Yes, the title says it all, I’m perplexed, once again diabetes has made me stop think. However, this time, it’s not about CGM’s (continues glucose monitors), killer T-cells, insulin pumps, post adrenal spike (or whatever its called), insurance, night-time lows, delayed hypoglycemia, but something much more simple, but maybe more important than all the aforementioned. This is about making connections in the diabetes community, not the DOC (diabetes online community), but the local and regional community. I’m perplexed at the lack of local connections I’ve made. Let me take you on a mental journey through my burned out shell of a brain.
I’ve thought many times about this, but frankly, I don’t have a lot of local connections and I don’t know why. I started wracking my brain on this more and more after we made a trip to Ohio to spend a weekend with a wonderful d-family (family with a child with Type 1 Diabetes); in this case they have 2 Type 1’s like us.
Our wives had met and knew each other from a meet up for coffee when my wife traveled through Ohio early this year. They both decided, without husband input, that we would get together for a weekend. So it all worked out and we made the trip to Ohio. I had a blast! It was one of the most fun weekends I have ever had. I had talked with John a few times through Facebook message, and he belongs to the Dads Battling Diabetes Group, but we really hit it off hanging out that weekend. I won’t tell you anymore about that weekend, I’ll dedicate a post to that in a few weeks.
I’m still perplexed about local connections. We’ve gone to many JDRF events, met local couples, have hung out with local d-families at their houses, but not the “I can’t hardly wait to see them again”, their sending us messages saying we need to get together again type connection.
True, we’ve met some awesome local folks. But not on the level of our friends in John and Stacey in Ohio, or Mike and his wife from Chicago, or the whole group from Chicago we met at Friends for Life 2014. They all invited us to come to Chicago. Or my other DOC buddy Mike who has Type 1; he comes to Michigan every August and we met for dinner and had a blast with his wife and daughter.
There’s a local d-dad (dad of a child with Type 1) who has 2 kids with Type 1. We always are happy to see each other, always talk about getting together, but never do. Maybe that’s one connection I need to follow-up on. But I know he travels for work, but I’ll reach out nonetheless.
Through the dads group I met a fellow d-dad blogger, and his name is Tim. We always talk about getting together, I guess I need to make that happen. His blog is really good, check out the link here http://williamsd1life.blogspot.com. Maybe we’ll both be writing posts about a d-dad blogger met up. That’d be great.
I have to take responsibility in this perlexment of the mind, but I’m still left in amazement at how we made such awesome friends in Ohio and not can’t make that magic connection in our town. My wife has made a few connections, but we’ve never gotten together as families.
I’d like to say a few things about once you make that golden connection in the diabetes community, local or out-of-state. Your social economic status should not enter the picture. I think we all learn when we interact with people of different and diverse back grounds. Do use proper manners, we all should know what those are. Be yourself, don’t try to be something you’re not. We’re all in this battle together, we make each other stronger, we make each other more aware by our experiences. Try something new, try new food, new activities enjoy your new friends. The connection is golden when you make it. It’s like recharging your batteries.
I can’t answer why I can not make local connections. Maybe I don’t try hard enough. I don’t know. But I can tell you, driving 3 hours was worth the time. We had a blast. Going to Friends for Life in Florida was golden. We made some great connections. We all need to make those in person connections, keep them and cherish them and build them.
Tim I think you would click with anyone you spend time with, you are a likeable dude no reason to feel peplexed
It was a little funny to log into your blog today and see me and my blog for William. I would be happy to get together anytime. I think it would be great to have a local friend that understands what it takes to have a child with Diabetes. You let me know when you have some time and I will make it a great priority to meet you.
We’ve talk about getting together, let’s just figure it. Would be awesome to meet another d-dad blogger.
I think it’s all a matter of getting past the “newness” of socializing with other D-families. Online, we generally start out delicately venturing into the community without much fanfare, wondering just how much we can possibly talk about comparing blood sugars and insulin doses. But then we get past that initial awkwardness and learn how to form bonds based on something as obscure as a lousy disease.
For those who’ve not been a part of the online community, it’s tougher — and you can’t tiptoe in as delicately in real life. It’s awkward. They don’t know what they might really have in common, and the thought of a dinner with near-strangers talking about numbers that speak to performance or “compliance”, or worse – personal feelings – is intimidating. There’s a discomfort that comes with being part of a D-family, and it’s only natural to not want to turn that discomfort into something even more uncomfortable. Having never been involved in this type of community before, it’s understandable.
Or to put it another way: It’s not you, Tim. It’s them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.