Friday, October 14, 2016

Why I SHOULDN’T do the Big Blue Test…

The Big Blue Test starts today, and I’m certain you can find numerous posts around the DOC telling you why you should participate.  But it’s Friday and I’m tired and cranky and probably need some more coffee (or a cocktail but it’s too early for that, right?).  So I decided to let my cynical narcissistic exercise-hating side take over and come up with some reasons why I shouldn’t do Big Blue Test.  Please read each lazy-ass excuse in the most whiney voice you can conjure up.
  1. I can’t find any information on what Big Blue Test even is.  Wrong.  There is a whole post right here that does a great job of explaining Big Blue Test. It even has a video.
  2. It takes too much time.  Nope.  It takes as little as 14 minutes.  That’s less time than a mid-day Starbucks run.
  3. Nobody else is doing it.  Untrue.  More than 100,000 people have done Big Blue Test since it launched in 2010.
  4. If so many other people are doing it, nobody needs me to participate.  Incorrect.  The goal this year is to reach 150,000 entries.  That is a lot, and every single participant matters if the goal will be reached.
  5. There is no benefit to me.  False.  On the average, people doing Big Blue Test see their blood sugar drop by around 20%.
  6. Okay, but there is no benefit to anyone else.  Erroneous, and also not very narcissistic, by the way.  The truth is, each Big Blue Test logged results in $3 donated to diabetes charities.  $1 each goes to DiabetesSisters, We Are Diabetes and Riverside Community Diabetes Collaborative.
  7. It is way too hard to log the results.  Inaccurate. You simply answer the quick form found to the right of this page.  Or, you can download the Big Blue Test app to your mobile device for even easier logging.
  8. I don’t have diabetes.  Okay, so obviously I do.  Even the cynical narcissistic exercise-hating side of me.  But if you are reading this and don’t have diabetes?  You aren’t off the hook.  Look at question 2.  If you answer Yes, fields pop up to record your blood sugars.  And if you answer No, you won’t see those fields but can still record your Big Blue Test participation.
Well, son of an expletive, it looks like my cynical narcissistic exercise-hating side has run out of reasons not to do the Big Blue Test.  There is no reason I can’t manage an entry a day from now through November 14th.  And the same goes for you, right??

Thursday, October 13, 2016

What Would You Do If . . . .

Question-Girl-2400pxWhen I was a tween . . . well . . . when I was a tween the word “tween” didn’t exist, actually.  But that’s beside the point.  Anyway, when I was a tween we had a favorite game at sleepovers called “What Would You Do If . . . “.  Shocking scenarios were imagined and we had to confess what we would do.  For example, “what would you do if you were walking home from school with insert name of current crush here and . . . HE TRIED TO KISS YOU?!?!?!”.  As you can imagine, our tween selves did a lot of giggling and blushing but not a lot of sleeping at these sleepovers.

As silly as this game was, it turns out What Would You Do If was somewhat useful.  Because living with diabetes kind of has me in a constant round of WWYDI. 

What would I do if my blood sugar crashed at 2a.m.?  I keep a jar of GlucoLift on my night table.

What would I do if I was traveling and my bottle of insulin broke?  I pack a spare bottle or two.

What would I do if my blood sugar went dangerously low and I passed out?  We have glucagon in Pete’s dresser drawer and also in my purse.  And it isn’t even expired!!

What would I do if my pump had a major meltdown and stopped working?  I have a old pump as a backup.  I also have some syringes and long-acting insulin. (But I'm pretty sure that has expired . . . )

Living with a chronic illness means I need to prepare for the unexpected and consider what I would do in various situations.  It’s a good skill to have, even though the diabetes version isn’t as silly or fun as our tween sleepover version.  So what’s on your Diabetes What Would You Do If list?

Friday, October 7, 2016

When Worlds Collide - #AADE16

My world is the patient world, the Person With Diabetes world.  So when I decided to attend the AADE Annual Meeting this year, I was a little bit nervous.  Sure, I've been to plenty of conferences. But they have all been geared towards patients. This conference was different. This was my first diabetes conference that was geared towards health care professionals. I’d be in a whole different world than the one I’m used to.  I worried that maybe I wouldn’t fit in, and maybe I would feel like I was intruding.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The sessions I attended reminded me that there is a whole group of people out there that want to help us live the best lives we can.  They want to help us get the tools we need to thrive - and there was recognition that our tools are both physical and emotional.  It’s hard to pick a  favorite session because they were all so good.  But I think I’ll go with “Culinary Medicine Helps Overcome Hurdles to Healthy Eating" presented by Leah Sarris, Program Director for the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University.  I loved hearing about programs in which patients come in and learn how to make healthy foods that are less expensive and quicker to prepare than zipping through the drive-thru.  It’s easy to see that learning these skills sets a patient up for much more success than sending them home with a vague order to “eat more lean protein and vegetables”.

I also spent a little time at the DiabetesSisters booth and I was thrilled to see how excited the CDEs I spoke to were about the peer support we provide.  I’m always careful to explain that our PODS meetings don’t include any medical  advice, but everyone I spoke with understood that already.  I didn’t need to explain myself or the things I write about or volunteer for.  I was just welcomed and accepted as part of this conference, and it felt great.

I’ve come away considering the patient world vs the HCP world.  Hours put in to managing diabetes.  Knowledge learned and shared.  A desire to make tomorrow better than today.  Which world am I referring to?  That of the patient or that of the educator?

The answer is both. When what I thought of as two worlds collided, I saw it isn’t about the PWD world and the CDE world.  It’s about the world we share together.  And I’m happy to have so many talented educators out there, dedicated to making our journey through this life with diabetes as successful as possible.  Thank you, #AADE16, for making a first timer feel like she fit right in.

(Okay, okay, it wasn’t all sessions and education.  Just as with patient-centric conferences, there was time for some silly fun too . . . . . )