Monday, May 14, 2012

Blog Week Post 1: Find a Friend

Find a Friend

Karen at Bitter Sweet is holding a 3rd annual Diabetes Blog Week from May 14th through May 20th.  This is an effort to bring all sorts of diabetes families together to share and swap information.  Our community is a tight knit group and I, for one, are always glad to meet new friends!

Today's topic is "Find a Friend".  The idea is to connect online bloggers and readers with one another and to share the bloggy groups that YOU just love to read and interact with.

And guess what?!  I have a place that (probably) most of you have never visited. 

Get ready because I am about to share one of the most awesome places with the most amazing group of women.

Yeah, it is THAT good!

That's it!   This group of warm, friendly and passionate advice giving women are some of my very dearest friends in the world. 

I joined the group right after youngest daughter (then age 3) was diagnosed in 2006, and at the time, the BabyCenter group was in a very different format using out-dated servers.  Most of us had dial-up and even though it took an enormous amount of effort to log-in, we always felt so much better, ready to tackle the diabetes monster afterwards.

Don't let the name BabyCenter fool you either.  This is a far-reaching group of parents, children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.  All ages write posts - from parents of infants to adults living with diabetes for 30+ years.  Predominately female, we have had a few dads join in from time-to-time but mostly, it is the ladies that keep the group moving.

My cyber girlfriends have shared details of their own struggles and triumphs.  New jobs, career changes, personal diagnosis, divorce, new babies.  We have held cyber hands when spouses disappointed us, grandparents walked away or children forgot to follow the ever important test don't guess rule.  We have cheered for each other when insurance came through, new injection sites tried out or a special recipes for low carb food were shared.  

We have also managed to keep cyber bullying at bay and to allow the freedom of choosing the personal diabetes management approach that works best for your particular family.  After all, we have all learned that diabetes is not a one size fits all

After a short while, we swapped phone numbers and started pen-pal clubs and even had a few face to face meetings if our friends happened to be near our towns.  One girlfriend sent Christmas cards to all of us which made me feel as though I was part of her own family.

My youngest daughter is now the ripe old age of 8, so we have been part of BabyCenter for over 5 years - which I think is close to 35 in the ever-changing dog years of cyberville. 

The group was my strength when my oldest daughter was also diagnosed at age 8 (now ten).  To have watched the children grow, is my most favorite part of the friendship.  Even with new diagnosis added in, the kids with diabetes (and their siblings) remain to be awe-inspiring, fantastic, talented and intelligent group! 

Truly, a Naturally Sweet group and I hope you get the chance to swing over and say, "Hi!"

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