|Share and Don’t Share - Monday 5/13 Link List|
Social media has provided people with diabetes today with an enormous network of support. We can tweet a disappointing blood sugar, insta a photo of a carb fest we're about to eat, or rant via Facebook about a conversation we cannot believe our dietitian had with us. Understandably, many are skittish about our health care practitioners (HCPs) eavesdropping on us in that safe, sacred space.
I believe, however, that HCPs have a place in social media. I love following the endocrinologists and nurses whom I follow through various outlets. I learn stuff. And I get a sense - especially from those who also have diabetes - that this is just as hard for them.
I am not afraid of my medical team. I am not afraid for them to know that this disease is incredibly challenging for me. I'll own up to weaknesses. I'll express dissatisfaction with a product or a change in regimen that one of my team suggested. And I don't feel I say anything that I wouldn't own in person. That's just how I am.
But that doesn't mean that I would want them to abuse my oversharing. I would not expect them to use my blogging as a how-to (or a how-not-to) to their other patients without asking me first. I would not want them berating me for something they saw me say online, but I would expect them to approach me with constructive criticism if they saw something and had suggestions that would help my care.
My team is extremely cautious about my online adventuring. They have told me that they worry that I might say something that will get me in trouble with an insulin manufacturer or a pump company and do not want to see me held liable for libel. I respect that. But it won't change me reporting what I run up against out here in the wild.
If I don't want something seen, I don't blog it. I didn't announce my second pregnancy on my blog until mid-second trimester even though I had planned to throw caution to the wind and really "tell all" the next time I got pregnant. I found myself guarded though - didn't want family to pry or worry about 'another' pregnancy with diabetes. I don't blog about private family drama. I don't write negatively about people in an identifiable way. Even the endocrinologist I didn't get along with received a somewhat tender and apologetic handling.
But what is it that I think HCPs need to see?
I hope that they see how much more we need than what they provide in an office visit 3-4 times per year. I hope they see that they should be directing us to social media - where we can get a 24/7 lifeline for a disease where every minute counts. A disease that is intricately tied up with depression, disordered eating, burnout, motivation, complicated feelings of success/failure, and social isolation. I need them to see that we're out here for 361 days a year when we don't have endocrinologist appointments and figure out how to help us in that space.