DPAC APP REVIEW

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) Releases New Advocacy App – Review

If you haven’t heard of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) yet, then you can check them out with the link and you can read everything that I’ve written about them over the last couple of years by clicking on this custom search.

I have been a huge fan of DPAC from the day I found out about them. They have done so much for diabetes advocacy that it’s unreal. They have truly made it so easy and simple to advocate. You can go to their website and just click on your reps names and send them tweets and emails. Seriously, how much easier can it get?

Well, they actually did just make it that much more easier. Like many others, I live on my phone or iPad. I’m connected to it at all times. I love apps. I particularly love apps that do good. And this one does.

Now, you can simply download the DPAC App and advocate right from your phone.

 

Well, here’s my initial review of the app.

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC) App Review Click To Tweet

Once I downloaded the app, it was super easy to set up. You can link to your Facebook or Twitter account or email if you would like. This creates your profile for others to see. I love the idea of building a community around advocacy. It helps me knowing that others are participating in some of the same efforts that I am.

The profile set up part was super easy.

Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition - DPAC App 1

 

By inputting your address, the app is able to figure out exactly who your reps and Senators are and makes it super easy to then contact them.

The next part was to simply take action, already. For me, the easiest, quickest thing to do was going to be to Tweet my Representative. So, that’s what I clicked on. Once you click on Tweet your Representative, a second option pops up for which one you want to tweet to. Click on the button and it will automatically draft your tweet for you. You can add more to the tweet if more characters are available. If you don’t want to edit, then just simply send the tweet.

Finally, you will get confirmation of your tweet and you can go back and start taking more actions.

Earning Points

People are driven by success. Success can be measured in any way that you want to. I am super competitive, in anything. I compete against my diabetes to beat it. I compete against fellow advocates, because I don’t want to be out-advocated. It drives the advocacy efforts.

Doing more to collect points is a way to keep people engaged and keep people doing more. If you’re last on the leaderboard and you feel like you’ve done enough, chances are, you haven’t, so you will want to do more.

Do More.

It’s a quote I have everywhere around my life. Simply, Do More.

Simply Do, Then Do More. Click To Tweet

So, there’s my review. The app is super easy to navigate. It really does make advocating so easy. You can do this while waiting in your doctor’s office, while you’re waiting for the water to boil for dinner, in the bathroom, waiting for your coffee to brew, anywhere!

Download the app here (iOS Link)

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Get Up Out That Seat

First off, Happy Easter everybody.

I recently wrote about my decision to purchase an Apple Watch to help in my diabetes management. One of my favorite things that I didn’t talk about was how the watch reminds me to stand up. As someone who owns a digital marketing agency, an e-commerce craft site and a multitude of affiliate marketing websites, I spend a lot of time in my chair all day. Like, a lot of time. Some times up to 16 hours a day just sitting.

All of that sitting is just horrible.

I have the app set up to remind me to stand up once every 30 minutes. I tend to work, when I plan it out, with the Pomodoro Technique which is work on one task only for 25 minutes an then take 5 minute break and then start back up for 25 minutes. So, I plan my days in 25 minute blocks. During those 5 minutes, I try and stand up and walk around or get a quick game of hide and seek with the kid (perks of working from home).

There are some days that I just sit for 3-4 hours at a time without getting up and oblivious to the world around me. Those are usually project launch days! The watch helps remind me with a little vibration every 30 minutes.

The more and more I use the watch and all of it’s features, the more and more I love it and can’t wait for the next product that Apple releases that can help manage my diabetes.

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Apple Working on a Top Secret Diabetes Project

So, apparently Apple has a secret team of engineers that are working on something diabetes related. I’ve seen it called a “diabetes treatment” as noted in this CNBC Article:

Apple has a secret team working on the holy grail for treating diabetes

Apple is working on a top secret diabetes project and that's awesome! Click To Tweet

What that treatment is seems to be a noninvasive continuous glucose monitor. If this would be built into an Apple Watch, then I guess I will be returning the one I just recently purchased to help me keep track of certain vitals and I will be scooping this new one up whenever it comes out.

This also seems to be the next great fight between tech monsters Apple and Google. Google has been working on the contact lenses for a while now and I still don’t know how those would work. Imagine the FDA approval process on those to be able to dose insulin…. take a number and sit down next to Beetlejuice.

I’ve expressed on my site in the past how I’ve gone from hating everything that Apple stood for and people who used Apple to being an “Apple Fan Boy” and only using Apple products (iMac, 3 iPads, iPhone 7Plus, MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, Apple TV), so to say that I’ve been hoping and wishing for an Apple product to use to help me with this disease would be an understatement.

