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Diabetes Criminals And Diabetes Police

At TCOYD [Taking Control Of Your Diabetes], one of the sessions I attended was about Diabetes Police (Healthcare Providers) and Diabetes Criminals (People With Diabetes). And I was a little taken aback by the title of the session, but we used it to our advantage when we walked into the session a few minutes after it had already started.

“Okay, we see a few late stragglers in here. It’s not like they had to be on time or anything,” Dr. Edelman quipped from the front of the room, giving us a smirk.  

“I’m sorry we’re late. But what do you expect? We’re the criminals, man!” I shot back at him. And the crew of us “criminals” took up the last few rows, our smartphones at the ready to Tweet out the best of the session. (We were the total nerd row.

The charismatic team of Dr. Bill Polansky and Dr. Steve Edelman were running this session, and it was packed with both PWDs [people with diabetes], caregivers, and medical professionals. Bill and Steve took to the white board, asking first for complaints that PWDs have about healthcare providers. Read more »

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

An Open Letter To My Pancreas

Unemployed pancreas.

Dear Pancreas,

I’m not sure what the hell happened to you, but you’ve taken it upon yourself to stop working.  You did have that job for about six years, where you got up early every day and produced my insulin, but apparently that was too much for you.  You were laid off or fired or something.  Don’t blame it on that virus again.  I think you just slept through the alarm and were let go and you just don’t want to admit it.

All you do is sit around, hiding out behind my stomach, reading smut novels and watching reruns of The Facts of Life.  Sure, you push out the occasional juices and you can sound important when you talk about “trypsinogen” and “chymotrypsinogen,” but you and I both know that you don’t do much.  It’s not even like you empty the dishwasher or anything.  The least you could do, after I’ve been testing blood sugar levels and bolusing all day long, is have dinner on the table when I come home.  Is that too much to ask? Read more »

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

Type 1 Diabetes & Pregnancy: What It Feels Like

Do you know how hard it was to not tell you guys I am pregnant?  Sitting on that information for three months was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done.  There were SO MANY questions I wanted to ask, and so many stories I wanted to share, but I knew it was best to keep my mouth shut until we were past a certain point.  And it is still early in our pregnancy, all things considered, so I shared our news with hopeful optimism and in hopes of some positive thoughts being sent our way.

And holy crap do you guys deliver.  I’ve read every comment on the Dear Baby post, even though I’ve had to take breaks to grab tissues because you made me tear up quite a bit.  My husband, my mom, and my mother-in-law are reading the comments, too.  And they say thanks for the support as well.  🙂

So now you know.  And now I can talk about what the past three months have been like.  (Video to come this afternoon.) Read more »

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

Cartoon Caption Contest Winners!

Thanks for the many entries in Better Health’s first cartoon caption contest. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted some of them several days after they’d been submitted (I was too aggressive with my anti-spam efforts). But they were all included in the contest. Our judges really struggled with choosing a winner… so they narrowed it to 2 and made them both winners!

Would you agree that it’s a toss up? Both authors will receive a Better Health t-shirt. I hope it makes them as happy as this guy. Thanks for participating!

Winner #1: Kerri Morrone Sparling “Please sign here and here and then I can write about you on my blog.”

Winner #2: Rob Falconer “Yes, we do normally weigh patients naked, Miss Saggar, but I think we’ll make an exception in your case.”

And just for a bit of trivia – the artist’s (Dr. Val’s) original caption read: “Mrs. Chen’s medical questionnaire was unremarkable except for her fine print at the end of page 3: ‘allergic to geodon.'”

A Year In The Life Of A Woman With Type 1 Diabetes

My friend and fellow blogger Kerri Morrone Sparling has created a photo montage (one photo taken each day for 365 consecutive days) of her life with diabetes. It is a fascinating pictorial experience  that somehow captures the reality of the disease – and living life to the fullest despite daily blood sugar monitoring.

Please take the time to experience it here.

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Cartoon

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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