good news AND an ask

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have you ever felt an immediate need to share upon the receipt of good news?
got a promotion, or
were selected to win an award, or
found out your blood work came back showcasing the rigor with which you tried to improve your health since your last visit to the doctor.

maybe you reached for your phone and sent a text to an upward of ten people exclaiming your success?
“i got the job!!!”, or
“i get to go to AADE this summer on scholarship!!!!”, or
“dude. my a1c was 7.3!!!!”.

when success finds us, or rather, when we find success, we want either to yodel it from a mountain (or proclaim it via blog post) or keep it all to ourselves. There is likely quite a bit of grey area, but let us ignore all of the in-betweens for now.

when i learned of my last two successes, my receipt-of-good-news reaction style changed.
my usual opera-sing-it-from-a-blog-post, text everyone ever approach didn’t feel right.
i wanted it to be mine.
i wanted to hold it,
understand it,
find internal validation first.

the wild part?
it worked. <– "duh. of course it did" (i can hear my friend caitlin saying now)

every day since march 13th, when i learned that i'd been accepted to university of illinois at chicago's rehabilitation sciences doctoral program, i've found multiple moments to burst out in laughter that i'm actually doing this.

consider this roundabout post my usual (albeit late) opera-sing-it-from-a-blog-post announcement, because change is hard.

in august, i’ll be beginning a career that will allow me to serve the diabetes community by studying us.
i’m not shitting you…
… at all.

i am going to spend the next six years of my life… studying us.

our community.

and what’s more… i’ll focus on what works.

what makes our online community so strong that an unconference to bring us together in person was created?
what does gathering online every week, or every day, do for patients long term?
does sharing personal experiences living with diabetes aid patients in any way?
what character traits motivate a patient to experience post-traumatic growth (PTG) post-diagnosis and
how do PTG-advocates influence the community’s organic growth, online and off?

in august, i’ll be crafting a master’s equivalent project.

and i will need your help.

what do you want to know about us
and what do you suspect i will find?

i am going to be a researcher whose study participants are also co-designers.
i have only one voice and though i will read and infer what you might be curious about by reading your tweets and blog posts, i can only do so with my own same ol’ lens.

i need your direct perspective, and
i need your faith.

i would not have been admitted to this program without the diabetes online community, without you, and that is not a hyperbolic statement.

it is no platitude, nor nicety. i’m not writing this to tickle your fancy, nor to give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside.

your existence and congregation online is the reason for my accomplishment.
no joke.

so, beautiful DOCers, what do you want to know about our collective?
what do you want to discover?
what do you want to prove?
how might i best serve our cause?

2 thoughts on “good news AND an ask

  1. Heather,

    I am extremely proud of you and the things you are about to uncover and discover about the diabetes online community. If there is anything I can help you with please let me know.

    You are amazing. I am also one of those people that find it hard to celebrate success and other things online and off. But, we’ll save that for another blog post.

  2. Congratulations, Heather! I’m thrilled and excited for you, and I think you are going to bring tremendous value to this area of study. And you’ve had my faith ever since we shared that nasty-ass chicken in Chicago. 🙂

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