Full Disclosure: As a member of the ePatient Advisory Board for Stanford Medicine X, I receive a full scholarship to attend. That said, I’m super excited to officially be part of the 2014 conference. I even took the liberty of updating my profile for the conference program.
This will be my third year attending Medicine X. When I first applied in 2012, I didn’t know why I would be worthy to attend a conference held at Stanford, featuring patient advocates that I knew, respected, and felt that I couldn’t hold a candle to.
In the months after Medicine X 2012, I began to understand my role as a patient advocate and respect the fact that everyone has a story to tell. And every story is worth telling. With that mantra guiding me, I applied for and received an ePatient Scholarship to attend Medicine X in 2013.
Now I’m back, this time as a member of the ePatient Advisory Board. I still believe that everyone’s story is worth telling, and I continue to search for ways to empower and connect with voices and perspectives within patient communities – often focusing within the diabetes online community. Kindred spirits with busted pancreases and all.
And now that the initial abstracts for presentations and panels has been published, there’s even more reason to anticipate this year’s conference.
You can expect more talk about Medicine X as September approaches. Among the many meaningful and noteworthy moments in my journey as a patient advocate, Medicine X is one of the stand outs. Without this conference, this blog would be a rambling mess of cat pictures and nonsense. Now, it’s a rambling mess of cat pictures and nonsense with an occasional call to action or moment of clarity in the busy world of patient advocacy, with a side of patient engagement.
I’m not an authority on any of the stuff I write about here, but conferences like Medicine X help define, refine, and focus my thoughts in ways I never thought possible. This is a big deal for me. If you think it could be a big deal for you, registration is open now.
PS. I know the registration fee might look daunting. Even if you didn’t get a scholarship to attend, there are other options. Just a thought.
You might have noticed that things have changed a bit since you last visited. Well, I hope you noticed the changes.
There’s a new theme, a new layout for the sidebar and menu structure in the header, and I made a few other minor tweaks to tidy how everything looks.
I wish I kept track of how long it took me to settle on this theme, the sidebar configuration, and every other customizable bit that you may or may not notice. I have a private “sandbox” blog that I keep around for the sole purpose of testing out new themes and customizations. Suffice to say that these changes were not made lightly.
Also, I may have a problem. But I promise to not make another significant change like this for at least 6 months.
…maybe 3 months.
…how about for the rest of the week.
(I wanted to find a way to use this gif in a don’t judge me, I accept that I obsess over this stuff and I like how this blog looks sort of way, but I couldn’t quite pull it off. Either way, here you go.)
The first thing I wrote for this blog, besides a silly update to the “Hello World” default post that WordPress sets up for you is my “About” page. The first published timestamp for that page is December 31, 2008 (5:52 AM). Once I settled on the content, I kinda let it sit.
For over 4 years.
I suppose now is as good a time as any to overhaul that one, right?
I’m not sure if that page will always be my first impression to new visitors to my slice of the Internet, but the least I could do is keep some of this stuff slightly modern. It’s incredible to see how my life has changed since this thing started 4 years ago.
At the end of the day, I believe in storytelling. I believe that the stories we, the diabetes community, share strengthen our community and improve our capacity for greatness by an exponential margin. I believe that every story is worth telling, no matter how ordinary it appears to be on the surface. I believe all of “this” is best served to help remind others that they aren’t alone with their diabetes, their cancer, their rheumatoid arthritis, or whatever else you may be dealing with. I believe that every patient community has something to teach, and something to learn.
Right now I have a lot to learn, and if I’m lucky a few things I can help teach in the process.
Welcome to my madness.
[Update 072913: Looks like the video I embeded was a private stream, not the permanent home of the video. Once the archive is posted I'll update the post. Carry on.]
[Update 073113: The Diabetes Hands Foundation has uploaded a proper version of the interview. I think the timestamp works too. The video quality isn't the best, but you can hear what Kerri has to say just fine. Give it a go.]
The part around minute 45 is really good. You should watch the whole thing, but I’ve skipped ahead for you if you only have a few minutes.
When I talk about the power of the diabetes community, this is what I’m talking about.
Some of these comments will seem rather self-congratulatory. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but I do want to share some of the positive messages I received, and saw throughout the day. We all deserve a pat on the back.
I wrote a post, way back in January 2009, showing off the beauty of Twitter, and the Diabetes Community. It’s funny to look back and see that even in my social media infancy, I knew that all of this stuff had a greater purpose. I was no where near mature enough to quantify or qualify what this purpose was, but I knew there was more out there.
Four years later, I don’t have all the answers, but I still think I’m on the right path.
“Ultimately, I do appreciate the connections that Twitter (yes, Twitter) has helped me make in the short time that @iam_spartacus has existed. It has opened up a world of opportunity for me to embrace, discuss and at times enjoy the fact that I’m diabetic. I wont go so far as to say that I’m in a better place now than I was 6 months ago, but I certainly feel like I’m on a path to something good, something better. And I’m glad I found some people to share it with.” (Me, January 2009)