August 14, 2010

Roche 2010 Social Media Summit conference call

Scott Johnson posted on August 11, 2010, his summary of the teleconference call as that will be quarterly for those of us that had attended the Roche 2010 Social Media Summit. Excellent post Scott.

The one point Scott made that I think needs repeating here is that social media does include more than just blogging. I agree that some of what is said may be over the terminology or semantics of a word. I do think that instead of using terms like “blog roll” or “blogs”, we should consider the term “diabetes social media roll” or DSMR to include all of the social media, even possibly “diabetes social media community” (DSMC).

While I am only involved in the blogging aspect of social media, I must remind my readers that we had several present at the Roche summit that were from other aspects of the diabetes social media community.

Charlie Cherry is involved with production of podcasts of topics on diabetes and interviews of people with diabetes and leaders in the diabetes community. Included was Kelly Close, who writes at diaTribe, an on-line diabetes news publication, Manny Hernandez who owns several diabetes on-line services, including TuDiabetes. David Edelman, who is not a person with diabetes, but owns a forum on Diabetes Daily and includes feature blog writers in a blog area of which Scott is one of the featured writers. Also in attendance was Kitty Castellini from Diabetes Living Today, who with her partner broadcast an on-line radio broadcast.

There were others that are not necessarily bloggers per se, but we cannot say that Roche has excluded those who do not blog. While the majority were from the blogging community, many of the bloggers also participate in Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I am sure there are other areas of the social media that I haven't mentioned, but least I am confident that Roche has included a good variety of social media in their summit.

I generally do not participate in surveys, but for the Roche survey I did do my part. I am also disappointed that only about 60% of us did reply. This was an excellent opportunity to have our say in the development of future summits. The other 40% should sit up and take notice that their lack of input does them and the rest of the diabetes social media community a disservice.

I may not be as concerned about how the participants are selected to attend; however, Roche in their survey did give those participating an opportunity to nominate potential participants for future summits. I did nominate several people from outside the USA for consideration. I like the idea of having an international flavor for our summit and we can learn about what is happening in other countries. Who knows, the cure for diabetes may well originate outside the USA.

Several of the comments to Scott's blog were well placed about the need for type 1 advocacy and the help they need. As a type 2, I will not cry foul, as the need is definitely there and must be met. I would say that with more children now developing type 2 and the same for young adults, both sides need any assistance that can be offered by the on-line community and any diabetes supply manufacturers, diabetes drug manufacturers, and others willing to put forth the effort that Roche is now doing.

So I will recommend that you take time to read Scott's post. He has some excellent thoughts in areas that I did not cover.

August 12, 2010

Dangerous Myths – Myths Part 2

Are there really dangerous diabetes myths? For those that believe them, yes. Many people believe some of the strangest things when it comes to diabetes.

Do injections hurt? I have been asked this many times. While I have never liked needles, I have been known to flinch when having blood drawn, and it seems like I will never get the needle in when injecting my own insulin. I have had few actually painful injections, but occasionally I will hit a nerve, but not that often.

Even when having blood drawn, most nurses have actually been very good at not causing pain, while others can never hit a vein and cause me much pain. Some even go thru the vein and wonder why there is no blood until they withdraw the needle.

Most of us do have to get over the fear and realize that our lives, and good health, demand that we use insulin and inject ourselves several times a day. This to me is a small problem and I have been able to overcome it.

Some of the more dangerous fairy tales about insulin really get to me and makes me wonder why we have some of the medical professionals we do. Too many doctors use insulin as a threat to get diabetes patients to get serious about controlling their blood glucose with oral medications. Often the side effects of some oral medications are far more dangerous than insulin.

Then our unenlightened medical professionals tell us that we have failed and that is the reason we need to take insulin.  Failed - - - I don't think so!  Most people that feel this way have been programed that way by our medical pros.  These patients need to reevaluate the instructions and guidance they have received. Many have been told to eat far too many carbohydrates for control of their diabetes and for some people their bodies are unable to handle this level of carbohydrates.  Also many patients have not been told to exercise.

Even more problematic are the medical professionals that feel we should not have meters to have readings of our blood glucose levels. They worry that seeing the high levels of blood glucose for the carbohydrates they have told us to eat will only discourage or cause depression in these patients. If you have any of these types of medical pros, I strongly suggest finding another doctor.

Everyone has different needs based on their body and body chemistry and until the medical pros wake up and realize this, it is a small miracle that so many type 2 people with diabetes are as healthy as they are. If it was not for the patients becoming proactive in their own care, many would soon end up with the more serious problems of the accompanying diabetes complications. Some doctors do realize that one treatment does not fit all, but we as patients also need to learn this and make our doctors aware of this. We need to learn how to stand up for what we need.

