There are many individuals living with any number of chronic health conditions, and most of them want and need support. if you're reading this blog, you likely have diabetes and perhaps have your own support system. But if you don't have enough support, where can look for more?
Providers and Healthcare Professionals
Of course, providers and healthcare professionals are a great place to turn for frontline support. Your doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, dietician, therapist or other provider can, of course, give you many forms of support related to your healthcare, and they are important members of your team.
Other Patients and Healthcare Consumers
Other patients and healthcare consumers are a powerful source of support, and these individuals can be found through websites like this one, social media, as well as other platforms that provide places for like-minded individuals to connect and share. Does your local hospital have support groups for people with diabetes or other conditions? Do local churches offer support groups? Where else can you look for others like you?
Have you met other patients at provider offices with whom you feel some alignment or friendly rapport? The next time you talk to someone in the waiting room and like their vibe, invite them to lunch!
Organizations and Associations
Organizations related to diabetes may very well offer email listserves, webinars, conference calls or Facebook-like platforms where you can chat and share with other consumers. Regular meetings and support groups may be happening in your city or town right now, so call your local associations and organizations to ask for information.
Have you checked out Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media platforms for groups related to your condition? Are there diabetes groups that may be useful or fun?
Also, there are countless consumer-produced blogs out there, and some blogs related to diabetes may be wonderful resources for support, information and entertainment, the best example being DiabetesMine.
Friends and Family
Since family and friends are emotionally invested in your wellness, their perspective can sometimes be skewed. Having said that, sometimes there's no subsitute for a supportive family member or friend, so it's up to you to decide who to turn to for support, and who, conversely, might not be the best choice in that regard.
Be Open to the Possibilities
You never know where support may come from, so keep your ears and mind open so that you can tap into whatever means or avenues of support present themselves.
Whether it's blogs, social media, support groups, providers, friends, family or other healthcare consumers, support can come in many guises. Be open, and enlist those people and platforms that feel right for you.
Support is crucial, so look for it anywhere and everywhere, and you may be surprised what you find!