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Why Participate in diabetes forums?

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Have you ever asked yourself why you participate in a diabetes forum? I remember why I started perticipating. I realized I was on a downward spiral: I was getting heavier every year, my retinopathy was progressing, and my personal relationships were suffering. And my health care team was not providing the support I needed.


So I came to DiabetesForums.com looking for support. The support I needed was practical advice on how to improve my control. I wanted to learn how to best use my new pump, I wanted good BGs, I wanted fewer hypos, I wanted no more life threatening hypos, and I wanted to save my eyes.


I have to say I found everything I was looking for, but I didn't find it how I expected to. I learned how to pump first by participatng in the chat room. This is a great tool where people can really open up and get to know each other. It has been very active in th past. We even used to have voice chats. We'd arrange to meet with a third party tool I'm not allowed to mention, and we'd talk about stuff. It was cool to hear different people from around the world. Don't expect to find doors to this media on forums though. Forum owners are very protective of their revenue streams.


It was during one of these sessions that I asked Spike how I could set my basals to match my needs as my health team was being useless. His simple reply "You need to basal test" rocked my world. There was little discussion about it between us, but the door was open. I immediately undertook a self research program to fiind out what it was all about. Suddenly there was much hope.


The second event happenned when I was questioning others on their practice of low-carb eating to control their BGs. I said something like "yea it will undoubtedly help your BGs, but what about heart disease? We're already at high risk. And what about your kidneys? All that protein must be bad!" The reply was simple and straightforward: "Do you even know what cholesterol is? You need to do some research on this!" I really didn't have a clue about what lipids were, so I made a conscious decision to keep an open and flexible mind and find out as much as I could about "cholesterol." Three years later I'm still on the journey. When leading lipidologists can't agree on it, I don't know how we can. But I have tried to reconcile all the evidence, and I have made various conclusions. BTW I try to focus on evidence. I put little credence on opinion with no logical backing.


But lets get back to why you are here. Do you need support? Of course you do. We all do. We're all diabetic. Diabetics have less than ideal expected outcomes. There are many statistics and many graphs, but they all basically look like the graphs below: worse than a normal person!





Whether you like it or not, this path called diabetes will kill you early, and it will degrade your quality of life.


If you want to accept this, then by all means continue with what you are doing. Place your trust in your health team. Don't consider new or radical ideas. Don't think outside the box. Don't fight back. Don't have hope. Continue what you are being told to do like a good little boy or girl.


What should you expect to find on a diabetes forum? What should you be looking for? You should expect to find much tension and debate. We all know we need to find best paths, and we all have our own ideas what that path is. This naturally results in disagreement. And it may be very passionate disagreement, because our lives depend on our decisions. You should relish this debate. It's where holes in the box are found.


The only decision I won't support is the decision to stay in the box. These statistics don't lie.

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