When James was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I didn't know anyone "in real life" that had it. Not one person of any age. We felt very alone and very confused, and while our medical support team was truly amazing, it seemed like we were always full of questions that weren't really medical in nature but rather practical or even psychological. For those types of questions, I thank the heavens every day that we live in the internet age!
My first and most significant find has to be the children with DIABETES® website, Childrenwithdiabetes.com. This is a site full of information for all kinds of people with diabetes, but as the name denotes, it was started for parents of kids just like James. Here was a fount of wisdom and support and answers that could only be provided by people who "got it" and who had "been there, done that." I think I posted my first question about how to keep a pump safe from a small child. We'd been sent home from our pump instruction class with clips and hooks, but the posters at Childrenwithdiabetes.com taught me about pump packs worn around the waist that keep the pump easy to access and out of the way in the bathroom. I've been a member there for awhile and gratefully take advantage of the support network and expertise. I've vented about lows and asked for advice on meeting with the schools. This site is truly a gem.
As far as blogs written by a single voice, I have to say, I still love the "original," Kerri Morrone Sparling of Sixuntilme.com. Kerri started years ago before diabetes blogs were common on the web. Her blog is full of candor, humor and good writing. She's taken her readership through various stages of her young life, marriage and now motherhood, and sheds light on life with type 1 diabetes. As I am a mom of a child with type 1, I look to her both as a pioneer in the blogging world and also as a strong example of what a person with diabetes can accomplish.
Of course, I've found and enjoyed many, many more blogs. I love the stories, the insight, the humor, and oh, the photos! Nothing hits me harder than seeing the growth of type 1 blogs and seeing firsthand the faces of the kids -- the brave faces, the scared faces, the tears, and of course, all of the smiles. The blogosphere is rich with experience and information. If there is any consolation in diagnosis, it is in the realization that we are NOT alone and that through a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, we are in fact surrounded by supportive, helpful people who understand and care.
About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I’m thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.
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