Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seeking knowledge from each other . . .

I have only come here seeking knowledge, Things they would not teach me of in college.  ~The Police
I have only come here seeking knowledge,
Things they would not teach me of in college.  ~The Police

Last week I attended the Roche Social Media Summit in San Diego.   We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel - and being the huge Sting / Police fan that I am, I was sure to snap a picture of the wall that held the lyrics above.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the lyrics resonated my thoughts about the summit.

One of the first speakers we heard from Thursday morning was Dan Kane, Roche’s Vice-President of Marketing.  He discussed the reasons Roche does these Social Media Summits.  The bottom line, according to Mr. Kane, is to get to know us better - to see us and to really understand us.  It can’t be just about the products, they need activated and engaged patients, and then they need to interact with those patients.  I’ve always agreed with that whole-heartedly.  I’ve spoken before about my belief that pharma can learn a lot from patients and patients can learn a lot from pharma.  Attending the Diabetes Advocates Forum in the spring made my belief stronger.  And taking part in the Summit last week drove it home again.  Both sides of the healthcare equation, the pharma side and the patient side, should seek and gain knowledge from each other.

We discussed the ways that Social Media has become more than just a way to connect - it has become a power to bring about needed changes.  We were able to hear from, and give our personal perspectives to, the JDRF and the IDF.  We previewed some upcoming products Roche is working on, and were able to ask questions and make suggestions about what we saw.  We learned about things Roche has implemented after hearing the opinions and needs expressed in previous Summits.  (This was my first year attending, but I can tell you that the DOC was well represented in years 1 and 2.)  We broke into four smaller groups to brainstorm for One Great Idea, and I was please that a Roche representative joined each of the four groups.  We discussed Health Care Reform, and I learned of some deeper issues I hadn’t thought of.  And, we had a wonderful wonderful session with Dr. William Polonsky.  I met him a few weeks ago at TCOYD in Albany and I believe he will be at Friends For Life next week as well.  The poor man is going to think I’m stalking him!!  (He is totally stalk-worthy - he really knows the challenges we face and has great advice for getting though them.)

Event recap posts are always a challenge for me to write up, because my head always seems to be filled with more inspiration and knowledge than I can convey.  But I will try to add more details about the Summit in some follow up posts.  In the mean time, many of the other Summit attendees have already gotten some great posts written about our time in San Diego.

We're kinda scrunchy, but mostly left to right, front to back is:

***Disclaimer:  As a participant in the Social Media Summit, Roche paid for my travel to and from San Diego and my meals and lodging while there.  However, to continue my Police theme, I’m not Wrapped Around Their Finger.  My opinions are my own and I was not asked to blog about the Summit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Three years ago . . .

Three years ago, I was the only person I knew with Type 1 diabetes.

Three years ago, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my A1C into the range my endo and I were shooting for.

Three years ago, I treated lows with chocolate because nobody ever told me that it wasn’t a good idea because the fat in it slowed the absorption down too much.

Three years ago, I had no idea about deducting half of the fiber grams when carb counting.

Three years ago, I had just started pumping and I didn’t know any of the great tips and tricks.

Three years ago, I didn’t have a CGM.

Three years ago, I never dreamed of all of the wonderful friends I would make in the DOC.

But thank goodness, three years ago I started this blog.


I never dreamed how drastically my diabetes life would improve, just from three years of blogging.  I never dreamed how great my non-d life would improve from three years of blogging as well.  I never could have imagined the wonderful friends I would make and the amazing opportunities that would come my way.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by to read my ramblings.  Thank you for all of the kind comments left.  Thank you for the wonderful community I am so proud to be a part of!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

I REALLY wanted to smack her . . .

Friday Pete and I spent the night in Albany so we’d be ready bright and early for Saturday’s Taking Control Of Your Diabetes conference.  I’ll be writing more about the conference itself later in the week, but if you can’t wait that long, Val and Abby (the Person) have already posted about the day.  But first, I want to tell you about Friday night.

After checking into our hotel, we headed out for dinner at a local (to Albany) restaurant recommended by the girl at the front desk.  (I suppose it would be more politically correct to say “woman at the front desk”, but seriously, she looked like she was 14!!  Way to make me feel old!)  The restaurant was terrific - delicious food, wonderful service, great atmosphere and the bar made a rocking Jolly Rancher Martini!  No, really, it tasted just like a Jolly Rancher!!

As we were eating our salads, the waiter brought a dessert with a candle in it to the next table, and the diners at the table broke out into a quiet round of happy birthday.  Pete and I sang along and clapped for the elderly man who was celebrating his birthday.  Then we stopped being noisy and went back to our own meals.  But as the “birthday party table” rose to leave, something caught my attention again.  One of the men had something in his hand - I couldn’t quite see what, but he extended them toward the Birthday Dude.  Instead of taking what was offered, Birthday Dude seemed to misunderstand and just shook Generous Guy’s hand and thanked him for coming to dinner.  When the man told Birthday Dude to take whatever was in his hand, Birthday Dude politely declined.

And then, one of the ladies at the table came up to Birthday Dude and Generous Guy and said (quite loudly and rudely) “He can’t have that!!”  Pete shot me a quick “stay calm and mind your own business” glance as he saw me cringe upon hearing those words.

We ate the rest of our dinner in peace and I had pretty much forgotten about the rude lady who made me cringe.  But then our bill came.  And I saw what Generous Guy had been offering to Birthday Dude.  Because our bill was presented along with these.