I’ve been waiting for the day to be able to open up an app on my phone or watch and see everything that I need at that point to make a decision and then bolus from there.

So, here’s to you Apple, doing what you do best. But, can we get back to the innovation days of when Mr. Jobs was there? Please

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CGM's Improve Quality of Life

CGM Improves Quality of Life

When I first read this short article outlining a study titled, “Continuous Glucose Monitoring Improves Quality of Life in T1DM” my initial reaction is….’thanks captain obvious”

The study was conducted by Dr. William Polonsky who I respect to the highest levels. The study was also funded by Dexcom, which is why the study was done, as a simple marketing angle for Dexcom.

I'm a big fan of Dr. William Polonsky and respect him to the highest levels Click To Tweet

Once I really started to think about how a CGM can improve the quality of someone’s life and how obvious that is, I then began to think about how it could in fact decrease the quality of life.

The study mentions that the group with the CGM’s showed a greater decrease in diabetes distress. I’m not 100% sure what distress is defined as, but I know when I wear a CGM, I feel more confident that I’m in more “control” of the situation because I have real-time data (or as close to real-time as I can get).

However, at the same time, it’s a constant reminder to me that I am connected to this device and I’m constantly looking at my watch or phone or PDM to see what my blood sugar levels are. That to me, gets tiring and I get burned out from it quickly and I’d say that it increases my diabetes distress.

The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes I see the headlines of studies that are released and my initial reaction is exactly what I said above, “no crap, I could have told you that” but at the same time, I now realize that maybe it’s not as much of a no-brainer as I originally thought.

Another example is studies that have been released stating that insulin pump therapy may provide better results than MDI. (Don’t quote me on the exact study, but I know I’ve seen it out there). I would initially say, “yea, of course”. But then again, I’ve taken pump breaks and have done just as well on MDI as I did on the pump, so maybe it’s not as obvious as I once thought.

Bottom line is this… don’t be a headline reader. Click on the articles and read the information inside, the meat and potatoes if you will.

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Learning from other Health Communities

Learning from Other Health Communities

Deciding to start this blog almost 10 years ago has totally changed my life. It has provided me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t start it. One example is the ability to meet and talk with people who live with other chronic conditions.

For so many years, I was only surrounded with others who were living with diabetes. Well, after I started blogging, not before, because that’s one of the primary reasons why I started to write in the first place. So, when I thought about chronic diseases, I really just thought about diabetes and how the diabetes world works.

It wasn’t until I started meeting people with other diseases that I was really  able to open up my mind and start thinking about my own disease in a different manner. It allowed me to be open minded about new disease management techniques and questions to ask my doctors. It also made me realize that as someone with type 1 diabetes, I might actually be at risk for some of these other diseases that I see others writing and talking about.

I would start to learn more about certain diseases and conditions because if I was at risk for them, I want to know to warning signs of them. Sort of like I wish I knew the symptoms of diabetes that I was living with for 2 months before I was sent to the ER.

There is a lot to learn from other communities and I think there are a lot of people in the diabetes community that have reached out to other communities to try and figure those things out. For example, the AIDS community has been able to do so much by speaking up and sticking together. Healthcare in general is such a hot topic right now and people from all disease communities have come together to fight together and that’s just awesome to see.

It’s great to see events like the HealtheVoices conference that is happening this month. People from all different kinds of conditions, diseases, backgrounds, nationalities, etc. are meeting together. These type of platforms are where some of the best ideas and collaborations come from. That’s just my opinion for what it’s worth.

I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will definitely be following along with the hashtag #HealtheVoices17 from April 21-23.I will not be attending HealtheVoices but I will be following along with the hashtag… Click To Tweet

Have you had experiences with speaking to people from other health communities and if so, what were you able to learn from them that helped in your diabetes management or advocacy efforts?

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La Croix Changed My Life

Replacing Coffee with La Croix

If you know anything about me, you know that I love coffee. I love coffee too much. I’ll drink it from McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, or my favorite, local coffee shops, especially a cold brew. I used to drink a lot more coffee. Like, a lot more. But, my doctor scared me enough to realize that I was drinking too much coffee and I needed to cut back a bit.

I started to cut out my afternoon coffee, but I still needed the caffeine, so I was drinking a soda. The soda I was also trying to cut out because I was trying to lose weight. And I don’t care what studies say on either side of it, when I drink diet soda, it makes me gain weight, bottom line.

I needed an alternative.

I love water, and I drink a lot of water, but I needed something “special.”

Well, just as I was going through this time period of figuring out what I could substitute the afternoon soda with, I was walking through the grocery store and I saw it. There it was. On sale. BOGO. Buy One Get One Free.

