#dblogcheck is Tomorrow

I’m encouraging everyone who reads a diabetes blog to leave a comment on that post tomorrow. Make it thoughtful, make it silly, or simply make it a “Check!”, but leave a comment.

A lot of the stories you hear among members of the diabetes community follow the template of “I thought I was alone”, and tomorrow’s check-in day is another way to remind each other that we aren’t alone in any of this.

To help find each other, I’m also recommending you share your blog posts on whatever platform(s) you desire with the tag #dblogcheck. Particularly for people using TweetDeck or Hootsuite, this will be especially helpful.

To show my appreciation in advance for your helping grow the diabetes online community, here are some animated gifs to represent the anticipation for tomorrow.

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#dblogcheck Update: The Tribe Has Spoken

Next Tuesday (July 22) I’m encouraging everyone to comment on every single blog post they read. Even if it’s just a “Check!”, leave a comment on everything. It may seem like a tough task, but it’s worth it.

For those of you catching up to this whole #dblogcheck thing, here are some posts to provide background on what’s going on.

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Bringing Back #dblogcheck

I still maintain that I don’t need to be the person to direct the mob on this one, but there was enough of a push to gauge interest so here we are.

For those of you new to the fun, I had the idea of a “Check-In Day” last year, and I think it went well. The objective for this was not based in metrics. This isn’t about pageviews, or clicks, or referrals, or anything like that.

I like the idea of a check-in day because it helps remind members of the diabetes community of the size and scope of what all of this is. It’s another way to reaffirm the notion that we aren’t alone. It’s an opportunity to say “Hi. I read this. Thank you.”

And, it’s a great way to connect with people new to the diabetes community and discover blogs new to the Internet.

So what do you think, eager-readers? Is this something you’d be up for? We can set a date later, but if we drum up enough momentum are you game to comment on every single diabetes blog you read for one day?

Remember, a comment can be as simple as writing “Check!” on our day of fun. Sharing posts with #dblogcheck on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest? will help everyone find other blogs, too. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but I think it’s worth the time and energy.

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I Hearby Pledge to Abide By The HONcode

Thank you for your support and your help in improving the quality of Medical and health information available on the World Wide Web.

We acknowledge receipt of your submission for HONcode certification for the site at http://tobesugarfree.com.

As a result, you may notice a few updates to the About page, Disclosure Policy, and the addition of a Privacy Policy. Nothing has changed as far as you’re concerned, but being open and explicitly stating what’s what is a big deal with the folks at HONcode. As silly as I can be, I do want to be taken seriously when I have something serious to say. This certification, if I get it, will help with the serious.

Wish me luck.

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Making a Career of It

Part of my new role with Stanford Medicine X is to come up with the initial questions and prompts for the weekly hangout (every Tuesday from 6-7pm Pacific). I’m not sure if I’ll give away the questions ahead of schedule every week, but I think this week’s topic is something worth pondering for all of you – as I assume because you’re reading this, patient advocacy is important to you.

This week the topic is “ePatient Leadership – Making a Career”. As you continue to evolve as a patient advocate and constantly redefine your goals and objectives in all of this (because patient advocacy is a fluid, time-based metaphor that made more sense before I started typing this parenthetical), my hope is that you’re setting achievable, yet challenge goals for yourself. That said, here are some of the prompts.

  1. How do you define “making a career” out of patient advocacy? Does money have to be included?
  2. How do you balance the potential financial side of advocacy (like paid speaking appearances) with pro-bono or passion projects? Are there any concerns with respect to disclosure, biases, or reception among peers?

I don’t necessarily think that money has to be the defining characteristic that turns a patient advocate into a Patient Advocate, but it’s an easy distinction to make for the sake of conversation. Regardless of how you define “career”, there’s often going to be a tipping point that sort of signals a no-turning-back moment.

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Thank You For Registering For Medicine X

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.