#DOCburnout2015 – Feel the Burn

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Interesting blog prompt today from Diabetes Daily. They want our stories about social media burnout.

At this moment, I’m not really feeling the burn on social media, probably because I’m  starting to use it in a whole different way. I started my podcast, Diabetes Connections, a few weeks ago; I have additional Facebook and Twitter accounts to manage. The beginnings of things are always shiny and new, so it’s fun right now. I’m even using Facebook ads for the first time this week. It’s got me firing some cylinders I haven’t used before.

However, in my personal accounts, over the past year I’ve disengaged from a bunch of diabetes parenting Facebook groups.  I post and comment a lot less.  I love the support that social media brings. It’s helped me find my place in this community and I like to think it’s helping me help my son become more independent and confident in his diabetes management. But I also feel like there’s a lot of judging and comparing going on.

Parenting with diabetes is difficult, in part, because parenting is difficult. We all do this in our own way. What works for me may horrify you. Like those crazy energetic moms on Pinterest taking hours to create amazing school lunches. I make my kids’ lunches and they will never look like that. While DOC conversations are less about cutting sandwiches into fancy shapes, there still seems to be a competition over who can out-parent. Night checks, remote monitoring, what pump to use, what to do at school. These are all important topics for parents of kids with diabetes, but sometimes talking about them feels like wading into a minefield.

I’ve gotten a little fed up with the judgement and the “my way or the highway” crowd and this feeling that I’m not doing a good enough job. To that end, I’ve removed myself from a lot of groups and I avoid certain topics on my blog. I’m still happy to chime in with advice if someone asks, as long as they understand that works for me may not be best for them.

Honestly, I think so much of this comes from fear. It’s hard enough to think we might not measure up as parents – thinking we may not measure up as diabetes parents is terrifying, because we think our kids will pay the price. But we’re all just doing the best we can. We all love our kids and we all want what’s best for them.

For now, I’m going to keep to the few groups I’m in and concentrate on my real-life connections. When the social media burn gets to be a bit too much, a good in-person conversation (or a podcast interview!) brings me back to feeling connected, valued and heard. Things that can get easily lost in the noise online.

 

 

Diabetes Connections – DHF

I can’t believe I’m already at Episode 13 of the podcast. To celebrate lucky number 13, I’m excited to direct you to the Diabetes Connections website. You can listen directly to the episodes through that site, but of course, you can still subscribe and listen through iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, etc. The website will also feature links to sites and topics we talk about about.

This week I’m talking to Melissa Lee, the interim executive director of Diabetes Hands Foundation. Their slogan is: no one with diabetes should ever feel alone. You’ll hear that Melissa did feel alone with her diabetes for a very long time, and how she came to find support.

I’m also speaking to Kelly Kunik about I Wish People Knew That Diabetes…. It started as a hashtag on twitter and is now blossoming into an exciting new campaign. Plus, we are now back to school around here and, while I miss the flexibility and fun of summer, I’m really excited to get back into our routine. I’ll tell you more about why.

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Listen to the episode and click on  the Helpful Links over at the new site. Thanks!

 

Camp and Professor X

Summer is almost over around here. You may have until after Labor day, but our kids go back to class on Monday. Enough time for one last camp story.

Both my kids go away to camp, for almost four weeks, about four hours away from our home. They love it and have been doing it for years. It’s not a diabetes camp and while I worry, we’ve worked hard with the cooperative and fabulous staff to make this a safe and fun experience.

Every year, a few counselors write notes for the kids to open in the car on the way home. This was Benny’s:

When we got home, Benny put this on our fridge (he never puts anything there) and I have a feeling it’s going to stay up for a while. Thank you, Dylan, for making my son feel like a super hero. Managing diabetes is a difficult and relentless task. How nice to have someone notice and let you know you’re doing great.

(just in case… the drawing is of Marvel’s Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart in the X-Men movies. click here for more Marvel fun & info)

 

Diabetes Connections – Sebastien Sasseville

This week’s guest has been called an inspirational endurance athlete. And how. When I was writing up the bio I use to introduce each guest, I realized that his accomplishment of climbing Mt Everest wasn’t even at the top.

I first heard about Sebastien Sasseville during his run across Canada last year. He ran the equivalent of 180 marathons over 9 months to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed at the age of 22.  It was a thrill to speak to him and learn more about what motivates him to push himself.

Also this week, if you’re an adult with type 1, the people at the Friends for Life conference have a message for you – they want to know what you’re looking for. What would bring you to Friends for Life?:

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Links:seb2

Sebastien Sasseville  (official site)

Sebastien Sasseville, Outrun Diabetes

Blogs/websites I mentioned:

SixUntilMe

Scott Johnson’s blog

Diabetesmine.com (news & information)

The Perfect D

Do you have feedback for Kerri about adults and Friends For Life? She asks that you contact her over Twitter: @sixuntilme (If you’re not on Twitter, email me here and I’ll get it to Kerri)