Last Friday I had the grand idea of “live tweeting” a day of diabetes. Every time I took a diabetes action, be it checking my Dexcom receiver, injecting insulin, or eating would get a tweet. I wasn’t sure how this would be received by my followers. Not that I’m looking to appease everyone, but I know that there’s a potential to overwhelm people with stuff like this. That’s why I try to post warning messages before my participation in #dsma chats.
But early on in the process I realized that it didn’t matter if I was inconveniencing anyone. If they want to unfollow me, that’s fine. The point of this was to show that diabetes, even on the good days, can be overwhelming. The point was to show that this disease is infinitely more complicated that the uninitiated could imagine. The point was to provide a moment of insight into what this disease is really like. After curating all of the tweets (and adding some commentary) on Storify, I have some final thoughts on the day’s adventures.
If you haven’t seen them yet, you can see my day on Storify.
First, to the people who thought “that’s a lot”, bless your heart: That was a good day.
I’m just going to put this out there, because you all were thinking it:
Where were we?
I’m at a bit of a loss with this topic because I think it’s silly to actively wish diabetes upon someone else, or a different disease to call my own. Diabetes is a bummer, but that doesn’t mean we have to be overly dramatic about it.
But at the heart of today’s prompt is the notion that we are not alone in the ‘people with something wrong with them internally, but are still good people inside and out’ group. As expected, I focus a lot on diabetes. It’s kind of a big deal to me. And while I recognize that diabetes isn’t the only chronic condition out there, I didn’t fully connect the dots until Medicine X last year.
Because I can’t think of any “big” accomplishments, I’d like to reiterate a smaller accomplishment of mine that continues to pay dividends. The fact that my diet, or specifically my food choices, have expanded exponentially from what they were five years ago is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Even if it took way too long to reach this point.
There were grand plans for today’s post. Then this happened:
We, The Undersigned, hearby declare to take a break every now and then.
It’s entirely likely that this petition will only be signed by one person – me – but hear me out. All of this social media stuff? It’s easy to get lost in the shenanigans. It’s easy to become preoccupied in maintaining too many Tumblrs. It’s far too easy to get lost participating in, or merely lurking on, Twitter conversations. Odin knows I could spend hours tweaking the look of this blog and I don’t even maintain the CSS files. Imagine the rabbit hole I could fall into if I had that kind of control.
It might seem vividly apparent from glancing at this blog that there’s more to me than my diabetes, but let me give you the full tour. I think this is important because for all the small talk we pretend to engage in, I don’t really know you. And you don’t really know me. I’d like to fix that. It’s entirely likely you’ll forget this experience, even if you jot it down in your chart. It’s probable that these additional characteristics won’t make a difference in how you engage me on a doctor/patient level instead of an adult/adult level. I don’t know if you’ll really learn anything from this, but it’s worth a shot.
As you may immediately notice from the header: I smile. It may not be evident based on our meetings every 3-5 months, but I have the capacity for humor (at least I think I’m funny) and well-meaning shenanigans.
I recorded an episode of my podcast with Dr. Mike Sevilla tonight. You’ll hear it later this month, it’ll be well worth the wait. Among the many topics we covered was the dynamic of blogging from the perspective of the patient and the medical professional. I asked Dr. Sevilla if he had an ideal universe in which patients and doctors were engaging online in harmony – a utopia of sorts. I’ll save his response for the actual audio but I kept thinking about this hypothetical the rest of the evening. I think I’ve come to a point where I can articulate my two cents on the idea, which is why I’m here. And I suppose why you’re here, too.
I certainly like starting my Monday with a fresh Dexcom Sensor but I wonder if I’m alone on that one. I know my diabetes friends wearing insulin pumps don’t have similar opportunities for calendar-based synergy, but does that make those perfect alignment moments even more special? The way I see it, focusing on planets (medical equipment start times) aligning instead of this incurable disease is a simple way to keep sanity. Then again, I am particular about how I sort and arrange things, so this could be another example of my OCD kicking in.
Start Sensor? Yes, Please.
I had a pretty gnarly low this morning during my commute in to work that stemmed from trying to correct for a post-workout high and a pre-breakfast bolus. Of course traffic didn’t cooperate and I ran on adrenaline for the last 15 minutes of my drive. I made to my desk safely and presumed to overtreat the low, like you do, and eventually got on with the rest of my day.
My big problem with the morning, aside from my stupidity, was the fact that I was operating at half speed (even for a Monday) as a result of this low. Even after I (over)treated the low and had a Diet Coke to jumpstart things, I still couldn’t avoid the sweat-soaked shirt on my back and the general lethargy that lingered until lunch time. I know you’re supposed to wait 15 minutes before retesting after you have your juice or candy or ritz crackers with peanut butter or whatever, but it’s not just the 15 minutes that you have to wait.
I follow most of you fine pancreatically challenged folks on Twitter and/or Facebook, so I feel like I’m up to date on the happenings you share with the general public. But there’s something to be said for carefully crafted sentences and well-thought blog layouts.
I’ve been horrible about keeping up with your stories – and I feel like a horrible friend because of it.