As I navigated the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), I came across “DSMA” everywhere! When I learned that Cherise Shockley was a driving force behind DSMA, I had to know more about her and her vision. This guest interview is part of my “Caught Blue Handed” blog feature. “Caught Blue Handed” is a way for me to highlight individuals and organizations that promote diabetes awareness.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you like to do?
I’m originally from Kansas City, MO. My Husband is in the Army-I move around a lot. Currently, I live north of Indianapolis, IN. I love spending time with my 6 year old daughter and my Husband. I enjoy reading, baking cupcakes, collecting hand bags and all things diabetes and social media.
I was diagnosed with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) in June of 2004. I spent the first 3 years of my diabetes life with support from my Husband and family but they didn’t understand what it was like to live with diabetes. I didn’t know anyone with LADA, could barely find information on LADA. The internet became my friend. In January 2008, I became insulin dependent. I made the decision to use an insulin pump to manage diabetes. I researched and researched. I found information about the pump but I wanted to hear from consumers. I found TuDiabetes.org. I found my home. People understood what I was going through-they got it. The emotional support was amazing. I wanted to find away to help myself and other people with diabetes. The first step, I started my personal blog in 2008. The more involved in the DOC the more I wanted to give back.
My friend, Jaimie Hernandez introduced me to twitter. I was over whelmed but quickly found my way around. Reading blogs and participating in communities was great-twitter put the icing in the cake. Twitter allowed me to ‘see’ how others lived with diabetes in real time without edits and provided 24/7 support. In 2010, I lurked and (eventually) participated in the Healthcare Communications Social Media (#hcsm) chat, moderated by Dana Lewis. It was empowering to watch and chat with health care providers (HCPs) from around the world on health care issues and healthcare and social media. I was participating in #hcsm and I had an aha moment, the DOC uses twitter a lot. We should have an organized twitter chat to discuss healthcare issues and life with diabetes.
What is DSMA? How can people get more involved with DSMA?
Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA) is a real time communication resource for people living with diabetes, caretakers and health care providers. DSMA was only intended to be a twitter chat but it’s becoming so much more. In November 2010, DSMA Live (blog talk radio) was created to continue the conversation from twitter- it’s a live one on one interview with patients, health care providers and Industry professionals. DSMA host a monthly blog carnival. The blog carnival was created for the diabetes community to elaborate on topics from the twitter chat. We are continuing to come up with ideas and ways to support the diabetes community and open up communication between people with diabetes and health care professionals.
You can participate in DSMA’s twitter chat every Wednesday, 9 PM EST. You can follow the hash tag #dsma or @diabetessocmed. For more information on DSMA visit: www.diabetessocmed.com. DSMA Live airs every Thursday, 9 PM EST on blog talk radio. For more information on DSMA Live visit: www.dsmalive.com
Why is social media so valuable to someone with diabetes?
Social media is valuable to someone with diabetes because it provides support from peers-people that get it and understand the ups and downs of living with diabetes. It’s free and the diabetes community can be accessed 24/7, 365 days a year.
What would you say to someone with diabetes who is nervous using social media?
I understand why someone would be nervous using social media to discuss diabetes-it’s okay. You control the information you put on the internet. Lurk and read before you participate or share your experience with diabetes. Social Media has it’s flaws, but so does everything else in life. Social media has changed my outlook on life with diabetes. I’ve gained an extended family and a lot of friendships from people around the world.
How do you feel about health care providers learning from DSMA?
I’m excited for any opportunity for patients and health care providers to learn from each other in order to improve patient care, education support and encouragement for people living with diabetes.
Thank you DSMA & Cherise Shockley, you have officially been Caught Blue Handed!