Thursday, March 5, 2015

Stories Needed!

A bionic-zombie super-teacher is how I often describe myself.  My faulty pancreas has been replaced by an electronic device, an insulin pump, and my right knee functions well due to a cadaver ACL tendon. I am strong and healthy and I am lucky to have an amazing health insurance.

Less than two weeks ago I upgraded my Animas Ping to the newly FDA approved Animas Vibe. It combines two machines, a continuous glucose monitor and an insulin pump into one device.  On the surface the Vibe and the Ping look quite the same.  The Vibe, however, is new and improved.  It receives data every five minutes from a wireless transmitter that I wear.  It is the best on the market according to my healthcare provider and the deviation from my actual blood glucose to the device readout is only about 9%.  I get high alerts. I get low alerts. I get fancy graphs that show my BG from one hour to the past 24 hours.

I still, however, haven't harnessed  the power of the all the data pieces. It was still too new for my HCP and I to use it appropriately to make some decisions when we visited this week. I now receive 288 blood glucose readings a day whereas I used to only have 6-8.  That is a ton of data to digest. Despite all of the data, the points are all irrelevant if she and I have no idea about my daily routines or any thing that may have made outlier data appear as we examine the readings for patterns.  The data matters; the story matters in both my personal and professional life.

I like to keep my data in mind as I muddle through student data in my job.  I am responsible for 1200 students who are in reading classes at our school.  I am bombarded with data.  Data from reading programs. Data from kids' pasts.  Data from other schools. Data from the state.  I am transformed by my students and their stories, their struggle.   I am challenged constantly to make sense of it all with their teachers. We muddle through the data and our instructional stories each day to make decisions As we enter into what has evolved into  testing season formerly known as spring, we need to be the teller of our story since everyone will learn about the data, but we know they need they story.
How will you share your story?


  1. Thank you for sharing your story! My sister-in-law has to see the doctor weekly to test how thin or thick her blood is because she had two open heart surgeries to repair a congenital hole in her heart (She was 42 at the time!) and replace a valve. They need to make a machine like yours that monitors blood PT/INR.

    1. A tool like that would be amazing for her!

  2. I definitely think of the story as data too. I think too many people don't.

  3. Blogspot really hates me since I left. Anyway, I was going to say that you're so right - all of those numbers are confusing and, possibly, meaningless without a story.


Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Your words matter!