Hey, sometimes things go surprisingly right…
Thanks again to Jon Carter, who’s got some serious cartooning talent and we’re always pleased to welcome here to the ‘Mine, on top of his 20+ years drawing for numerous newspapers, print and online publications and corporate clients.
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Early this week, we brought you the story of a D-Momma who wrote a book about her son’s type 1 diagnosis as an infant, and how she sees the diabetes world now, 20 years on. (Note: today’s the last day to enter that book giveaway!).
We’re excited today to introduce you to another type 1 who was diagnosed at just 14 months in the late 80s, and who wrote a book of her own a few years ago, called “Freckled Fingertips: Short Stories of a Life Long Disease” (published in 2012). Carli Visser is a 28-year-old tech marketing professional who lives in Seattle, WA, with her husband, Case, and their two Boston Terriers. She’s part of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), too, at @FrckldFngrtps on Twitter.
As we’re currently experiencing the hottest months of the year here in the States, Carli was motivated to share her summer struggles with diabetes — how that gets in the way, and yet doesn’t. Take it away, Carli…
A Guest Post by Carli Visser
Now is about the time of year that the itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini starts creeping out of closets and I start looking around for my muumuu. Each year I am less impressed by how much tinier those bikinis are getting. Maybe someday I will get over being self-conscious, but with all these bumps and bruises it is hard to imagine myself parading around in anything less than layers.
I am an old-school syringe and vial type 1 diabetic. I have been diabetic for almost 30 years and my skin shows it. As much as I love the summer sun, I cannot remember a summertime in my life that I’ve been excited to show off my “insulin bumps.” Whether you’re a pumper or old fashioned like me, you know that we all share marks, scars and swelled tissue someplace on our bodies. Unsightly as these insulin bumps are, I must admit it forces some sense of creativity in attire during these summer months.
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The summer months are quickly rolling by and we’re done with another July. And boy — has this been a busy one in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC)!
Hot summer topics range from new doings at the big CWD Friends For Life conference in Florida, to major changes in national leadership, to a beauty queen with diabetes, to new patient-led advocacy initiatives and some surprising new angles on living with D.
Here’s a roundup of those posts caught our eye this month, in no particular order:
Of course, the big news about CEO changes at JDRF and the American Diabetes Association surprised many of us, and we’ve been working hard here at the ‘Mine to get more information about what this all means for the D-Community as we move forward. The ADA should be close to naming an interim leader, so stay tuned for that news, and also early next week, we’ll bring you an exclusive Q&A with the JDRF’s new CEO.
The D-Community came together with a wave of new blog posts on July 22, marking another annual Diabetes Blog Check-In Day (fondly known on Twitter as #DBlogCheck Day). This big “reach out and comment” effort was once again coordinated by Christopher Snider who blogs at A Consequence of Hypoglycemia, and we very much enjoyed reading through and commenting on all of the dozens of posts that went up! Check out the Storify wrap-up on that, too!
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Of course we’re ALL ABOUT the diabetes device hacking and data-sharing efforts going on throughout our D-Community these days — the collective push for open platforms to allow more meaningful access and use of our devices and data known as the #WeAreNotWaiting movement.
One individual working hard on this front is type 1 Doug Kanter in Brooklyn, NY, who several years ago founded a diabetes data software startup called Databetes. We’ve loved being in touch with Doug over the past few years, and most recently welcoming him to our DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange event held in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in June.
Today, we welcome Doug right here at the ‘Mine as he shares more about his own diabetes story and what led up to his Databetes efforts that have captured our community’s attention.
A Guest Post by Doug Kanter
“Your type of diabetes will be cured in the next five years, 10 years tops.”
I still remember my first endocrinologist saying that to me way back in 1994, eight years after my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes at age 12. He was convinced that the product evolution from insulin pump to artificial pancreas would be a fast one.
In the 20 years since, promises of a coming cure have remained on the horizon. While the pace of change remains frustratingly slow, I also find it important to remind myself how much I’ve benefited from advances in diabetes technology. I’m grateful that the same endocrinologist I mentioned above was also an early adopter of insulin pumps and put me on one 27 years ago. And in recent years, my Dexcom CGM has also become an essential part of my treatment.
Yet I don’t need to remind readers here that challenges with this technology remain. My main motivation for creating Databetes and working to design software for patients was frustration with the current batch of software from device manufacturers. The lack of access to all my data, the lack of interoperability between devices, and the lack of software for the Apple platform all contributed. I also wanted to help bring the same level of smart design and functionality that we’ve grown used to on the consumer internet and apply it to the diabetes sector.
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