Where can you, as a type I diabetic, connect with others who share your interests and situations? Glu.
Glu was set up by the T1D Exchange, a non-profit from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. This online and mobile group, for type I diabetics, is built on a foundation of networking, information management and research. The building blocks of the foundation consist of connecting, learning and contributing. To define this, they offer a rather lengthy FAQ page. It’s a must read.
Once you have registered for this free site, you will find several things to do.
One of the main features of Glu is the Bond category. Supposedly you can link to other diabetics (or caregivers) who share your interest in various hobbies and things. In the time I have been on Glu, I have only acquired eight friends via bonds. You may do much better. You’ll also have to set up message and privacy settings, and notification preferences. Keep your user name and password handy too.
Glu has a category called My Daily Health. An online journal/log of sorts, you can store blood glucose readings, A1c test results, and record your ‘mood.’ Via the T1D Exchange, your data is anonymously shared with researchers. You may or may not like that feature. It’s your preference to use it or not.
A few other features include Question of the Day, Shouts and Discussions. These are found in a drop-down menu under My Glu. Essentially the daily question is a poll of sorts. You enter your answer, and see what others are offering as theirs. The Shouts section gives you a chance to make your own statement. You have 400 characters to do so, and your remarks are shown to all members. The Discussion category is your forum option. There are presently about twelve categories where discussions are started or replied to. This is perhaps the most valuable place on the site. It’s great to be able to ask questions or share opinions with fellow diabetics.
Glu News and Glu U are the final two selections you can make. You’ll find editorials and tips in those sites. Note: If you decide to join Glu, you’ll want to always work from the home page. Clicking the blue logo in the top left corner, will get you there. You’ll see what’s going on for the day and you’ll find your way around.
Glu may or may not be for you. In my time there, I have found little use for the bonding program. It never made sense to me to have to find people with like interests. We have Type I diabetes in common, that’s enough bonding right there. Currently they claim over 4000 bonds have been made. I think the Discussion section can be a useful place to go. Categories including Health insurance, technology, diet and exercise and parenting all lend themselves well to the site’s purpose. As far as using the site for your diabetes logs etc., you may not want to. Then again, it may be just what the doctor ordered (for you).
Give Glu a try and see what you think. I’ll see you there, but not too often!