I’ve been pretty quiet on the D-front recently, been hideously busy at work and just haven’t had the energy to comment much on blogs or twitter, tho I did try to keep up with several that I check daily.
One thing of note did occur tho, I was asked to make a presentation on social media to a group of young adult T1s transitioning from high school/college to the real world (pesky place, that real world). This is actually part of a trial being conducted by the Kansas University Medical Center Diabetes Institute on supporting diabetics through that rough period in anyone’s life, diabetic or not. I went early and sat in on most of the day long session.
I could identify with every single one of these young adults there as they went over they things that they found challenging every day. Diabetic myths were a common frustration as was the day-in/day-out crapola that we all deal with.
Alex Bowden from Team Type 1 Elite Team was there just before lunch and talked about being an athlete with diabetes. I was surprised to learn that he does not pump, but is on MDI with a CGMS. He was very open with everyone and said that anyone could drop him an email at anytime if they had questions. All in all, a great speaker.
Now, I had only had about half my normal morning caffeine, so my sugars were a little low (53 if I remember right) when lunch time arrived. I grabbed a lunch and sat down to listen to the lunchtime speaker on motivation towards changing behavior. He asked a question, and I’m going to blame my response on the fact that my sugars were low.
He asked how could a diabetic change their behavior to always keep their blood sugars at 100. I damn near spit diet coke across the room. I chortled and said that’s impossible. His next question was something similar to “and what would happen if they tried?” Two of us almost simultaneously said that you’d end up with a very frustrated diabetic.
Now granted, I wasn’t an actual participant in the trial, but felt welcome to speak up about my experiences as conversation progressed throughout the day and, luckily, I’m not too shy about speaking up.
My session was right after lunch and I tried to convey how tudiabetes.org and all the personal bloggers out in the DOC had affected me. How much it had helped me to know that I wasn’t alone anymore. We discussed privacy, what type of people you find on these sites, and tried to point out some of the pitfalls that can snare you. Things like the snake oil salesmen, forum bullies, the T1 v T2 debates that flare up every few months & encouraging them to learn more about T2.
There were some really great questions, not only from the participants but from their support staff as well about social media and health care in general. We setup a group on tudiabetes.org where they can keep and touch and the most important thing there is that the support staff won’t be monitoring it at all. Leaving them free to discuss what may really be going on versus what they may tell their doctor.
I discussed some of the meet-ups I’ve had with other diabetics and how refreshing it was to be able to sit down and just talk with folks without the big D just kinda hanging there over everything.
I finished off my session with what I thought the most important advancement had been in diabetic care in my 40 years. Insulin pumps and glucose meters are great tools, but the base treatment remains the same, insulin, and it only addresses the physical aspect of diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the more you need support on the mental aspects. Social media can support you on both fronts and we are still just in the infancy of it’s potential, who knows where we will end up!
All in all it was a great experience and I hope that I can participate in more situations like that in the future.
Thanks for stopping by
Today’s snarky quote: If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t call it research, now would we?