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 continue!
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 connect and encourage more DHCPs to connect PWD to the value of social networking.
Here’s my dialog with Kelly Kunik, who’s lived with type 1 diabetes (T1D) for 38 years as of Halloween 2015, (which was also her parents’ anniversary). She was diagnosed at the age of 8. Kelly notes, “My greatest weakness (my broken pancreas) has become my greatest strength & biggest passion.” Kelly is a Diabetes Advocate, writer, blogger, speaker, humorist, and consultant. She says, “I laugh every day and am passionately spreading the word about living a great life with diabetes.”