I was having a gentle peruse of Mike’s review of the Diabetes UK Professional Conference and I was struck by a few things. Firstly, it was good to get an insight into what’s being talked about in the world of diabetes, so if you have no qualms about being unfaithful to us and wantonly read other blogs, we won’t be too upset if you meander over.
But more importantly, people said things there that echoed what the esteemed writers of this blog have been saying over the years. Which of course means that Tim and I take this as confirmation of the strong belief we’ve always had that we’re right about everything.
Let me give you just two examples (because including them all would make this piece very long, or there were only two areas where our vast library of posts crossed over with what was being said – I’ll let you decide):
People fix diabetes not pumps:
Mike writes: “Simon Heller [Professor of Clinical Diabetes] said, ‘You can’t take someone with a high HbA1c and say, ‘You need a pump, that will fix it’, because it simply isn’t true.’ His argument was that as good as the technology is, people need a lot more help, support and training in managing their own diabetes in order for that technology to work well.”
A mere 6 years ago in 2010 Alison’s pump was on this particular soapbox as it so eloquently said (what do you mean your pump doesn’t talk?) “We are the crème de la crème of diabetes control mechanisms, when it comes to 24 hour, adjustable insulin delivery systems they don’t come much better than us. But sadly we are only as good as the idiot we’re attached too.”
Words are more important than you think in healthcare:
Mike quotes diabetes consultant Partha Kar, saying “It isn’t about the latest super insulin, it isn’t about the flashy technology…it’s only about one thing- YOUR ability as a professional to engage and communicate with the patient- move away from the “how’s your blood sugars?” to “how are you”… till that day, we will not be able to improve outcomes – however much resource we magic up.”
Alison’s plea from 2013 when faced with a barrage of ill-thought-through comments from healthcare professionals “Words are one of the most potentially treacherous tools available to a healthcare team. So when it comes to delivering healthcare, could people just have a little think about the impact of what they say? It sounds like such a teeny, tiny thing, but when you’re on the receiving end of it week in week out it wears you down. And it devalues the message you’re trying to give.”
I could choose to be depressed when I realise that non-radical suggestions about the need to educate patients and talk to them in a constructive manner are still being talked about by a few leading lights, when they should be such a standard part of all diabetes care that they don’t even merit a mention.
But I’ve banged my head on that wall too many times. I prefer to take a more constructive approach and say that now it’s been proven we speak sense in at least two areas (or that we’re good at picking out quotes where people agree with us), let’s not waste any more time. I propose we start implementing all of Shoot Up’s recommendations immediately. What should we recommend first with our new-found (self-bestowed) powers?