Monday, January 09, 2006

Why I Don't (Usually) Blog About Diabetes

It amazes me, really, just how many blogs on the Diabetes OC are able to stick to the topic of diabetes so much. Is diabetes really that consuming that there is that much to write about? Because here, I have an occasional diabetes-related blog entry...and even that is stretching things.

So, the questions you "obsess" about diabetes in your daily lives that much as well? Or do you just save it all for your blogs? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, or anything...but honestly, the idea is rather foreign.

I suppose it is because 71% of my lifetime, I've lived with diabetes. Life before the disease barely registers in my memory. It is just who I am. Who I've always been, for as long as I can remember. So, why would I just blog about it so much?

In the same year that I was diagnosed with diabetes, I got my first pair of glasses. What an amazing new world that was, for the first time in my life able to actually see that trees were not a huge blob of green, but that the blobs were made up of individual leaves. I could actually read the signs hundreds of feet away. Overnight, the world changed.

But today, I certainly don't find the need to blog about my near-sightedness. Glasses are a part of my life, but nothing especially extraordinary. And, I suppose, I feel the same about diabetes.

I do find, however, that in the company of other diabetics, the subject seems to monopolize the conversation. It is an opportunity to share experiences, differences, and learn. I guess that is what the Diabetes OC is.

Back when I was in, I believe, junior high, maybe five years post-diagnosis, I remember watching the Ironman Triathalon. But, honestly, I didn't care one bit about triathalons. I just wasn't that into sports. (I'm still not.) So, why the fascination? Because that particular year there was someone inspirational participating. A Type 1 diabetic. I don't even remember his name. But I remember cheering him on, and how they showed him eating fudge along the way to keep his BGLs up. It was a chance to see that diabetes would not interfere with the rest of my life. That I could really accomplish anything I wanted, and that my dreams would never die because of my disease.

And they haven't. I am who I am, and I've accomplished what I've accomplished all the while trying to deal with my diabetes. It is no big deal to me. There are many far more difficult trials I've faced in life. Many I have still yet to face, I'm sure. So, for the time being, I don't really obsess about diabetes. I don't really put much thought into at all. At least, not any more than I have to.

That is why, I suppose, you'll only find the occasional blog entry about diabetes here.


Rachel said...

I have one blog for diabetes-related stuff and one for everything else in my life. I think I have been writing more as a way to cope with the somewhat-new diagnosis - especially since it keeps me motivated as a diet/exercise type 2. But I wonder how long I can keep up two separate ones - I've done that before for just writing and then everyday life stuff and it just didn't make sense after awhile. We'll see, we'll see.

Erica said...

I was really recently diagnosed so I'm still trying to figure things out. I have so many questions and frustrations and I think I'm still trying to get over the shock of diagnosis. Now I'm pregnant and with diabetes that is not a small thing to deal with.

But in 9 months when life returns to a new 'normal' I can definitely see my posts being less about diabetes and more about coping with life in general.

Kerri. said...

For me, writing about the diabetes bit is my coping mechanism. Letting those thoughts loose on my blog helps me keep everything in check.

Diabetes may be the highlight of my blog, but it's not the focus of my life.

Andrea said...

It's interesting you picked this as a topic, b/c I was just thinking about this too. As much as I tend to obsess, focus, and rant and rave over my blog doesn't center on my Diabetes as much as one might expect. Just me rambling about anything and everything that crosses my mind. I guess part of the reason why I haven't been "tagged" yet is b/c my blog is completely random- so why would anyone need five random facts? :o) Maybe I'm ADD in that I can't just focus on one subject, I don't know. lol :)

Anyway, I've read a lot of blogs and I think it's great that everyone has their own unique style...Whether a blog tends to focus on a person's Diabetes or not, I find both ways enjoyable :)

Scott K. Johnson said...

I think I do obsess about my diabetes because for me it is a real challenge.

I remember an e-mail conversation we had many years ago about your Logbook palm application.

What I specifically remember about it was that you were developing that program, writing a book, working a full time job, being a great father & husband AND tightly controlling your diabetes.

