The Internet has given us many wonderful things, like dogs looking guilty on YouTube, mug shots of embarrassed celebrities and an infinite variety of zany time wasters, both in words and video.
But as a person living with Type 1 diabetes, the thing I love most about the Internet is the knowledge it offers for free — our ability to type and click and instantly find the answer to most any question about diabetes and its management.
The second best thing is the DOC – the diabetes online community. This extraordinary group of people is sharing their experiences and their knowledge on some extraordinary blogs, for free. They teach us, warn us, inspire us – and some even make us laugh. Here are eight great juvenile diabetes blogs you should be reading if your child has Type 1 diabetes.
The Princess and the Pump– The adventures of 5-year-old “Sweetpea,” a darling little girl diagnosed at 3. “Although she is a tiny little pea, she is one tough cookie,” her mom (and scribe) Hallie Addington writes. We love Hallie’s description of herself as a “mom, wife and pancreas,” as well as her cheerful, determined outlook on T1 life. http://www.princessandthepump.com
Death of a Pancreas — You gotta laugh, right? Even babies can get a DX of Type 1, as Joanne writes in this moving blog about her daughter Elise. Joanne’s terrific disclaimer: “If your child has diabetes, or if you suspect that your child has diabetes, please seek the attention of a healthcare professional, and not some crazy, over-worked, frazzled, sleep-deprived nutjob who has staked out her corner of the world-wide-web-information-super-highway and is espousing her viewpoints from it.” But they’re really good viewpoints, Joanne! http://www.deathofapancreas.com.
Texting my Pancreas — Kim Vlanik found the DOC late in 2009 and began her own blog the following summer. She writes amazing, poignant stuff about living with diabetes (“The hardest part is balancing the appearance of ‘normal’ outside with the temporary raging chaos inside) and she’s also an artist, using her own illustrations and cartoons on the blog. A true Wonder Woman, blogging wasn’t enough for Kim, so she started the “You Can Do This Project,” a collection of inspiring videos submitted from people around the world. http://www.youcandothisproject.com and http://www.textingmypancreas.com
Insulin Nation – An oldie but still a goodie, this blog focuses on technology, science and therapy – serious stuff — but also has fun, as in a recent post called “Sh*t People Say to People With Diabetes.” (We can relate!) Recent topics include diabetes service dogs, insulin allergies and marathoning with diabetes.http://www.insulinnation.com
Bleeding Finger — A rare “dad blog”, Bleeding Finger is written by Tim, a father of four in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the U.S. Two of his girls have Type 1 diabetes, but on the primary blog image, all three girls and their dad wear T-shirts emblazoned Type 1. While the blog isn’t always updated on a daily or weekly basis, it makes up for it by just being honest: one father, slugging it out, sharing his experience and connecting to others. http://www.bleedingfinger.com
Our Diabetic Life — Meri – occupation, pancreas – blogs from her California home, where she is the mother of four ,boys, three of whom have Type 1 diabetes. She knows about “worry that sits with you like an old friend,” just like we do. “I just try not to make him the life of the party.” It’s a great philosophy, and a great blog, going strong now for five years. Recent posts include “Why I do Night-Time Checks” and “Love with a Side of Polynesian Sauce.” http://www.ourdiabeticlife.com
TuDiabetes — Few organizations have had the type of impact that the Diabetes Hands Foundation has had on the diabetes community (disclosure: I’m a board member, so I’m a little biased). Their website, TuDiabetes, serves as a place for the T1D community to come together and get information, share stories, and coordinate and participate in local events. http://www.tudiabetes.org/
Six Until Me — Blogger, Kerri Sparling, has been chronicling her life with T1D since 2005 (well before there was a strong, established diabetes online community). Her blog covers almost all aspects of the ins and outs of managing T1D, and she also has a great series of videos about life with diabetes. http://sixuntilme.com/