About That HONcode Pledge

Keen observers may notice an update to the sidebar as of this past weekend as a result of an effort I started a few months ago. I received notification that my blog is now fully HONcode compliant, and now I get a fancy widget indicating said compliance. In the grand scheme of things, this won’t necessarily change the content of what I write on a day-to-day basis. As I’ve always maintained, I’m not a medical professional and I’m not here to give you medical advice on how to live your life with diabetes. What I will continue to do is offer my own perspective on my own diabetes with the utmost transparency.

I could go through each of the principles of the HONcode and elaborate on how I will uphold each bullet point. That when appropriate disclose any funding I receive as a result of these efforts, that I will cite any and all sources related to information from someone much smarter than me (namely, everyone), that I’m sharing my life with diabetes to complement the information you gather on your own, not replace it. That if you ever needed to contact me, and Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, or whatever other social network I inhabit aren’t enough, there’s a link to email chris at tobesugarfree dot com in the header right there for you. But that’s not really necessary, is it? You can trust me.

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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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It’s A Gross Feeling

I had a brief chat with Kim this morning about my decision to switch to a pump. In the middle of our conversation I made the observation that “the real shame in all of this is in the back of my mind I keep thinking ‘this will give me something to write about on my blog’.” Followed quickly by “it’s a gross feeling”.

Not that I need to justify my actions to you, my eager-readers, but this has been on my mind since I mentally committed to switching to an insulin pump a few weeks ago. So here I am, trying to noodle this out with you.

This blog is not a business. I don’t have any sponsors. I don’t run ads. There is no revenue resulting from the content I put up on this blog. I have no financial incentive to post here every day.

I write, in part, to connect with other people impacted by diabetes. I write because it helps me cope with living with an incurable disease. I write because sometimes it’s fun. I write because everyone needs a place to share cat pictures every now and then.

And yet, I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t ignore that I’ve built up a following for one reason or another. I’ve built up a “brand” (it pains me to type that). After all of these years, people listen to what I have to say from time to time. It’s a good feeling.

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About Disclosure and Other Things

You might remember my interview on Sanofi’s DX Diabetes Dish that was published a couple of weeks ago. This was a rare opportunity for me, a guy with a silly (sometimes about) diabetes blog to genuinely step into the spotlight. Things like this don’t happen often for me, so I did my best to make the most of the situation. Because I was approached as Chris, the diabetes blogger, I didn’t mention this to my bosses until it went live. At the time I didn’t think anything of my comment about preparing for Scientific Sessions. It was a harmless answer and I wasn’t making a big deal of where I work. Looking back I realize I should have cleared this response with someone.

I’m not a public-facing representative for the American Diabetes Association. Yes, I work at the home office. Yes, I have a diabetes blog. Yes, I’m too active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, wherever else. And yes, for what it’s worth, there are disclaimers that are meant to distance myself and my words from my place of employment. To that last one I’m still skeptical that those formalities actually mean anything, but better safe than sorry right?

After that first interview was posted I received a follow-up email from the author of that post asking if it was okay that my contact information be passed on to an associate who managed one of Sanofi’s other blogs. I didn’t think anything of it and agreed, but once I saw the questions for this second interview I knew serious caution had to be exercised.

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Patient Advisory Committee

A few weeks ago I was contacted by someone at Medivo offering me a spot on their Patient Advisory Committee as they jump into the diabetes app landscape. I initially ignored the email until I received a follow-up a few days later offering some additional information about what they were hoping to accomplish and what my role would be. Before I go on, I should provide a little context about my mindset with all this stuff.

I don’t have a need for diabetes apps. I understand their value and recognize their potential, but they just aren’t for me. I credit this largely to my comfort with my diabetes management. My A1c reports over the past year or so have shown consistent improvement. My diet (while still not perfect) continues to include a healthy portion of vegetables and fewer cheat days. And I’m slowly finding a workout routine that’ll bring balance to all of the blood glucose obsessing that I do day in and day out. Like I said, these apps aren’t for me.

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