February 9, 2014

Dialoging about Diabetes: PWDs Offer Ways to Improve Communication and Care #9 Kerri Sparling, author Balancing Diabetes and six

As a diabetes educator/healthcare provider (DHCP) I’m observing that the rapidly growing world of the Diabetes Online Community, the DOC for short, is helping people with diabetes (PWD) and their loved ones find support and feel supported. People and their caregivers are connecting, building relationships and feeling more positive about the challenges of managing their diabetes. I’m delighted to see this trend!

As a DHCP I’ve long realized that I can’t walk a mile in a PWD shoes. I can’t know what it is like day in, day out to deal with this challenging and relentless disease. But, what I do know is that we can learn from each other to change the dialog between providers and PWD to be more positive, more supportive.
Goal one with these Dialoging about Diabetes interviews with diabetes activists is to help make living with diabetes…just a bit easier. Goal two is to enhance the two-way street – to help more PWD get connected and encourage more DHCPs to open the doors of social networking to PWD.

Here’s my dialog with Kerri Sparling, who’s had type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 27 years. Kerri jumped into the diabetes social networking world early on, in May of 2005 with her blog Six Until Me. She regularly contributes her personal thoughts in her column SUM Musings in the D-newsletter diatribe. She’s been an active member of the ever-expanding Diabetes Online Community (aka The DOC) and a diabetes advocate. Now Kerri has authored a book, Balancing Diabetes. Kerri’s book offers her account and the accounts of others, mainly those with T1D, who work to balance diabetes everyday through all the ins and outs of daily life.