Para leer este post en Espanol, haga clic aquí.
Seven (!) years have gone by since I last wrote in what was at the time known as The Diabetes Blogosphere (do they still call it that? I don’t know anything).
So who am I? Here’s the short story: I’m half-American, half-Irish and, after living in Spain for quite some time, 100% confused. So although I’ve titled this corner of the internet A Diabetic Abroad, this particular abroad—Spain—is now more like a second home for me than anything else. It’s the place where my twenties are happening, after all. But anyway let’s not get too technical about it; I will never flip a tortilla de patatas with the ease of a true Spaniard.
So, why am I back on the bandwagon? I have many reasons, but let’s discuss 3 of them.
# 1: To Participate
First and foremost because I believe patient activism is an immensely important and sometimes under-represented aspect of all medical communities.
# 2: To Connect
Patient blogging is just as important (if not more-so) for its ability to connect actual patients with one another as it is for its power to bridge gaps between the treated and those who treat.
As a younger version of myself, I often worried:
Will I be able to travel with diabetes?
Will I be able to live the life I dream about?
Will I EVER learn Spanish?
Blogs like Kerri Morrone Sparling’s Six Until Me and Kelly Kunik’s Diabetesaliciousness showed me that, yes, I could have a full and complicated life even with diabetes in tow. More recently I discovered Sarah’s blog Coffee and Insulin. Sarah is another twenty-something who has lived abroad and I was ecstatic to discover that she is a talented writer adept at exploring the intricacies of living with chronic illness. I’d love for this blog to serve a similar function as those and many others have done for me over the years: to inspire, to connect, and to raise awareness. And now that I’ve finally learned to speak Spanish (more or less), it would be a pleasure to connect with speakers of this beautiful language!
#3: To Learn
I’m also here to explore what illness means in a “global society.” That’s a buzzword today, but not without reason. Having recently been incorporated into a medical system quite distinct from that of my home country, I’ve gained a firsthand perspective of what it’s like to be a diabetic in another part of the world. Health policy has always been something that has fascinated and well, to be honest, confused me. It’s something I’d like to discuss and learn more about. The IDF, of course, does amazing work spreading awareness about diabetes on a global scale, but I’ve always wished there were more personal accounts of what disease means abroad and I’d be delighted to find more of them in the online community. Diabetes knows no nationality and no borders and that is ever-clearer in the world we live in today.
So, that’s me. What about you? Who are you and what brought you here?