I guess you could say that if it weren’t for this group of folks, I wouldn’t have come back to blogging (okay okay, well I’m glad I did, even if no one else is!). And they are the good people on the Diabetes Support Forum. Also please note the link in my sidebar, pride of place in blog links…

I discovered this forum by surfing Diabetes UK, looking for something, anything to connect with in the early days. It started up in October or November 08 (someone will correct me, I’m sure!), and I joined in February 09 I think (again, one of the moderators will know this if you’re reading!).

And what a connection. The support, advice, information, good humour and sympathy found on this forum is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and has saved my bacon more than once. I am a pretty committed non-club person. I really don’t like ‘belonging’. I resist group behaviour in most circumstances.

However. The forum has and continues to be a place to go — really, if truth be told, the only place to go — where everyone gets it. And there are times when you need that more than anything else in the world. You just need someone to get it.

***

E ended up in hospital for a night in September. Pump malfunction, but we didn’t know that at the time and couldn’t get to the bottom of it. We tried everything. We had discovered him sky-high 3 hours after eating. Despite trying to correct these high levels with more insulin, within 40 minutes he was violently throwing up, and had high ketones. And begging, begging for it to stop, for us to help him. It was, I don’t mind saying, completely and utterly gut-wrenching.

There was a chance he had quickly gone into DKA (ketoacidosis, a life-threatening state of high blood sugars), so OH whipped him off to hospital. I stayed behind, because M was sleeping.

It was the middle of the night. The hospital is 30 minutes away. I was beside myself.

I got on the forum, seeing if anyone was awake. And lo, two young ladies, both with Type 1 diabetes, were. Their concern and knowledge was truly like a light in the night. I heard back from OH that E wasn’t in DKA, and immediately let the forum know. Their relief and joy were palpable, seeming to flood back through the computer straight into me. We talked for a while longer, until E was stable.

I will never, ever forget their solidarity through those couple of hours. The whole time, I fought back the feeling of complete desolation and despair I felt the second night E was in hospital at diagnosis…Which was without doubt the worst night of my life.

Only this time, it was different. I wasn’t alone.

**

Telling my daughter the next morning that E was in hospital nearly did me in. By this point we knew he was fine, and coming home… But she began to get ready for school, tears pouring down her face, refusing to talk about it. Dreadful. I made her stay home. I convinced her that she needed to see he was okay. And he was. When he walked in the door, she threw herself at him and squeezed him so he could hardly breathe. Everyone was a bit teary. Of course.

***

It’s incredible how much strength and hope strangers can give you — actually now of course I’d call the forum full of friends… but it’s the way sometimes that a stranger will enter your space, will give of themselves…in perhaps the way that family, for some reason, or even your closest friends, sometimes will not or cannot.

If there’s one gift from this whole life-inside-out turn of events, it’s the sure knowledge and belief in…well I’ll go ahead and say it: humanity.

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