Upon seeing the chocolate dipped mint sticks, I knew Birthday Dude had most likely been scolded by his own personal Diabetes Policewoman.  And I really wanted to smack her!!  Birthday Dude was a grown man trying to spend a nice evening celebrating his day.  He politely turned down the candy sticks, whether he wanted them or not.  And D-Police Lady should have minded her own business instead of butting in with such a nasty and condescending tone in her voice.  It really made my blood boil.  And I certainly hope both Birthday Dude and D-Police Lady were in attendance at TCOYD the next day.  I hope Birthday Dude felt inspired and empowered by the lectures given.  And I hope D-Police Lady learned some Diabetes Etiquette!  Because Lady, # 1 on the Etiquette card was written for you!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

5K is not so far . . .

Seriously, 5 kilometer is just over three miles.  Three miles isn’t far, right?  You could run three miles, couldn’t you?  Okay, well, I can’t quite run three miles - I need a few walking breaks in there.  I’m working on it though!!  But you could try to run three miles, right?  Or you could certainly just walk three miles, correct?

Still not quite convinced?  What if you ran / walked / whatever three miles AND RAISED MONEY FOR A DIABETES FUNDRAISER??  You’d certainly do that, right?


That's right!  Reyna from Beta Buddies and her sister are organizing a virtual 5K to raise money for JDRF.  All it takes to participate is a $10 entry fee.  Then just walk or run your 5K anytime between June 24th and June 27th and post your name and time.  (If you are slow like me and would rather keep your time a secret, that is fine.  Although I have no shame, I’ll share how slowly I run!!)  Not only is this a great thing, but Reyna and Tara have lined up a bunch of cool prizes that will be raffled off.

Seriously, you want to do this.  It’s a great thing to be a part of.  And you can do it!!  Check out the important details on Reyna’s 5K for 5K post and Tara’s It is GO TIME!!!! Race to Cure Diabetes 5K here we come... post.  And then, sign up!!  We may not be able to run our 5K in the same place.  But knowing we are all running together, virtually, will be a really cool thing.  Knowing the D-OC is with me will really push me to do my best!!  Do I have you with me?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Revisiting Diabetes Blog Week!!

DBlogWeek2011ButtonI can't believe it’s already been a month since the second annual Diabetes Blog Week.  I’m still on a bit of a DBlog Week High.  (Luckily, that high affects only my mood and not my blood sugars!)  Seriously, DBlog Week is definitely one of the highlights of my year.  It’s like my birthday, Christmas and a trip to Disney World all rolled into one.

So, when Laura of the Discuss Diabetes blog from Sanofi-Aventis asked if I’d be interested in doing an interview, I was more than happy to oblige.  The interview is up today - "In Her Own Words: D Blog Week with Karen Graffeo".

I’d like to thank Laura for the wonderful interview opportunity and for helping to shine a light on the D-OC and what we do!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Low and Alone

aloneYuck, low blood sugars.  They sure aren’t fun, but I have to admit, they usually don’t bother me too much.  I understand why PWDs would feel afraid of being low, but I that fear has never crept in on me.

Until last night . . .

Pete was away on an overnight work trip to Baltimore.  Yesterday afternoon it was time for a site change, and I noticed afterwards my blood sugar was stuck in the 180s and wouldn’t budge.  Even cranking my basal up to 150% for a few hours only brought it down to the high 160s.  I also started to feel an odd achiness near the new site.  So I finally decided it was time to pull it.  While the cannula didn’t come out kinked, it was at an extreme and odd angle.  I knew I had probably found my high-problem.

I want to note here that, to the best of my knowledge, I did everything right.  I did not rage bolus a correction to bring myself down.  In fact, after putting in my new site I had a pre-bed snack because I know changing my site almost always brings on a low.  Right before I went to sleep, my blood sugar was a happy 101.

Less than two hours later, my CGM low alarm woke me up.  My brain felt fuzzy and I was very sweaty.  I fumbled for my meter and tested, and a 30 flashed before me.  I grabbed the juice box on my nightstand and gulped it down.  A few minutes later, my mind began to clear - and the low fear hit me.  I started to realize just how low 30 really was.  (Yes, in my low haze that hadn’t been clear to me, but now it was.)  And knowing I was all alone for the duration of the night scared me a lot.  So I went downstairs and ate a huge spoonful of frosting.  I couldn’t have cared less about over-treating - in fact, I wanted to over-treat!!    When my high alarm rang later and showed double arrows pointing up, I was glad.  This may have been the first time I was glad to see double up arrows.  But to me, they signaled safety and confidence that I could go back to sleep.

I can now honestly say I have really felt “low fear”.  I know Pete will be back home and sleeping beside me tonight, and that will help it subside a bit.  But I’m left with an even bigger appreciation for my D-friends who live on their own.  You are brave and strong in a way I’m not.  You rock and I admire you!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Can Do This!!

YouCanDoThis1Not too long ago, Kim over at Texting My Pancreas came up with a really great idea after seeing a touching commercial.  And today she brings that idea to life by kicking off the You Can Do This project!!  I’m very excited to have been a part of the kick off video she created to explain the project.

Let’s face it, diabetes is tough sometimes and we all need support.  So why not be a light to others and help them remember that they aren’t alone.  And that they can do this!!  Hop on over to Texting my Pancreas and check out the You Can Do This tab to find out everything you need to know to be a part of the project.  And don’t forget to “like” the Facebook page too!