Diabetes Blog Week: Is My Business…Your Business?

It’s day 2 of Diabetes Blog Week, and here is the prompt.

Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see. What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet? Or from your family and friends? Why is it important to keep it to yourself? (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone. There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects. Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won’t tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)

When I say “business” above, I mean literally.

Diabetes and healthcare became my career path when, as a soon-to-be-unemployed college senior, I started looking at job and volunteer postings with gusto. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to live. The economy was in the tank. Well…., I thought to myself, what am I passionate about? What do I care most about?

While I wish I could be a professional U2 groupie, I also have at least a scrap of logic. So I started searching for listings that included “diabetes.”

Lo and behold, I found an Americorps position in New York City through Community Health Corps. I applied, got in, moved to the Big Apple, and…it stuck. Six years after those Google searches, I still help patients with diabetes, through counseling or encouragement or concrete services like yelling at insurance companies for not covering test strips.

My business life has given me great insight into issues facing the diabetes online community and my personal life with the big D. I try to chime in when there might be useful information to share. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, I shared info about patient assistance programs for insulin and test strips. I’ve waded into conversations about clinical guidelines for newly diagnosed T2s, and whether or not they need to see an endo. (Answer: generally not right away! Usually a PCP works with a T2 patient to manage diabetes, and refers to an endo if their A1C remains persistently high.)

But there’s a world of patient stories that I don’t have the right to share. There are my own feelings of burnout, both with healthcare and with my own diabetes after talking D all day at work. There are worries about our broken healthcare (sick care) system that nag at me, and especially the ways in which hospitals as we know them are very bad at fixing the root causes that make people sick– namely, poverty and social inequality. I’m bad at talking about that last point as much as I should.

For privacy I try to stay semi-anonymous about my work, although I’m sure anyone with a certain amount of google-fu could figure it out. There are two sides to my diabetes life, business and personal. If you read here, you’re much more likely to get the personal. Most of the professional stuff…..I’m keeping to myself for now.

Read more Day 2 posts here.

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