voices you can trust, check out the Diabetes Advocates membership list.
See you soon in the DOC.
Diabetes Advocates Member on Getting to Know the DOC
How to get involved with the DOC Twitter style – Bleeding Finger
You Can do This – You Can Do This Project
Words of Hope FFL 2013 – You Can Do This Project
All About LADA (Adults with Type 1) – Diabetes Mine
Who best to say you will be okay? - Your Diabetes May Vary
For The New Travelers…. Chronicles of D-Boy and Ribbon
From other DOC voices:
I can see clearly now… 1 type 1
Social Media and The Monster Under the Bed - A conversation with HCP about the DOC
Social Media Made Easy: Guiding Patients to Credible Online Health Information and Engagement Resources
- Journals article – Clinical Diabetes
Searching for dblogs especially is a lot easy using Diaboogle.com