La Croix sparkling water has replaced my afternoon coffee and changed my life! Click To Tweet

La Croix, Naturally Essenced Sparkling Water

I put it in the fridge and got it nice and cold and….. “EWWW” this stuff is disgusting. It was like I was expecting something super sweet like soda because it was carbonated, but it didn’t give me that flavor.

But then, I stuck with it. And now… you can’t separate me from my La Croix. I am now drinking 1-2 cans of La Croix everyday and I love the taste. I love the flavors that they offer.

And most importantly, it has replaced my afternoon soda, which replaced my afternoon coffee. I am not getting the caffeine that I needed, but giving myself the caffeine was just putting a band-aid on the wound, it wasn’t actually fixing the problem, which was, breaking the caffeine habit.

 

So, this is to you La Croix.

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I’ve Ran Out of Infusion Set Placement Sites

My infusion set sites are becoming more and more difficult for me to keep fresh. I can’t wear an infusion site on my stomach. I’ve explained this in the past, but basically, I’m too fat. I have too many “rolls” in my stomach that when I bend or stretch or exercise, the rolls do what they do and roll up. When this happens, no matter what kind of adhesive is being used, the site falls off.

I’ve tried different infusion sets over the years with the trials of all the pumps that I’ve used and they are all the same. So, I just don’t think there’s much that can be done about it.

So, I’m stuck with the upper portion of my buttocks and the mid to top area of my quads. There are only so many spots in these areas that I can inject an infusion set. This is why I take so many insulin pump breaks because I just need to allow these areas some time to “heal”

The other issue is that I use too much insulin. I’ve decreased my usage compared to the last several years, but it’s still not where I want it to be. This leads to the area under the site filling up with insulin too quickly and then pushing up on the cannula which then leads to the infusion site leaking.

This then leads to frustration, which leads to pump breaks, which leads me to not want to be surrounded by all this diabetes technology and just taking it old school to no pump or CGM. That can sometimes lead to bad news, however, I’ve had some success in the past with using Tresiba and Novolog, but that’s a different story for a different time.

All that being said, I am still excited for the MiniMed 670G and can’t wait to get started on it (don’t know when I will yet).

Any recommendations from y’all on some more interesting places to try the infusion site?

Any and all help is totally welcome.

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This Week’s Meal Plan

As you have read earlier, I’m on a long-term diet. More like a lifestyle change as opposed to diet, which we all know don’t last. In order for me to stick to this, I have to meal plan.

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

So, here’s my meal plan:

Monday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chicken sausage, broccoli, assorted sautéed peppers and onions

Tuesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with ground beef, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Lettuce wrap tacos, plantains, cauliflower rice

Wednesday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Italian Baked Chicken, green beans, broccoli

Thursday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Chili

Friday

Breakfast – 3 eggs scrambled with shredded cheddar cheese

Lunch – salad with grilled chicken, onions, shredded cheese, balsamic vinegarette

Dinner – Roasted Red Pepper Marinated Chicken, Spaghetti Squash, bruschetta

Here's my meal plan for the week including Italian baked chicken, chili and lettuce wrap tacos Click To Tweet

Saturday – this is where all hell breaks loose. I lose control of my diet and my willpower. It’s primarily because I am not at home and I am on the go. Being on the go is what is just so tempting.

When I do eat out from now on, it’s salad. Or some grilled chicken with a side salad.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures of final meals on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there – @chrisstocker

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Easter Egg Hunting and a Pump in the Wild

Easter egg hunting time.

Since our daughter just turned two, this was her first Easter Egg hunt. And, it may be her last.

The parents at these Easter egg hunts are just unbelievable. Trampling people in order to get their kid into the egg hunt area even though there were 5 different sessions that they could get into it. Then, how ignorant they are to scoop up the eggs themselves instead of letting the kids do it because they want to get a special picture opportunity.

Unbelievable.

So, where’s the diabetes tie in here?

While we were standing in the long line, I looked down and saw a pump in the wild! A lady in front of me was wearing a Medtronic pump. It’s great seeing a pump in the wild, however, I felt like I was in the wild with these Easter Egg Hunt Parents!

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Giveaways within Newsletter

One of the perks (or downsides) of blogging is that PR pitches are always sent your way. A lot of the time, I just say no thanks to all the books and products that are emailed to me because I know that I’m not going to read them or use them. However, lately, I’ve decided to start saying yes. And what I’m going to do with all of those products is give them away.

So every Saturday at 9 a.m. The Life of a Diabetic Weekly Recap will be going out. Every Saturday there will be a new giveaway announced in the email. Each giveaway will have a different way to enter, but, the only way that you can win is by being subscribed to the newsletter. 

You can sign up here – http://thelifeofadiabetic.com/wordpress/newsletter-signup

Welcome to the club.

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