Being diagnosed with type I diabetes was most definitely the fuse, but the events that followed were the ignition.
I really knew nothing about diabetes at all when I was diagnosed. My head was spinning, the conversation was just a buzz and I was as scared for my future as I have ever been. I started asking questions of my doctors, figuring that was my best option for learning quickly and accurately. It did not take long for that bubble to burst.
At first, I was frustrated and angry because I could not get concise or meaningful answers to most of my questions. The answers all seemed to be canned and were vague and general at best. It took a little bit of self-education before I realized why this was happening.
The truth of the matter is that when it comes to diabetes, the correct answers are specific to the individual asking the question. There are a lot of things about this disease that are generally true and many answers are simply based on historical average results. The problem with that is most of us don’t fit into “average”. And the history of diabetes is nothing like the current realities, both in treatment and understanding.
I believe that most people are in a very similar situation when they are diagnosed. Most of us have little or no knowledge and very little, if any, understanding of diabetes. The learning curve can be quite steep. The information, though widely available, can be overwhelming and confusing.
And on top of that, you must determine how it all may or may not apply to you and your diabetes. We are all different. The generalities may be the same, but we each have our own specific issues and must find our own best solutions.
As for myself, it seemed there was a huge gap between the information received at my diagnosis and the reality of understanding and managing my diabetes. As I began to learn both about myself and my diabetes, I realized there is a great need within the diabetic community. There needs to be a place for people with all types of diabetes to find practical support and guidance in discovering how they can best manage their own diabetes.
I found this for myself in the diabetic online community (DOC) and in particular at TU diabetes. It was a wonderful thing when I found them. It was there that I truly began to understand what I was actually dealing with. It would be difficult to overstate the impact it has had in my life as a person with diabetes.
But, still, there was that sense of isolation. For all the blessings online forums and chats bring, they are not the same as a live discussion among people traveling the same path. I know I am not alone in wishing for personal contact with other diabetics.
So that is why I am here and writing this in way of introduction. My purpose is to reach as many people as I can to help them understand and create their own strategies for living successfully with diabetes. My hope is by sharing my own personal journey with all of its setbacks and successes, others will gain their own insights and motivations for success.
I hope by bringing people with diabetes together to work out strategies and share information, we can begin to build a community of diabetics of ALL TYPES based on real-time personal contact and eventually becoming a network of in-person peer support and mentoring. I believe strongly WE can make this happen.
Do you have the support you need and that works for you?
Randy Wilson, founder of Great Big Gains, is a type I diabetic who is motivated by and focused on helping other people with all types of diabetes to find their best path forward using small group and individual coaching along with writing about his own experiences with diabetes and its complications. All in an effort to help them live their life on their own terms. Find out more about this at www.GreatBG.com or contact him at info@GreatBG.com .
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