Wednesday, May 28, 2008

School Of Thought

I mentioned before that when I was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes almost five years ago, I was thoroughly confused and went to the internet to see what I could learn. I learned there wasn’t a lot of information out there that wasn’t clinical and hard to understand, and that people freak out really easily and write a lot about it.

Jump to today, or rather about a month or so ago, and I revisited the World Wide Web to discover all sorts of new things about diabetes. Web sites from medical professionals, blogs from people with diabetes, blogs from people who live with people with diabetes, forums and discussions, chat rooms and basically just all kinds of opinions and information.

I’ve spent time not only writing my own blog, but reading other people’s, and reading comments that people leave me, and dipping into chats where people talk about what they know and how they handle things.

And I got confused all over again.

I know what my doctors tell me, what I was taught upon diagnosis, what I’ve learned from various sources, and I came up with a plan that worked for me, a school of thought that I could live with and maintain and that I thought would keep me healthy.

But the more I read, the more I started to doubt my thinking. Maybe she’s right? Maybe I should try what he said? Maybe my high number isn’t so high? Maybe my low number isn’t that low? Maybe I’m not “complicated” enough to count myself as a “real” diabetic? Maybe I need to loosen up? Maybe I need to tighten up? Maybe I need to have more tests done? Maybe I need to find a different doctor? Maybe I’m a fluke? Maybe I’m the typical? Maybe I need more education? Maybe I know too much? When will I ever know enough?

I started obsessing. It felt like everything became about diabetes, and the more I read, the more I thought I should read.

And then suddenly, about five minutes ago, I had an epiphany. While there’s a lot of great advice and information out there—what meters, lancets and other machinery everyone uses and how they like it; how someone handled a low moment with grace and stealth; what new development is on the horizon; what fabulous food find someone discovered—not all of it applies to me. I can read everything I want, but I can make the decision that the plan someone else is following isn’t compatible with my own, and I can continue as I am. I can also read and decide that yes, this will work for me, and yes, that’s a great idea I’m going to try.

And in my own blog, I’m going to keep writing about what works for me, how I’m managing my diabetes, and what kind of control I have. If you read something you like, feel free to try it. If you read something you don’t think is believable, or that you don’t agree with, then you can make your own decision not to include it in your diabetes plan.

After all, I think there’s enough fish out there to make up a magnificent school of thought.

As always, more to come…


Jeff said...

Hi Lora. I think your epiphany is precisely right on the money. There is no shortage of D-info out there now, but not everything is going to work for, or even apply to, all of us Type 1s. How could it? We may all have something in common, but we are all still very different.

I'm glad I found your blog, and I look forward to reading more of what works for you and what doesn't in the future.

Colleen said...

As you wrote, there are many ways to approach our diabetes. I'm just three years into this but really, really appreciate those people who take the time to write about their lives with diabetes. It helps me figure out that what I'm going through is not all that strange and, gives me ideas for new things to try in helping myself.

Laura Williams said...

You have hit nail on head with this one. When I first started reading up on diabetes and the web, I got very concerned about having one of those awful middle of the night lows. I was pretty naive to take those type-one postings as applicable to my pre-diabetes. Now I pay a lot of attention to who is writing what to help me filter what is useful for me.

In the end, I think it has to be up to us to make the final call about what to apply and what to ignore. Diabetes is so individual to all of us.