It’s easy for me to think of the Diabetes Online Community as this lovely group of people who advocate, support one another, and help others live better lives with diabetes.
What I sometimes forget, but can never underestimate, is the power of the DOC to inform and educate. Let me give you an example:
After working for my company for 15 or 16 years, I still hadn’t met one other person there living with diabetes. Now, after almost 17 and a half years, I know four.
One of those people contacted me last week to ask about the Animas Vibe system, the pump integrated with the Dexcom G4 continuous glucose monitor. They asked me if I had tried it, and if so, what I thought of the product.
I said that I had not, but had used an Animas Ping pump during a couple of clinical trials at the University of Virginia. This person was really looking to get first-hand knowledge of how the Vibe works and whether it was worth the hype. I then digressed into how awful it is that no insulin pump maker will let patients trial pumps anymore (lamenting the demise of the Snap), and how this would all be easier if we could just decide for ourselves, instead of deciding based on what a company rep or a doctor tells us. Digression is my strong suit.
But you know what? I knew that many people have used the Vibe system, and they’ve written about it, and it wouldn’t take too long at all to find a thorough piece on the subject.
In no time, I found this insightful review of the Animas Vibe by Melissa Lee at A Sweet Life. Sure, I knew that Melissa is knowledgeable and trustworthy, but even if I didn’t know that, her review was a very good one, and I think it’s just what this person needed.
I don’t know if this will help my friend decide on whether the Vibe is the right choice for them. What I do know is that I am often guilty of thinking about how I connect to the DOC, rather than how the DOC connects with me.
This is a good reminder of the vast treasure trove of information that we are all contributing to our community. People don’t have to always go blindly about the healthcare universe, not knowing about a product they and their insurance provider are purchasing until after they purchase it. Just knowing this information is out there already helps people make informed choices, rather than guesses.
Your story, your experiences matter. Sharing the stories of others and their experiences matter just as much. That’s been true since the earliest civilizations graced our planet so many years ago.
So today, let’s remember the power of the Diabetes Online Community as an information source. And let’s keep adding to the wealth of knowledge.