Multiple Mindsets of Diabetes

Do you ever have days when you care too much about your diabetes, yet nothing seems to go your way? Do you ever have days when you care too much about your diabetes, and all that hard work pays off?

Do you ever have days when you don’t care about your diabetes, and your blood glucose numbers perfectly complement your apathy with wildly out-of-range readings? Do you ever have days when you don’t care about your diabetes, and everything goes swimmingly?

Do you ever have a day when you experience all four of those mindsets, and struggle to find balance – to find normal?

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Pumping on the Holidays

I realized last night that a number of “firsts” will be crossed off of my diabetes accomplishments during our upcoming travel adventures.

  • First time dealing with TSA and an insulin pump
  • First time estimating pump supplies I will need for an extended trip
  • First time sharing my insulin pump, in person, with my parents
  • First time not worrying (as much) about snacking

It’s curious to feel like my diabetes may be ‘new’ for a moment or two. I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, it is new. Even though I’ve been living with this disease for 12 years, I’ve only been pumping insulin for a couple of months. While I’ve made progress and improvements to my diabetes management since starting on a t:slim, my basal rates and correction factors still need tweaking.

It’s a shame I had to go through everything I did to get that ‘new’ feeling back again. It feels strange to call diabetes ‘exciting’, but that’s what this is: excitement. I’m excited to share my new gadget. I’m excited to see how different this year’s travel will be compared to previous years. I’m excited to have something positive to say about my diabetes.

You can decide which excited gif works best to end this post, but I still default to Kermit.

Image (linked) via giphy.com

Patient Community Advocate at Symplur

Today marks my first official day as Patient Community Advocate at Symplur. This means I get to look at all kinds of data collected by Symplur’s extensive tools and figure out ways to bring the patient communities into these data-based conversations. This means I get to venture out into the scary world of freelancing with a mighty first step. This means I get to take on new projects that could help impact and shape the future of online disease communities. This means I have a chance to truly contribute to something – to one day look back and say “I built that”.

It also means I get to write blog posts using data provided by their reporting tool, Symplur Signals, like this one about World Diabetes Day and the #wddchat14 hashtag. And I get to create fun animated gifs like this one

Created by me, via symplur.com (linked)

Created by me, via symplur.com (linked)

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Overnight Worries

That overnight is a thing of beauty. #dexcom #diabetes

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

It’s a shame “when you get it right, you don’t have to worry about overnight high or low alarms and can get a full night’s rest…until the cats wake you up” can’t be a back-of-the-box selling point for insulin pumps. Because when you get it right, and you don’t have to worry about overnight high or low alarms, and you can get a full night’s rest…until the cats wake you up, is the best. Seriously.

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Simple

The path to refining and redefining the person and patient advocate I want to be is ever-present. There will always be something I want to change, improve, or tweak – but the challenge now is figuring out how to focus my efforts. With that in mind, I’m considering this the next step in simplifying who I am – online, at least.

Going to keep it simple in 2015.

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

It’s not exactly a crowd-pleaser, but it’s the most basic representation of what I’m about. Between this and the unified starting point, my hope is that 2015 will start off in the right direction. Or, I’m too concerned with my “image” and need to stop obsessing about these things.

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Slowly Fading

Maybe it’s because of the holidays. Maybe it’s because we are focusing more on side projects. Maybe it’s because Facebook and Twitter are becoming the standard for communication. Maybe I just need to be better about finding new content. But the Diabetes group in my Feedly Reader feels abandoned.

The number of blogs without a recent update becomes too much to count with fingers and toes, and I can’t help but wonder what is happening to the diabetes online community?

The truth, of course, is that we are stronger than ever. Connections are forged, found, and maintained on a variety of platforms and we are accomplishing great things together. Seeing what happens online conversations moving offline is great, it’s one of the universal efforts of the members of the diabetes community I look to and up to. And I know it’s unrealistic to have every medium hosting diabetes conversation maintain its relevance over the years. I just wish there was more.

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How Might We

It’s not the same as Mike Lawson‘s Monday Mantras…

It's #Monday! This is the #mantra I'll be focusing on this week. What's yours?

A photo posted by mrmikelawson (@mrmikelawson) on

But the number of ‘How might we’ prompts in my notebook has been steadily growing over the past few days. And I think these are worth sharing.

My notebook is collecting #howmightwe prompts.

A photo posted by Christopher Snider (@iam_spartacus) on

While the solution may not be eminent, or evident, or even feasible, these questions start the creative (and hopefully collaborative) process for me. And that’s exactly what I need right now.

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