#8 – HuffPost, “I think she’s drunk.” I wasn’t, I was in severe hypoglycemia

If you’ve been here a time or two before you may know I’m doing a countdown on 10 top posts I’ve written over seven years for the Huffington Post.

This was one of my last posts and the first time low blood sugar made me feel, and appear, as if I was drunk. My blood sugar was in the 30s and my mind absolutely refused to think straight. Luckily, I was with a friend, and while she had no idea this could be low blood sugar, she knew something was really wrong.

 

What It’s Like to Get Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes: Real Talk from Patients

 

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Last year I was part of a video shoot for HealthiNation to talk about type 1 diabetes. Now there are 7 short and accessible, two minutes in length, videos of what it’s like to get and live with T1D.

Each video features reflections, learned wisdom and snippets of advice from myself and two other diabetes advocates. Topics range from the title above, “What It’s Like to Get Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes” to “Common Myths About T1D Debunked” …to…“Getting Through the Day as a Diabetic.”

Please ignore the fact that the producer chose to call us “diabetics” and “patients,” which we only are when with our health providers, and that some of the videos begin with a Trulicity advertisement.

Rather enjoy the opportunity to bask in the camaraderie with two fellow T1D-ers – Craig Kasper, diagnosed at 27, whose website is bravest and Liz Van Voorhis, diagnosed at 15, an athlete and fitness trainer, and yours truly nearing ever closer to that 50 year Joslin medal.

All videos can be found here.

 

Dexcom G6 CGM gets FDA approval

 

Expected to be available in the U.S. in the next few months.

New advantages – no fingerstick calibrations, easy inserter, 10-day wear time, (bad news hard shut off, you can’t extend the sensor) approval for ages 2 years and older, no acetaminophen interference.

Mike Hoskins over at DiabetesMine did a great write- up.

Love the video, if nothing else the music will get you excited –

The Type 1 Versus Type 2 Diabetes War

HuffPost #7 – For this post I reached back to my second year writing on HuffPost. But the story is as relevant today as it was then.

There’s long been a friction of sorts between type 1 and 2. A sense that “you don’t understand what it’s like for me” no matter which side you’re on. The feeling among many type 1s that they live in the shadow of type 2, and a difference of opinion whether either side would benefit if we were more distinct?

That along with myths busted from my second book, “50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It” and more in this post, including a full and clear description of each condition.

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JDRF trains type 1 diabetes specific psychologists

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I think this is great news. And I wrote about it on Thrive Global. I know there’s always been a raging debate where the JDRF should put its efforts. Many think only on research toward a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) or also helping people live wth the day to day of T1D.

I’m in the latter camp. I’d love a cure, but until that day I’ll take anything that helps make getting through the day easier. Not only will psychologists who understand the lived experience of type 1 diabetes help those who are struggling, but help us all. Find out how in the post.

HuffPost #6 – The Antidote to Living with Diabetes

On this Sunday evening, I hope to send you off to sleep with reason to congratulate yourself. You work hard managing diabetes, own what you do.

I first wrote this article for a creative expression contest run by Eli Lilly many years ago. I later included it in a HuffPost that today makes the sixth of my top 10 posts I’m recalling here.

As I was told by a wise man when I did volunteer work at a diabetes clinic for the poor in Bangalore, India, “Be good, do good, feel good.”

 

Final. The antidote to diabetes - Living Proud

Got my Stanford peer leader certificate and first taste of yuca

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This is my graduating class: warm, dedicated, wonderful women who are also a mosaic reflection of New York City. We each received four days of training to become peer-leaders of the Stanford Diabetes Self-Management Program.

The program is now under the auspices of the Self-Management Resource Center  but it’s the same program Kate Lorig, PhD Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and Nurse, created while at Stanford. It became the gold standard for diabetes education.

I interviewed Lorig only a few months ago for HuffPost when I wrote about this educational program going online.

A funny feeling to be back “in school” forty years later yet each of these women knitted a small circle of support around each of us so that, as we hunched over our training manuals, nervous like newbies, we all got through boot camp.

I’m grateful to our master trainers, Guedy and Chris, who do this work in the community and have now equipped a score of us to make a difference in the lives of people with diabetes.

I’m grateful to my new peer-leader partner and friend, Meryl, who will co-lead classes with me, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, is my partner.