I asked you something along the lines of "how can you do all that and still do everything required to keep your BG's so tightly controlled?"

You replied with something along the lines of diabetes just being part of your life, it's just the way things are for you, and that everybody has some challenge or struggle they are working on.

I believe diabetes is mostly a mental game, and your approach to it is powerful and unique. Maybe for you everything is "black and white", it's just the way it is. Which is true - it is the way it is.

Which is why I am so confused as to why it's such a struggle for me. Is it some type of acceptance issue? Is it even possible for me to have not completely accepted it after 25+ years?

I often think of all the stuff I need to do as "work", which is the wrong way to think of it. I need to make that "work" just part of my everyday life. Things like food planning and exercise, taking time to look at my test results and find trends, etc.

I need to find my problem habits (fast food for breakfast, over-indulging on sweets, etc) and work them out of my day to day, replacing them with positive and beneficial habits.

I for one would like to read more about your day to day diabetes, but I just don't think it's even part of your thought process most of the time. You wouldn't be you if you changed what you do just for us!

Allison said...

I, too, have pondered why I spend so much time talking about diabetes on this blog, and not about anything else. I have an LJ (Livejournal) which is one of my methods in keeping touch with my friends from high school. I write about my professors, the boy who broke my heart, how much I despise my former employer. But I rarely talk about how frustrated I am that I went low at 2 a.m. or how proud of I am of my new diabetes website.

My friends know about that part of my life, and I will casually mention it. Same with the diabetes blog. I casually mention the rest of my life. I suppose I have the support for boys and school from my Real Life friends. But I don't have that much support about diabetes, which is why I write about it so much. I need my weird, imaginary internet friends to help me figure out that part of my life, because it has so many strange and unique challenges all on its own.

Maybe I should start writing about boys. Would you like me to talk about that? :-)

Allison said...
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mdmpls said...

I have been diabetic for so long, that I feel like my friends and family would rather not hear me talk about any issues I might be having. The blog gives me a chance to get it out of my system, without having to "burden" thosse close to me.

I don't think I am obsessive about being diabetic, but it is such a big part of my life, this helps make me not let it overwhelm the rest of my life.

RyanBruner said...

Everyone's responses are very intriguing. Everyone comes to the plate with different experiences, different feelings, different ways of dealing with those things.

I especially like what Scott said, above...because it is true (the part about my thought process)...

"I for one would like to read more about your day to day diabetes, but I just don't think it's even part of your thought process most of the time."

I just don't even know HOW to share my "day to day diabetes". What's there to share? "Uh, well, I refilled my pump today...isn't it a drag that my pump only holds 180 units?"

Yet, rest assured, I in absolutely no way mean to imply by my blog entry that there is anything wrong with the time others spend blogging about diabetes. It was more or less sharing how the concept is foreign for me. Great feedback, though.

Shannon said...

I don't obsess about my son's diabetes, but when something happens that strikes me as something I can blog about, I just blog it.

I also use it as an update for my family since they all live in different states.

Nicole P said...
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Nicole P said...


My blog here is almost entirely diabetes related, but I write about everything I'm interested in, that I see, that I think about in other forums (other blogs, journals, on scrap paper and napkins.)

I've had diabetes 75% of my life. It's helpful (therapeutic, I guess?) for me to write about my experiences with the disease and I hope that by sharing my experience I might help parents or younger adults deal with the challenges that crop up with the disease more effectively.

If the most exciting thing that happened in my daily life with diabetes (ever) was that I changed my infusion set or that my pump only held 180 units, I'd consider myself a pretty lucky diabetic and I probably wouldn't write too much about it... But I'm not that lucky. I've bottomed out in my car, I've kicked and screamed and fought blood tests and shots, I've tortured my parents being a kid with the disease, I've dropped my pump in the toilet, I've abused my body (using my diabetes medication as a tool) and felt horrible about it later. I think these things make for some pretty interesting -- and possibly helpful -- stories...

I am in no way obsessed with the disease. It's an almost undetectable fraction of the person I am, but it's brought me stories that, as a writer, I like to tell.