Spare A Rose

The Spare a Rose campaign kicks off on February 1.

The idea, as the title suggests, is that if you spare a rose in the bouquet of flowers you will (likely) buy your significant other for Valentine’s Day, and donate that money to Life of a Child, a child with diabetes will get insulin for a month. If you decide to spare a whole dozen, that means a year of insulin.

In trying to think of the best way to equate the cost of your donation, I tried looking up things $5 can buy. My thought process was that if you went without [thing you can spend $5 on] just once, that money can go to a great cause.

This search led me to http://hackthemenu.com/. Now I know prices vary by region, but for the most part (based on this site’s data, so take that with a grain of salt) we’re talking about skipping one trip to Starbucks so a child in need can have enough insulin to live for another month.

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Apply Yourself

Over the next week or so I plan on writing a crude FAQ to supplement the 2014 Medicine X ePatient Scholarship Application, which can be found here. I want to recall my hesitations before applying myself two years ago and do my best to assure you that applying for the scholarship is the right thing to do. For now you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

In addition to that side project, I’m going to be moderating two Google Hangouts in the coming weeks that will also aim to answer questions and motivate the fence sitters to apply for a scholarship for next year’s conference. If, after all of that content, you’re still unsure if you’re the right fit for Medicine X, feel free to reach out to me directly. One of my roles as an ePatient Advisor is to help make the upcoming conference as great as it can be, but that can’t happen without people like you, my eager-reader, applying and hopefully attending the 2014 sessions.

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First and Foremost

First and foremost. This is not the end of the world. I know someone who recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with type 1 diabetes – http://kaylaslifenotes.blogspot.com/2013/09/success-on-kilimanjaro.html. There will be adjustments, some immediate, others you can’t predict, but this is totally doable.

Starting with your endocrinologist, don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. Contrary to belief, they are just *one part* of your diabetes team. And if they aren’t working with you, find someone that will.

Support is key with this disease, which is why I rely on social media. If you’re on Twitter, this list: https://twitter.com/iam_spartacus/lists/wilfordbrimley, is a good place to start if you’re looking to connect with other PWDs (people with diabetes). A popular hashtag that people use when sharing thoughts and comments is #dsma – I encourage you to lurk on that hashtag, particularly on Wednesday nights at 9pm eastern (there’s a weekly Twitter chat that centers around that hashtag) to reinforce the thought that you are not alone with this disease and find likeminded people to connect with.

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I Think We Need a “Check-In Day”

I’ve been thinking more and more about Hannah’s comments on my post last week about the impact and significance of connecting with others in the diabetes community through our various platforms of choice and I want to try something. I’m a firm believer that comments make the world go ’round, as far as blogging is concerned. Yes, there are stat counters and analytics reports you can run, but pageviews and unique visitors don’t mean much to me when it comes to sharing personal stories and experiences. What matters to me is when someone reads something I write, and then takes the time to leave a comment.

Sometimes it’s feedback. Sometimes it’s a high five. Sometimes it’s a pickmeup. Sure, there’s a weird satisfaction in knowing that someone found value from something I share on a silly diabetes blog, but I think there’s something else going on. I think comments can be a positive reinforcement that you’re on the right path. I share, you comment, it encourages me to share (more? again? I couldn’t decide on the right word). You share, I comment, it encourages you to share.

It’s the circle of life?

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VIAL Project

“This is a social media site for people with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating, food & body concerns, and eating disorders to interact and submit creative self-expression (art, writing, anything original that reflects the experience of having diabetes and food and body issues). Please help promote it. My research depends on people registering and participating. All user-submitted content will become my data, shedding light on the experience of people with diabetes and disordered eating, and how creative expression and social media might help them.” -Lee Ann Thill

Sign up for the VIAL Project here.
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Taking Online Offline

If you’re reading this and you’re in the Des Moines area, I hope you’re planning on hanging out at the You Can Do This Project booth at TCOYD this Saturday. Kim has done incredible things with the You Can Do This Project and the stories I heard and told at Friends For Life this summer are a testament to the value of support when it comes to diabetes health and overall happiness.

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