Acupressure points are those pulses in the body that, when pressed with fingers, stimulate the body’s self healing abilities. To stretch the imagination a bit I theorize that there are several diabetes acupressure points in the US that stimulate diabetes care. They are hubs for learning, treating, researching and advocacy. One of them is Boston. And so, if my theory passes muster, you could feel the excitement in the air in Boston in June when the city hosted the ADA 75th Scientific Sessions at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The key components of the Sessions were coincidentally research, education, advocacy and science with a dash of diabetes and social media sprinkled in. There were approximately 18,000 attendees to the conference. Thus the energy cluster of so many minds and bodies with so much knowledge about diabetes together in one center was almost overwhelming. Rather than get detailed about the myriad lectures, 385 presentations, 2,500 research posters, exhibits and product theatre, audios, awards and on and on, below are a few good websites to visit to read specific details on the Sessions.
And what nuances did this humble writer take home from the dazzling five days spent in Boston?
- It was a shocking revelation to hear that 70% of patients are not referred to CDE’s to help them with instructions and education about how to live day-to-day with diabetes. A jump start of good quality diabetes how-to's and don’t-do's can set a patient on a positive pathway and balanced lifestyle. It’s time to implement this important potentially life saving tool with better access to good diabetes education.
- Social Media has rapidly developed into a diabetes care route for many. This both good and bad. A watchdog system to protect patients seeking information will go a long way in filtering out unreliable sites that give dangerous information and advice to those desperate for help. There are many sites that offer reliable and approved educational material and information to readers. So for the moment _ caveat emptor _ let the buyer beware.
- It was like being on a Star Trek voyage navigating through the mind boggling (to this T1-52 yrs. Vet) space of technological and scientific developments and less invasive devices that are reaching the average diabetes Joe’s and Jane’s. Advances in CGM’s with their smart phone share ability, futuristic arm coin sensors and contact lenses with glucose monitoring ability, closed loop systems, widening uses for glp 1’s and 2’s, inhalable insulin that works and of course the race for artificial and bionic pancreases. Wow! I think if is safe to say we have lifted out of the dark Stone Age cave of diabetes care. Alleluia!
- When I heard the insurance dilemma senior aged patients are experiencing I was practically in tears. It seems Medicare (as well as Medicaid and national disabilities act) DOES NOT cover CGM monitoring tools. I don’t get it since these devices enable a patient to be alerted to tracking and trends of glucose which translates to better and preventive diabetes care. Those of you who wear a CGM know exactly what I mean. It is something that is worth advocating for by all means. ADA www.diabetes.org and JDRF www.jdrf.org have petitions you may sign to advocate. You can also reach out to your congress and senate representatives to shake them up to vote for or co-sponsor the bi-partisan bills that are sitting before them. The website www.myglu.org has valuable information in instructions on how to advocate for this worthwhile cause. You might have to register (it’s ok. It is an interesting site to check out). For specific information on advocating for this cause: www.myglu.org/articles/getting-medicare-to-cover-cgms-what-you-can-do.
- In the end I left the conference thinking of Joe Solowiejczyk RN, CDE, MSW’s comment at one of the major technology symposia about advances and the future of diabetes care. To paraphrase Joe _ _ this is all brilliant stuff but what about the patient? Why not consider the quarterly trip to the doctor’s office a positive experience for the patient? Make it a “visit” not a nail biting stress. “If I had my say I’d have clowns and games and balloons in these drab places.”
I’m with you Joe. Let’s cheer and take full advantage of all the new science, technology, education and advocacy in diabetes care that equips us to confront the diabetes dragon but let’s not forget we are sensitive human beings who need a little light hearted smile once in a while.