When I first heard about the t:flex and it’s 480 unit cartridge I initial wondered what value that could have. “It would take me a decent chunk of time to use that much insulin, let alone that much in a 3-day period”, I thought to myself.
Then I remembered that diabetes, and its demands come in all shapes and sizes. And insulin sensitivity is the epitome of “Your Diabetes May Vary“. And that this diabetes thing is bigger than little ol’ me. And the more options people have to manage their diabetes with the goal of leading a happy and healthy life, the better.
I’m going to share a bunch of links in a moment that are all worth clicking on, in order of importance. They all revolve around Take This, a non-profit which “seeks to inform our community about mental health issues, to provide education about mental disorders and mental illness prevention, and to reduce the stigma of mental illness.” Most of the time I share content and projects and initiatives aimed at diabetes, its stigmas, and community-created solutions to the struggles and challenges of living with diabetes, and in a way, this is an extension of that.
The mental health component to diabetes management is often overlooked, ignored, and dismissed. But making the right decisions in the name of diabetes control is unbelievably difficult if you’re not in the right frame of mind.
So, in a way Take This does relate to life with diabetes. It’s another avenue to explore, share, and learn from others who have something to say about mental health.
Take This recently launched its own podcast, you can listen to it here.
And if you want to hear more from Russ Pitts, the co-founder of Take This, he’s been a guest on my podcast, Just Talking, not once, but twice. There’s plenty of talk about Take This in both episodes which should help you get a better idea of Take This‘ mission.
Over the past few months I’ve taken pointed efforts to reduce the time I spend staring at my phone. While social media is great, and ensuring all my emails are marked as read is a worthwhile goal, I wasn’t doing a great job of living in the moment. So I turned off nonessential alerts on my phone. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – the apps themselves stayed on my phone, but their frequency of use dropped as the number of times my phone updated in the background decreased.
I’m still not sure if that’s enough to get me back in the moment, but I’ve certainly felt detached from the diabetes community as a result of these efforts. Recently I’ve made somewhat public statements that it felt like the community was shrinking or changing, but I wasn’t looking in the right direction for an explanation.
This is the result of my own actions. So now the challenge is to find a way to continue to embrace and engage the diabetes community, but in a healthy way.
This should be interesting.
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)
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.
This week is all about the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit. After completing its fourth year of gathering a wide range of perspectives to talk about the future of diabetes care, Amy Tenderich, editor in chief of DiabetesMine sets the stage for the rest of the podcast. Also featured are three recipients of scholarships to attend the summit – Neal Ulrich, Rosy Karna, and Cooper Galvin – their takeaways from the day-long summit, and their perspective on including the patient in health care conversations. Enjoy.
Special thanks to all of my guests:
- Neal Ulrich – nmulrich at stanford dot edu
- Rosy Karna – rkarna at stanford dot edu
- Cooper Galvin – coopgalv at stanford dot edu
For more information about the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit, visit diabetesmine.com, check out the presentations from the summit on Slideshare, and see the DiabetesMine Patient Voices 2014 video.