Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Six Until Me!

I existed for six year before diabetes came into my life. I don’t remember much before I was diagnosed – all of my memories have been touched in some way by this disease. I went to every birthday party as a kid with my trusted stuffed animal and my black zipper case blood testing kit by my side. I remember every day in elementary school starting with my mother waking me up and testing my bloodsugar. I remember injections in the kitchen before we had summer dinners on the back deck.

It’s not sad that things are this way. It’s just how life is.

What is sad is that for a period of time during college and just afterwards, I felt like I was the only diabetic for miles. I knew there were others out there, thanks to Clara Barton Camp, but I was ten plus years away from camp and hadn’t talked with another diabetic in as long as I could remember.

In my apartment on a sunny May afternoon, I sat at my desk next to the bedroom window. Switched on the computer. Googled “diabetes.”

The page filled with a litany of links, urging me to take fastidious care of my feet, be sure to schedule annual eye exams, and discussing the benefits of testing my bloodsugar at least four times per day. Organizations like the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation cropped up, along with countless medical and research articles.

I have had diabetes for most of my life. I knew the essentials and then some. It wasn’t that this information was useless to me, but it was mostly clinical and statistical and besides, who were these people writing this stuff?

Where are the people with diabetes? The ones who have it? The ones who wake up every morning and deal with the daily maintenance? The ones who have glove compartments filled with Smarties candies and caches of used test strips in the corner of every room? The ones who don’t view juice as nutritional sustenance but instead a live saving medical treatment? The ones who know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with the daily tasks?

Elated at a bloodsugar of 112 md/gl after eating Chinese food?
Ecstatic at an A1c drop of 1 percent?

These people were writing blogs. And there were a handful of d-bloggers when I first started searching. Tek. Violet. Kathleen. Amy. Scott. I’m sure there were a few others, but these were the first that I found. Reading their experiences and feeling an instant sense of comfort and community with these wonderful people, I knew I wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to blog, too.

A year ago today, I started “Six Until Me.” One fledgling post, perfectly blended with the hope that someone would find me and the fear that someone would find me. One post that ushered me into the blogging community. One post that confirmed for me, almost instantly, that I wasn’t alone.

In self-celebration of my one year anniversary, I’m switching over to my own dot com. Six Until Me.Com will be the link for this blog going forward. The blogspot address will remain active for the archives. If you have my site linked from your own, I would appreciate it if you would update your links!

Thank you. To each reader. To each commenter. To each quiet lurker. To each fellow d-blogger. To each person who has changed me. To each person who has emailed me and made me smile. Thank you to my wonderful family. And my boyfriend, who inspires me.

Thanks to each and every one of you.

Now when I Google “diabetes blogs,” there are so many voices out there to be heard.

We most certainly are not alone.

14 Comments:

At May 04, 2006 12:58 PM, Blogger cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

updated my site, and going to go look at the .com

 
At May 04, 2006 4:16 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Kerri, as much as people bash the internet for one reason or another, it's still a powerful medium that brings people together who otherwise would never know of one another.

It's really touching to know that you've found a community that you feel a connection with and that I'm a part of it too.

Happy Anniversary...you are not alone :)

 
At May 04, 2006 4:19 PM, Blogger Tekakwitha said...

Happy Birthday Six Until Me!

tek

 
At May 04, 2006 5:57 PM, Blogger George said...

Happy Birthday Kerri's Blog! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! HOORAY!

I will update the link tonight and thank you for your willingness to share your D-life with us all!

 
At May 04, 2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

A very happy birthday to your blog! You have done so much for all of us out here as well - you need to know that you & your blog entries make a difference to a whole lot of people.

Thanks for all that you do - we love you!

 
At May 04, 2006 7:48 PM, Blogger julia said...

Happy Blog-day, Kerri! I'm very glad you started blogging. It's been fantastic reading what you've had to say.

I'll update my link.

 
At May 04, 2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Penny said...

I didn't get past the first paragraph before I was crying. I was just thinking of how life is going to be for Riley in the years ahead. I just wish so badly that he didn't have this horrible disease.

And, happy blogaversary!!!

 
At May 04, 2006 9:17 PM, Blogger type1emt said...

Wow,Kerry-1 year..
Happy Anniversary!
And thanks for all you've done. (you've definatly inspired a few d-bloggers yourself)
-Heidi

 
At May 05, 2006 2:28 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Hi Kerri

It's funny how you describe the experience of learning about web-blogs of diabetics - I kind of felt the same when I started reading blogs. I do know a few other diabetics in real life, but our conversations are far apart, and when I was offered to go to Denver to do my Ph.D. and my scientific colleagues were all "GO, GO, GO", while my boyfriend and family were worried about my diabetes (boyfriend: "I may be feeling differently about this, if you were not diabetic"), I felt that I needed to share this and other issues regarding diabetes with others that I knew would understand.

Happy Anniversary!

Heidi

 
At May 05, 2006 7:33 AM, Blogger Lyrehca said...

Happy Blogaversary, and congrats on moving to an official dot.com address!

 
At May 05, 2006 8:09 AM, Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Happy Blogaversary!

 
At May 05, 2006 10:51 AM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Kerri,

Your words have meant a great deal to me over the last year-- giving hope when the weight of this disease has threatened to crush my spirit;

Showing me that my son's future is not nearly as bleak as I once thought. In fact, it doesn't have to be bleak at all;

And, that no matter what this disease throws at us-- we are not alone.

Thank you.

Happy Anniversary!

 
At May 05, 2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous Miz S said...

Hi Kerri, when I found out 2 months ago that my 18 year old daughter had type 1 diabetes, you were somehow there and leaving me supportive comments. I don't know how. Were you already reading me? Or do you have some kind of radar? Anyway, thank you. She's doing well, by the way. Congrats on your anniversary.

 
At September 02, 2006 4:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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