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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Help Wanted"

I haven't been logging much for the last two weeks.

It doesn't hurt. The world is not falling apart. In fact, I have not noticed a single bad thing as a result of not logging.

Do you know what happens when you burn your hand? It hurts. Bad. As soon as you begin to experience the pain, your reflexes yank your hurting appendage away from the item causing the pain. You don't think about it - it just happens. Automatically. There is an association built, at a very basic level, that makes you remember what happened and not to do it again. Then your hand continues to hurt afterwards for a while, depending on how bad it was burned. The healing process starts, and your avoidance association is firmed up even more.

The action that you took which burned your hand? Yeah, you're probably not going to do that again. At least not willingly.

This is something that Kevin and I have talked about before. The lack of immediate consequences for less than great control. It's quiet. It's subtle. It's slow.

Until something happens.

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Help Wanted - Inquire Within

JOB TITLE: Personal Diabetic S.W.A.T. Enforcer

COMPANY: Scott's Diabetic Life, LLC

JOB DESCRIPTION: As a PDSWATE you will be completely responsible for:

  • monitoring Scott's decisions and actions
  • maintaining, updating, categorizing a complicated database of situations and scenarios - drawing upon that to recommend and suggest solutions for present conditions
  • having a complete nutritional information database (constantly updated) in your head
  • accurately counting and measuring all food items
  • recording all blood glucose test results
  • detailed recording of any/all factors that may impact blood glucose levels
  • always, ALWAYS having multiple sources of fast acting glucose close at hand
  • maintaining all prescriptions and medical equipment inventories
  • carrying with you, at all times, an exhaustive supply of back up supplies
  • infusing a load bearing supply of motivation each morning and whenever else needed
  • holding all calls, appointments and responsibilities when Scott needs a break
  • providing some tangible encouragement when positive steps are taken
  • immediately burning the shit out of Scott with a cattle-prod when self destructive steps are taken (you know, reinforcing that bad association)

REQUIREMENTS & QUALIFICATIONS:

  • complete knowledge of the normal human metabolism
  • in depth knowledge of diabetes and best practices for management and it's effect on the metabolism
  • in depth knowledge of diabetes and best practices for handling emergency trauma situations
  • ability to communicate with doctors and other health care professionals, on their level
  • ability to communicate with Scott, on his level
  • expert knowledge in nutrition (and cooking)
  • detailed knowledge of the health insurance industry
  • in depth knowledge of hospital and clinical procedures
  • ability to empower and motivate
  • high level of care, concern and compassion
  • background in exercise physiology and personal fitness training
  • excellent communication skills (sometimes (maybe often) you will need to tell Scott "No", in a way that will not damage your relationship)
  • a constant connection to the diabetes community, collecting and sharing relevant and helpful information
  • ability to stay up 24 hours each day, forever, to keep watch. No sleeping on the job.
  • must be willing to work 7 days a week, with no time off. Ever. Even holidays & weekends.

REPORTS TO: Scott Johnson

PAY RANGE: $0 - $0, potential for annual bonus of $0

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Until filled

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All interested candidates may contact Scott Johnson directly.

12 Comments:

Blogger Kelsey said...

Seriously, we all need one of those!

Sadly, we're the only ones who can do this job. But writing it all out sure makes you realize how much effort goes into diabetes management!

We all deserve a raise! :)

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Caro said...

Sigh. I wish diabetes management were paid. We'd all be very rich.

I hate to break it to you Scott, but I think you're the only person who can truly fulfill this role, as we each are for ourselves.

BUT, we can all support each other to do it better for ourselves. And to that end if there really is anything I can do... (you've said it to me often enough ;-) )

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Zazzy said...

Mmm hmmm. Sometimes I look with envy at celebrities with their personal chefs, trainers, and other useful people following them around. This is what I need. Someone to cook for me and make me eat the healthy stuff. Someone to force me to exercise who doesn't take excuses. My own cheering section for every time I do things right. And a sound track.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Wil said...

The scary thing is that I'm qualifed for this job and it pays almost as bad as my other two jobs!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

If we had the choice, I think none of us would have ever applied for this position!

However, we had nothing to say, it was forced upon us, and we just have to fulfil it in the best possible way that we can.

It is tough, but in a way I think that it also makes us stronger, reinforces us in certain fields, compared to "normal" people.

Great post, Scott!

2:06 AM  
Blogger type1emt said...

Too funny-thanks for the laugh.
Often though, spouses/so's often fill much of this job description-(at the good ones) not completely, but I'm definatly putting some of your qualifications on my Marriage material list!(Must be able to administer Glucagon shot without passing out themselves, etc...)
Yeah-it would be nice if it payed better.(instead, we pay for the priviledge of having it)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Reading this makes me exhausted. I think you had, in one of your previous posts. said we were "pretty amazing". Yeah, pretty amazing to get a handle on all this stuff and squeeze a life in on the sidelines................

2:14 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I have a couple people in my life who gently help me with this stuff, but, I've found I'm the best one for the job. Although it's a frustrating,endless, seemingly pointless at times job, there are a few things I've found as positives. For one, I am more in tune with how my body feels, good or bad, than most people. I sometimes play a game of guessing my blood glucose result before I do it- and I'm usually pretty close! Also, we don't take for granted having a well functioning body like most healthy people do. And somehow we manage to persevere, begin again tomorrow when we slip up, and accompish a lot of our non-diabetes related goals. I like Zazzy's idea of a sound track- there are times when I've used a particular song to sing (or scream, depending:)) aloud to in the car-it was pretty theraputic. It let me get sadness, anger, etc out in a constructive way.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Kassie said...

excellent!

I've always thought that a CDE who would go to the grocery store with me would be very, very effective.

We all need a diabuddy now and then!!

7:18 AM  
Blogger AnnaQ said...

Thanks for another great post Scott. You've forced upon me another 'aha moment'. I used to get angry that my husband never thinks of bringing a glucose source with him when we're out & about. But reading your exhaustive (and exhausting) list reminds me that doing this for him is one of the few things I can do for him.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous birdie said...

So great! I've "joked" that diabetes was my 2nd job, but I never thought of it in quite the way you so clearly framed up here. Really terrific! I guess the important thing is to let the 2nd job we do, count for something. A round of applause once in a while or maybe cutting ourselves some slack somewhere else in our life...whatever it takes to recognize all that we accomplish in managing our diabetes. Thanks for the reminder!

9:15 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

When you find this person, will you clone him for me?

Seriously, Scott, I think this post sums up so clearly how tough this all is. I wish we could make it someone else's job, just for a few hours.

8:58 PM  

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