What is disturbing to me has been stated to me by other people with type 2 diabetes. The statement is that only type 1 people can see an endocrinologist. While it is understandable that people with type 1 diabetes want to see an endocrinologist, many type 2 patients also see them, and not just those type 2 patients on insulin.

A lot of the problems arise from the fact that in many areas of this country, local endocrinologists do not exist as they are not drawn to sparsely populated areas and therefore some people can have hundreds of miles commute round-trip to see one. In heavily populated areas it is easy to find them. The problem is finding one that is a good fit for you or has any openings for new patients.

Another misconception is some people with type 2 diabetes do not think they have a serious disease and therefore do not need to worry about changing their lifestyle or eating habits. No this is not denial, they truly feel this way and their doctors have done nothing to explain the seriousness of diabetes. Why is this so? Often these people are in good physical condition and have taken care of themselves, or in other words, they are not over weight.

It is only when the complications set in that they get the wake-up call that they have something serious. Even then some do not heed the call and wonder why they are called upon to have this complication or these complications – remember their body mass index (BMI) is ideal so it should not be happening to them. I even had one of these people actually tell me this when they found out I did not have any retinopathy or kidney problems, in other words, because I am overweight and they are not. Life can be so unfair.

August 8, 2010

Methods of food preparation

In my blog about avoiding bland food, I mentioned different methods of food preparation. Now I will try to explain the advantages of the many methods of preparing tasty meals.

Before purchasing any equipment that you might want, check the local library to read cookbooks or books for each type of cooking. This will let you know whether you want to try any appliance. Most of the equipment is available on line or in stores in your area. The telephone will save much running from store to store by asking what cooking utensils they carry and what the prices are. I highly recommend carefully reading the instructions with each appliance. I do not use the pressure cooker regularly, but the slow cooker and steamer get regular use.

Use of a pressure cooker is much easier today and meals prepared in them are much tastier. Cooking with pressure cookers, slow cookers, and steamers for me has been an education and an enjoyable experience. I have had to learn how to place the food in each appliance for best cooking.

I do enjoy the pressure cooker for some cuts of meat and chicken as the herbs and spices can provide some great tastes and fill the house with a pleasant aroma. I like this for many vegetables as the cooking time is short and they come out with the taste of the herbs and spices infused in them.

Some vegetables are best in the steamer especially broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and some others. Some people will disagree, but this is my preference. I enjoy many fish meals from the steamer as well. I also like some fish prepared by the poaching method. How you cook is up to you and your taste preferences.

For some cuts of beef and pork, and occasionally chicken, the slow cooker works great and when you add celery, onions, and some other vegetables with herbs and spices, yummy. Sometimes when left to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, the next day also adds flavor that sometimes is not there the first time. You do need the space in the refrigerator and this can be a drawback if you are lazy like me to transfer to another container. I love to use some cling wrap and put the lid back on top and let sit until the next meal.

I am still experimenting with the wok, but in general I have to relearn everything as I don't like the oily taste and broth seems to boil away too quickly. Once in a while, I do have a success or two.

I thought when I purchased my new stove, I could go back to pan frying some foods by using broth or other liquids, but I need to relearn there also. By using the marinading methods below, this has helped keep the meats from drying out and becoming too bland.

I do use the stock pots more and especially the electric ones as this allows for browning meats and then cutting them in smaller sizes and slowly cooking them in herbs and spices. This works especially well for chicken and turkey and lean meats. Then I can add a measured quantity of fat or broth (low sodium when possible) and have several good meals. Or I use my own broth when we have it available and that is mostly no sodium, which I really like.

I have a difficult time getting the barbeque sauce to thicken properly that I make myself, but I am not fond of many of these dishes so I don't go to the effort. I will use the broiler in the oven on occasion, but here I do not do this in the summer to keep down the heat and cause the air-conditioner to work overtime. The wintertime is my time for baked dishes and broiled foods. Yes, some of these can be somewhat bland, but I make some sauces to put over them which helps.

I am doing less cooking now that my wife has taken over most of the cooking, but we still do a lot of it the same. For me it was learning to properly use the cooking utensils and appliances to know what each is capable of and how the herbs and spices mix with and in the foods that makes for tasty meals. After my first wife passed, it took me about a year of experimentation to really appreciate cooking, but I was and am able to learn. This is where the pleasure of using herbs and spices (maybe not always correctly) has kept me away from the highly processed foods and away from the bland foods that I hear so many people with diabetes complain about.

Thanks to my daughter, I learned about marinading meats and really like the Food Saver marinade container which vacuum seals and assists in drawing the marinade into the meats. This means instead of doing it for eight hours or overnight, I can forget and still do a very adequate job in one half to two hours depending on the meat and/or cut of meat.

If you are a person that likes to grill, marinading meats does keep them from being quite so dry. I have a thing about fighting insects so this is not something I enjoy doing outside as I don't need that added protein. If you enjoy this, then go for it.