Your Diabetes Advocacy May Vary

It is reasonable to believe Diabetes Awareness is bigger than a diabetes awareness “month”, right? Living this disease day in and day out for over 12 years speaks more than an arbitrary allotment in a calendar. Sometimes speaking with one collective voice makes a difference (like ‪#‎DOCasksFDA‬), but individual stories, whenever and wherever they are told are just as impactful.

Also, your diabetes (advocacy) may vary.

To that end, please read Dayle’s post about her perspective on Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s pretty great.

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Connections

In light of some of the conversation happening on and around My Diabetes Secret, Cherise decided to use the platform she built to address some of the topics presented without giving an opportunity for the negativity to invade the weekly tweetchat.

One afternoon a car pulled up next to me and the driver rolled down his window gesturing to get my attention. He was holding up a small electronic device that turned out to be a Medtronic insulin pump. He wanted to say hello after seeing my license plate.

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What You Make Of It

I had a lot of thoughts about this comment. I asked Twitter for feedback and got some good responses there. I also shared this on Facebook and got some good feedback there as well. I felt like writing more, but then Dayle and Kerri said all I wanted to say. So you should just read what they wrote.

Finally, I would urge anyone blogging for recognition to consider if a blog is really the right outlet for their goals/needs. Blogging is a form of sharing what it is you want to say. It’s not necessarily a platform for making people pay attention. That’s their choice. If your words or your way of changing the world resonates with other people and is valuable to them, they will listen. And that’s what it should be about – not conferences or freebies.

Defining the DOC: Why Do We Blog? – Imperfect Pancreas

Also

I started this site because I wanted to find some kindred spirits.  And that’s the reason I continue to write, and to try and connect.  It keeps the loneliness of chronic illness at bay and makes doing this diabetes maintenance thing easier.  Even though so many healthcare professionals think that my A1C is the most important marker of my success as a person with diabetes, I think my happiness is, and connecting with my PWD peers keeps me happy.

You Are HERE. – Six Until Me

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Just Talking About Medicine X 2014

I attended Stanford Medicine X this weekend, a conference billed as the intersection of medicine and emerging technologies. Because the conference took up so much of my time, I didn’t have an opportunity to record a traditional podcast. Instead, I asked ePatient scholars to leave a brief comment on their experience. With a little editing magic, here you go. Enjoy!

For more information about Medicine X, visit medicinex.stanford.edu.

Special thanks to everyone who called in:

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About Medicine X 2014 – Spoons

On a notecard briefly answer one of these questions: what uses up your energy (spoons) the most; how do you most like to expend your energy (spoons)?

If you’re not familiar with the Spoon Theory, I encourage you to read this post from butyoudontlooksick.com. It’s well worth the read. But for the sake of this post, I’ll briefly summarize this whole spoon business.

Essentially, spoons are an arbitrary measurement of energy. “Healthy” people have unlimited spoons to use during the day, but people dealing with chronic pain have a limited number of spoons. As a result, seemingly ordinary tasks like taking a shower or going to the grocery store are weighed against the amount of energy, or spoons, required. Some days you have more spoons at the ready, and can get more done. Other days, you barely have enough spoons to get out of bed. If you ever see #spoonie included on a tweet, now you know what’s going on.

In the grand scheme of things, the Spoon Theory can apply to anyone, to any patient as a way to convey the struggles that come with getting by day to day. With that understanding comes the collaboration at Medicine X. Attendees decorated spoons in the image of the thing that drains their spoons on a daily basis. What consumes you as a patient advocate? What keeps you up at night as a patient? What worries you the most as a caregiver? If you’re honest with yourself, these are incredibly intense questions that can cost a number of spoons to just contemplate.

My spoon was decorated in the spirit of My Diabetes Secret.

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Reminder: What This is All About

I was at a diabetes retreat for young adults, the first time I have really been able to interact with people close to my own age. No one knows it but due to issues in my life I was very close to taking WAY more insulin than I should have and being around those people was the only thing that kept me from doing it.

- Submitted to My Diabetes Secret

Don’t ever discount the power of “me too”. It’s a powerful, sometimes life-saving feeling. While it may be a bit hyperbolic to say that all of these diabetes blogs are saving lives every day, we’re certainly helping fight the good fight.

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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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