Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Betes - The Patient Voice . . .

Two weekends ago I attended The Betes Organization’s event, "The Patient Voice".  I went on behalf of (and with assistance by) DiabetesSisters, and I was excited to see other members of DiabetesSisters and of the DOC.

But, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure I’d “get” the event itself.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved and supported the idea of the event, which was to bridge the gap between patients and healthcare providers.  I watched Marina’s interview on TuDiabetes and was blown away by her passion and enthusiasm.  But the thing is, although I do have intermittent sparks of creativity, overall I don’t consider myself a very creative person.  So I was concerned I might not connect with the puppetry.  I was afraid the whole thing would kind of go over my  head. 

I could not have been more wrong.

The first performance piece involved a heavy box and The Betes (hand)puppet.  From the minute Marina took the stage, I was drawn right in.  I laughed.  I nodded.  I choked back tears.  I sang along with everyone in the room.  That sounds corny, right?  But somehow, it wasn’t.  We all sang together about the weight of carrying diabetes (a la The Beatles) and it was amazing.  And this is coming from someone who DOES NOT sing.

The second half was part of a new piece being created entitled “The Elephant in the Room”.  It deals with complications.  Emotionally, I didn’t react quite as deeply to this piece, probably because I haven’t really dealt with any complications (yet).  But it still resonated with me quite a bit.  Complications are a thing many of us don’t even want to thing about, much less openly discuss, so to see work being done the change that and the open the doors?  It was wonderful.

During the discussions that followed, I came to understand that these pieces seemed to touch different people in different ways.  Patients, healthcare providers, caregivers - what we saw meant different things to each of us.  But in the end, I believe we all were impacted by what we saw on stage and I think each of us left feeling a little bit closer to one another.

And in the end, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Looking Ahead . . . .

April will be here at the end of the week, and then before we know it May will arrive.  Which means the seventh annual Diabetes Blog Week is just around the corner.

Online-Survey-IconSeven!  Wow, I never imagined, way back during that first Diabetes Blog Week in 2010, that #DBlogWeek would have such staying power.  Which makes me wonder, does it need to be updated?  What would make it run more smoothly?  What suggestions do you have for #DBlogWeek?  How can I make it better for everyone who participates or lurks?

And so, I’ve created a little survey to collect your opinions, ideas and suggestions.  You can find it here.  I’ve tried to make it short but inclusive, with space at the end to tell me anything else on your mind.  I can't promise I'll be able to make every suggestion happen, but I do promise to try my best.  Please take a minute to fill the survey out, so together we can make Diabetes Blog Week is the best it can be.  Thank you!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Ooops . . .

That moment when you’re treating a low and decide to refill your “low bin” . . . .

Jelly beans everywhere.  On the island and on the floor.  Also, not shown in this picture, under the stove, in the pantry and in the dining room.   It seriously looked like the Easter Bunny threw up.  And it took me FOR-EVER to get them all gathered and into the garbage.  I think my cat might still be batting a few around.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spinny Thoughts . . .

I’ve been attempting to write about this year’s Diabetes Unconference for over a week.  Every day I open a blank blog page and start typing.  I ramble and reflect and edit and write some more . . .  and in the end, I delete the whole thing and decided to try again tomorrow.  Sometimes, unfortunately, a well-crafted cohesive post just won’t come.  Instead I just have a bunch of spinny thoughts rolling around in my head.  And so, bullet points will just have to do . . .

  • This year’s Unconference felt different.  Not better and not worse, just different.  It wasn’t The First Year, so things felt more familiar this time around.  I knew how to get around the hotel.  And I had a better idea what to expect.
  • Sessions with other PWDs, where the things we say go no farther than the space we are in, is important and much needed.  Even when the topics feel heavy and dark.  In fact, that is probably when it is most important.
  • And although things can get heavy and dark, things can get just as silly and goofy and light.  Thank goodness for that!!
  • Red eye flights?  Not so much my thing.  And conferences on the West Coast, in general, will take me far longer to recover from than I anticipate.  (Daylight Savings doesn’t help matters either.)
  • Companies who sponsor conferences like this are awesome.  I’m thankful that they see the value in peer-to-peer support.
  • Even if you’ve had diabetes since 1979, there are still new things to learn.

Disclosure:  I received travel assistance by way of a scholarship from DiabetesSisters, which helped me be able to attend the Diabetes Unconference in Las Vegas this year.