Any diabetes questions for Parliament?

I’m off to Westminster on Wednesday, 25 April to attend the JDRF Type 1 Parliament event. Everyone’s second favourite pump company Animas are one of the co-sponsors of the event and emailed to see if I wanted to attend as their guest. In exchange for my train fare and a bed for the night, I said I’d love to head off to sunny London to do a bit of lobbying.

Sixty-something type 1’s will be at the Houses of Parliament to start the day by explaining the realities of diabetes to their local MP, in a bid to get them motivated around moving diabetes up the political agenda. Following that, it’s question time with a panel of the great and the good of politics and diabetes, including the Minister of State for Science and an assortment of medical bods. They’ll be taking questions on all aspects of Type 1 – from insulin pump availability, to where research should be focussed, to the need to provide improved psychological support and beyond.

I’m planning to ask how the panel thinks we can best improve take up of new treatments such as insulin pumps and CGM, which all too often are invented and then left sitting on the shelf, inaccessible to the majority of people. If you’ve got a question you’d like me to ask, leave me a comment and I’ll be your mouthpiece for the day.

First insulin injection given 90 years ago today

This dog was interested to read that the first ever insulin injection was given 90 years ago today on 11 January 1922. Made from extract of boiled cow and ultimately causing an allergic reaction in the human guinea pig, it was a good start, but it’s pleasing to see they’ve refined things a bit over the years.

They say insulin revolutionised diabetes treatment, but that feels like a bit of an understatement.

Today seems like a good day to celebrate having merely a chronic condition, rather than an inevitably terminal one.

Poll results – what medical identification should a diabetic use?

Odd Sverressøn Klingenberg
Odd Sverressøn Klingenberg, Norwegian Minister of Social Affairs 1920-1921, who might have voted in this poll. Possibly.

Well, well, well, well, well, well, well, it’s that time of the month again – the eagerly anticipated poll results post. Huzzah!

Last time we asked what medical identification should a diabetic use. As usual the silly result came top, with “Tattoo saying ‘diabetic’ on forehead & brass bell” garnering 46% of the vote and thus commanding a clear majority. I’ve rushed out to buy shares in brass bell companies this afternoon and I advise you to do the same.

In second place came “A discrete bracelet or dog tag” with 35% of the vote. This is my preferred option. Though I’m afraid to report that my dog tag generally remains in my bedside cabinet and rarely graces my neck, which entirely defeats the purpose of owning said dog tag.

Down in the dog-end of the results came “Nothing – I hate wearing medical ID” with 7% and the deeply cynical answer of “Nothing – nobody would look at it anyway” coming close behind with 6%. Finally, “Wallet ID” trailed in last with 6%.

So there we have it.

This month to tie-in with Diabetes Week (woo.) we’re asking how many people you tell about your diabetes. Cast your vote over there (**points slightly downwards and to the right of your screen**)

Those results in full:

Tattoo saying “diabetic” on forehead & brass bell (46%, 61 Votes)
A discrete bracelet or dog tag (35%, 47 Votes)
Nothing – I hate wearing medical ID (7%, 9 Votes)
Nothing – nobody would look at it anyway (6%, 8 Votes)
Wallet ID (6%, 8 Votes)

Poll results – Who do you think is the most useless member of your healthcare team?

Shoot Up readers wait to vote in this month's poll
Shoot Up readers wait to vote in this month’s poll

Like the cyclical inevitability of a routine A1C test, the results of the monthly poll have come round again. Last month your soaraway Shoot Up questioned who was the most useless member of your healthcare team.

Only 15% of you voted for yourselves – the patient. I suspect if we had run this poll exclusively with health care professionals the results would be different, with a significantly higher proportion of votes for the patients. But there we have it, patients and doctors not seeing eye to eye. Who’da thunk it?

Speaking of doctors, General Practitioners topped the poll with 34% of the vote. You lot just don’t like generalists do you? And, as Barry Norman would say, why not? This top result was fairly closely followed by dieticians with 22% of the vote. The general consensus divined from earlier comments on the blog was that dieticians were generally regarded as lovely but mainly useless. I imagine the dieticians reading this over their nut roast and low fat crème fraiche dinners won’t know whether to laugh or cry. I would do the former, followed closely by the latter.

Down at the bottom of the poll, with remarkably few votes, were pharmacists and specialist nurses. I’m not sure why pharmacists got off so lightly. Maybe you were all just feeling generous. As always, specialist nurses seem to be a popular choice – probably because they’re about the most knowledgeable and empathetic of our healthcare team.

Finally, optometrists garnered no votes at all – the first time that’s happened in a Shoot Up poll. Maybe we are all secret masochists who enjoy the Drops of Doom™ or having that horrible air-puffy thing in our eyes done. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

Anyway, this month we ask “How often do you meet up with other diabetics?” Cast your votes now! (Points to the bottom of the front page or to the right hand side if you’re in any other bit of the site).

Those results in full:

Who do you think is the most useless member of your healthcare team?

  •     General Practitioner (34%)
  •     Dietician (22%)
  •     Hospital Consultant (17%)
  •     The Patient (15%)
  •     Pharmacist (7%)
  •     Specialist Nurse (5%)
  •     Optometrist (0%)


Comatose and rotting toes – the lighter side of insulin dependency