And I’m grateful to my adventurous friend, Susan, who left our classroom each day at lunchtime to walk the streets of Harlem in search of her favorite yuca, a vegetable I had never tasted before, and each time she returned victorious and shared her delectable find with me.

 

Online diabetes peer-support… now a resource to guide you

Something’s new in the world of diabetes online social media and it isn’t a new site. Rather, it’s a simple, engaging 3-page guide to steer you to excellent and trustworthy diabetes web sites. Sites where you’ll find a wealth of both general and very specific information, and, be able to connect with others living with diabetes.

I’m impressed by the collaboration between medical professionals and diabetes advocates. Together they did the hard work to make the wealth of diabetes information and support found online more attainable and useful to both people with diabetes and diabetes health providers alike.

Knowing this started as a conversation some years ago, I’m also inspired by how mountains can move when people decide to move them.

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This effort was led by former President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Hope Warshaw,  and founder of DiabetesDaily, David Edelman, who had the help of many diabetes advocates. The guide points you to vetted diabetes peer support communities, blogs, news and magazine sites, organizations, government resources and advocacy organizations.

True, this community of patient resources and patient compassion has existed on the internet for some time. What’s different is now you have a guide where and how to find them.

I cannot stress enough how taking advantage of the information and emotional support online, from people living through what you’re living through, can change your every day life.

ALERT: Learning, and hooking in online, does not replace your health care providers. This rich world adds to your knowledge and support by offering communities where you may make new acquaintances, feel less alone or inspired to get involved, and you can ask questions and get real, lived advice.

As someone, myself, in this online diabetes community, I have made stellar friends and acquaintances, I constantly learn what’s new and what’s coming, and I often get answers to questions I would never think to ask my doctor. And I’m healthier, and more engaged in my self-management, for it.

Warshaw and Edelman share a letter why this effort began and what it truly offers – not just to people living with diabetes but those who treat them and care for them.

As a diabetes nurse, educator, dietitian or physician, as a community health worker, social worker or psychologist who works with people who have diabetes, you will benefit from seeing what’s being exchanged online between people with diabetes. You’ll get deeper insights what diabetes is like to live with and you’ll be able to give your patients and clients a resource that may help them get more motivated, committed and engaged in their own care.

Susannah Fox, healthcare and information technology researcher and former Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, does a great job outlining the benefits of online peer support in this video.

 

Speaking at Stanford Medx in April, plus HuffPost #5 – The Engines of Chronic Care

 

Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 4.32.33 PM.pngApril 28-30 I’ll be at Stanford Medicine X presenting the Flourishing Treatment Approach (FTA) I’ve been sharing the FTA with providers around the world these past three years.

The conference is new for me, but seems perfectly aligned with what I’ve been doing. Stanford Medx claims the territory – the intersection between practitioner and patient. This April’s theme: create disruption in medical education through partnership with patients and interprofessional collaboration. Indeed!

My disruption, the FTA, addresses how most HCPs world with people who have chronic illness. Their treatment is based on machine-thinking, not what works for humans. I don’t blame anyone, it’s what they’ve learned.

Practitioners are trained almost exclusively in delivering acute care where machine-values – precision, accuracy, perfection, cause and effect – are worth striving for. But for treating people with chronic conditions we need values that speak to human striving:  relationship, trust, safety, strengths, connection inspiration. We need not scalpels and band aids but trust, partnership, dialogue and meeting people where they are. These qualities are what move more people to invest in their daily care.

So today, I share with you my fifth HuffPost article in my line up of top 10: The Engines of Chronic Care: Hardware and Heartware. Below a brief excerpt:

“We know when providers express empathy their, and their patients’, outcomes improve. Peer-mentoring also improves patients’ management and clinical outcomes, and, with the lowest-tech device imaginable — another human being to listen, engage and connect with.

So why is heartware overlooked?…”

Full article here

 

 

#4 HuffPost: Let’s Stop Lying About Diabetes

 

control is an illusion.pngIn the past year how we speak about diabetes and the language we use with patients, has finally come to light. Words like “diabetic,” “test,” “adherence,” and “compliance,” are slowly being understood to be derogatory, limiting, belittling, prejudicial and downright mean. And, my all-time favorite, “control,” is an out and out lie.

Why? Read the article I wrote in 2014, “Let’s Stop Lying About Diabetes.” Nothing has changed.