What Did You Say?

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OK, I admit it: Regarding this blog, I can sometimes be a bit of a comment junkie. Every week for almost two years, I’ve written a blog entry knowing that at least a few people will read my ramblings from the past week. And I know, too, that if anyone has something to say to me, about me or my blog entry, that there’s an easy, anonymous means by which a reader can say something. The Diabetes Self-Management comment feature doesn’t require a subscription, log-in information, or any personal information except your e-mail address.

Now before I continue, don’t think I’m trying to plead with you guys and ask you to comment more. Nope. This week I’m writing about commenting because, as I was contemplating what to write about, I was struck by last week’s blog entry (“No Food or Drink Allowed”) and how — as of this writing — there are already 15 comments. For those of you who may not know how commenting works on the backside of things, our Web editor at Diabetes Self-Management receives the comments you send in, reviews them, and then, when she allows them through, I’m notified with an e-mail that contains the comment. So even if I’m not monitoring my entry and the string of comments (and, honestly, I really don’t), my inbox reveals the tale of my readership’s feelings.

Typically, I feel good about an entry if I see three or four comments. Typically. There are loyal readers who often find something to say. Which is great. It’s also heartening to see new voices, and often I like reading the comments from people who say they’ve been reading for a while but just haven’t yet commented. It’s nice to know that sharing a bit more on the Internet than I ever thought I would is doing something.

However, some of my favorite entries — those that were therapeutic to write and which helped me figure something out about how I’m living with Type 1 diabetes — garner no comments at all. And that, too, is fine.

In short, it’s difficult to gauge what will trigger those who read my blog, or stumble upon it, to feel strongly enough to say something in public.

As someone who reads dozens of blogs on an almost daily basis, I know that regardless of whether I’m moved to say something about what someone else writes, 99% of the time I don’t post a comment. So for those of you reading this blog entry in whom I’ve triggered the mildest pang of guilt for not writing comments, don’t worry. Feel free to continue not-commenting! It’s funny, but for the blogs that I read and do comment on, it’s still sort of an odd feeling when I do post, akin to standing in a strange, crowded cafeteria, as a teenager, by myself, and trying to figure out where to sit, sensing — incorrectly or not — that all eyes are on me, waiting to judge me for what I’m about to do. I write, reread the comment, preview it, post it, and, once it’s posted, I have to read it several more times. And then I’ll return to the comments feature multiple times to see whether or not someone took issue with my comments.

Yeah, so what. I have a few issues. Don’t we all?

I don’t have the time to catalog my many-commented-upon entries and how I feel about those topics. In fact, I’ve almost used up my weekly word count already. I have found that what you guys deem my most comment-worthy posts are those that resonate with you on a personal level, those that others of you with diabetes have experienced yourselves. When I wrote “Rambling About Diet (and Diet Coke),” I had had an uneventful week on the diabetes front, and so I thought I’d pick something minor from my weekly experience and relay the narrative of what happens when the soda I’m getting isn’t the soda I think I’m getting. I had no idea it happened to many of you. You knew exactly what I went through and shared your stories.

And then back to last week’s entry about my thyroid biopsy (the results of which I’ve yet to receive). It’s nice to have my feelings corroborated, to feel support for what I felt was an inappropriate policy. And most of you were in agreement. Yes, I read the dissents on how I handled my No Juice For You incident. And to those of you disagreeing with me, keep at it. I’m not looking for followers. Also know this: I’ll probably never comment to argue again for why I felt or acted the way I did. Oh, I appreciate the contradictory opinion. Know that. And I enjoy the discussion it continues within the comments section.

Thus ends my commentary on commentary. Comments?

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