Just Talking About HelpAround

Yishai Knoble, Founder and CEO of HelpAround is my guest this week. We discuss his years living in Massachusetts and working at the Microsoft Startup Labs, early conversations around the development of the iBGStar, finding strength in the diabetes community, and his app HelpAround. Enjoy!

Note: The editing and transition around minute 15 was approved by Yishai.

You can follow Yishai on Twitter @HiYishai or contact him directly at yishai at helparound dot co. You can learn more about HelpAround at helparound.co, @HelpAroundApp.

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Testing My Patience

We lost three fish over the course of the day today (six total, for those of you keeping score at home). After spending the past week looking up things like “ich“, “rot“, and “swimming upside down“, they eventually passed on to the big aquarium in the sky. It’s been rough watching all of this happen, waiting for treatment methods to work, hoping you’re doing everything properly, looking for feedback from an organism whose only means of communication is to just keep swimming. But the thing I’ve learned through all of this, despite my belief that people with diabetes can make excellent pet owners, is that I suffer from a severe lack of patience.

Waiting for algae to grow on our fish tank, showing signs of a healthy ecosystem. Waiting for the water treatment to show signs of progress. Waiting for the right time to feed, but not overfeed our cats. Waiting for my blood sugar to come back up from treating a severe low. Waiting for insulin to kick in after correcting a persistent high.

It turns out under the right circumstances, I’m not a patient man. And that bums me out.

Maybe I should get back into yoga. I need to find my inner peace, assuming it ever previously existed.

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Two Clips

Here are two YouTube clips I found this morning.

The first, by way of Kim by way of Heather, is a commentary on the pinkification of breast cancer. It’s powerful stuff.

I’m not sure if you could simply replace ‘pink’ with ‘blue’ and ‘cancer’ with ‘diabetes’, but the commercialization of chronic and life-threatening illnesses is quite disturbing when you step back and look at everything that’s going on.

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Wedding Progress And Things

While this won’t become a proper wedding planning blog or anything like that, there’s some solid back-patting going around in the Snider/Kern home right now.

On the diabetes front, I would appreciate it if you could hop over to Kim’s blog and offer any insight you can on the emotions of insulin pumping – for a friend.

Yes, the friend is me.

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A Final Thought on #dblgocheck

This? Right here? Is what all of the fuss was about.

Thanks again for participating.

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Just Talking with Kim Vlasnik

This week I’m catching up with Kim Vlasnik and chatting about life illustrated by animated gifs, life with a garden, life as a mother, Friends for Life 2014, the You Can Do This Project, and her upcoming Ignite Talk at Medicine X. Enjoy!

You can follow Kim on Twitter @txtngmypancreas, textingmypancreas.com, youcandothisproject.com, and diabuzzfeed.tumblr.com.

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Mental Jui-Jitsu

As my endocrinologist appointment approaches later this summer and I prepare to start wearing an insulin pump for the first time, I’ve noticed a new range of thoughts and emotions around the upcoming change to my diabetes management. I’ll try to lay it out, but I must warn you: my mind works in mysterious ways.

It goes something like this:

  • Wearing an insulin pump is an open display of my diabetes
  • This isn’t exactly new to me as I’ve been wearing my Dexcom sensor on my arms for years now
  • But this will be different in that it will not be as easy to contain the visibility of the pump, the tubing, or other components I’m forgetting
  • On one hand, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – see #showmeyourpump
  • But this will still be new to me
  • I don’t care
  • But I do
  • To be more specific, I don’t care what people will say or think if they see my insulin pump
  • But I have to actively not care about caring what people will say or think if they see my insulin pump

I’m not anticipating ridicule or persecution or anything like that, but I think I’m going to need some emotional training to go along with my technical training when I start using this thing. Thus, the mental jui-jitsu referenced in the title…this could get tricky.

I remember when I used to go to the bathroom to take my insulin injections when I was first diagnosed. I remember injecting insulin under the dinner table so no one had to see my insulin pens. I remember going out of my way to make my diabetes comfortable for everyone else to be around instead of putting my health above all. Yes, things will be easier with a pump now that insulin will be a few button presses away, but I’m still anticipating/dreading…dreanticipating? all of the new adjustments I’m going to need to make to my life to get along with this new device.

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