Sunday, October 28, 2012

October DSMA Blog Post

I love the DOC. I spend 20-30 minutes once every three months with my amazing HCP, but the DOC is a community that supports me daily. I question, I listen, and I learn. I have learned more in the past 6 months participating in the DOC than I have in the three and half years pre-DOC. Here are the top three things that I have learned and think my HCP could learn as well..

1. Living with this disease each day is not as black and white as you make it out to be.
The DOC helps me with the day-to-day work that living with this disease takes. You can treat me medically by changing my dosage during my visits, but my visits should be more than a three month data check-in. Listen to my concerns and help me figure out a path. I have been working on re-integrating exercise into my life for two years now. I still don't have a clear plan for dealing with lows and timing. I've even read Colberg's Diabetic Athlete Handbook. It's frustrating to negotiate these challenges on my own. When I tell you that every time I play ultimate, my blood sugar rises, it does. You have to help me figure that out, not dismiss it like it doesn't happen. That is what the DOC does, it validates my every day experiences.

2. Everyone has a story and it is as important as their numbers.
 Don't judge me by my A1C. A number doesn't define who I am as a diabetic. What I love and learn from the DOC are the stories. People in the DOC have varying levels of experience and expertise. We share a common goal, to live a rich healthy long life despite the obstacles of managing our disease. Our stories shared in 140 micro-bites on Twitter or longer in blog posts reveal the uniqueness of our journey and provide guide points toward the steps we choose to take each day. I hope you learn to take time to hear my story too. The data points that I share with you are superfluous without my story.

3. I am a work-in-progress managing my disease. 
 We all are works-in-progress to quote my mentor, Dr. Janet Allen. You, as an HCP, are a work-in-progress helping me managing my disease. What you knew yesterday may not help me today. The DOC opens up a world larger than textbooks. I can sit side-by-side with people when they are at professional conferences and we can link into research that would be inaccessible 10 years ago. The DOC provides efficient timely access to information that matters most to me. Some of it might matter to you too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

National Day on Writing

Gallery of Student Writing
What do you write?  As an English teacher and a teacher of teachers, I write every day.  I don't always write for myself, unfortunately, and when I write,  I don't always publish it on my blog.  I write, however, knowing that I am a model, a model for my student writers and for future teachers of writers. I write, knowing, my daughter is often looking over my shoulder and I am her model too.

6/2011-6/2012 Work Journals
I don't always share my work. Publishing is a tricky process for me.  My work journals leave a road map of the decisions made and ideas shared.  It often becomes an important reference tool over time.  No one needs to see these notes, but they help me keep the destination in sight.  Depending on my time and state of mind, I share my writing in virtual spaces. I micro-write---lines on Twitter or Facebook with the expectation that someone will read it and respond.  Time permitting or thoughts burning, I write longer and publish it here.  People don't always comment on a blog, but I see their tracks.  I like to think that my words moved people, personally or professionally.  

My husband writes and draws to entertain. I write about my life to reveal my "life as it happens." (a line stolen from NPR today)  I write to process my work with teaching and learning, reading and writing, and teens. I write to document and think through my every day challenges of managing a chronic disease. I write mostly to provide hope.  Hope for myself and maybe for others on their journey.  Wherever or whatever, I write, my words are fingerprints that mark who I am or where I was on my journey.As I look back, I can see that the work doesn't get easier, but I get better, which is why "What I Write" matters.