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Diabetes Bingo

Recently, I reconnected with a long-lost local PWD (person with diabetes) named Ryan. Last time Ryan and I saw one another we were talking about diabetes goal-setting and dealing with wicked bouts of burnout. And this week I received an email from him with a brilliant idea about how to stay motivated towards setting — and reaching — diabetes-related goals.

“I’ve had this ‘pyramid’ for about three months now. Just something that I keep near my desk to keep me focused on my diabetes. After completion of the pyramid, I have no clue what I will do but some kind of celebration will be in order,” he wrote, and attached a slide to his image. And when I opened it, I was like “whoa.”

He had created a pyramid of his diabetes goals. Tangible goals — real-life goals — that are both achievable and ambitious, all at once. I thought this was so clever because it is a constant but non-threatening reminder of what diabetes goals are most top-of-mind for him. (Also, having a celebration at the end of that pyramid completion sounds like a quality idea. Perhaps a Fudgy the Whale?)

I’ve been working towards gaining better control of my diabetes (and overall health) lately, and I love the idea of something I can print out, stick to my fridge, and remain inspired by. I liked the idea of a pyramid, but I kept picturing a huge bingo hall in my mind, with a whole bunch of PWDs sitting at the tables with glucose tabs and bingo markers at the ready. But the trick wasn’t getting four in a row, it was filing the whole card.

I thought about my own personal goals and created this:

Diabetes bingo.  Have at it, Google.

There are a few not-necessarily-diabetes-related goals on there (like “lose 6 pounds,” which is because I’m still trying to de-flump), but there are a lot of diabetes goals that aren’t unique to my particular circumstances. Since I’m trying to emerge from some diabetes burnout, my goals aren’t as tight as they were a few months ago (i.e. the slow progression from an A1C over 8 to one under 7.5). But these are real, and I’m hoping to fill the card within six months. Thanks for the fun idea, Ryan!

What would be on your bingo card?

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Diabetes And Precision Carb Guessing

A  diabetes-friendly Happy Meal.  :: rimshot ::I keep measuring cups in my purse so that I can measure out my dinners out to be exact. I keep a small food scale in the glove compartment of my car so I am never guessing how many ounces a certain item might be. And I have the Calorie King booklet in my pocket at all times, so that I’m never left guessing. I even sewed pockets into all my clothes, just to bring the booklet around.

(The previous paragraph is filled with lies. Big, fat ones.)

I wish I was a precision carb counter. I wish I had the patience for it, always either eating pre-packaged and factory-analyzed foods or spending my time carefully measuring and weighing any home cooked adventures. But I am not a precision carb counter. I’m a precision carb guesser. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Monitor Blood Glucose (And Look Cool) With A Nano-Tattoo

Millions of people with diabetes are forced to endure multiple finger pricks daily — an unpleasant practice that may impede compliance, and whose reliability is operator-dependent.

Now, Dr. Paul Barone and Dr. Michael Strano at the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering are developing a new approach to glucose monitoring.

Building on work they previously published in ACS Nano, the new technology employs a nanoparticle “tattoo” as a glucose sensor, which can then be continuously monitored by a device on the surface of the body. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Why Are iPods Cooler Than Glucose Monitors?

dbmine-design-challenge-2009-small-iconThat’s the $10,000 question. My friend and fellow health blogger, Amy Tenderich is hosting a design contest to encourage “coolness” to flow the way of diabetes-related technology. Now that’s a good cause! Here’s the 411 from Amy:

About 21 million Americans live with diabetes, yet the devices we rely on generally don’t hold a candle to the sleek design of consumer electronics (think iPod)… So patients are going “grassroots” to improve the design of tools for treating diabetes:

On Monday morning, we’ll be announcing opening of the 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a San Francisco blog-based competition calling for innovative design concepts (devices or web applications) that will improve life with diabetes.

This year, the contest is sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), with a Grand Prize of $10,000.  It’s also supported by global innovation firm IDEO and by, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies.

The competition is open to ANYONE with a good idea: patients, parents, startup companies, design & medical students, developers, engineers, etc.

The contest is hosted at

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