Using Your Opinion for Good

I’m excited to introduce a new diabetes blog series and the awesome organization making it happen. Op4G is a market research panel company which stands for Opinions for Good. When someone joins an Op4G panel, they have the option to select a nonprofit that they want to support from a list of 300+ non-profits) and when they complete a survey, a portion of the incentive goes directly to the nonprofit. So far, Op4G has donated over $447,000 to non-profits.

Op4G is open to the general population, however they are working to form niche health communities… starting with diabetes. Op4G partners with organizations with research needs that focus on diabetes, while also giving you a way to contribute your voice to research on products and services that could impact you in the future. They’ve teamed up with me to produce a series of diabetes-related blog posts so this is a win, win, win, win kind of series (4 wins there). Continue reading

“Giving” Blood

In the past 7 days, I’ve heard two people say, “I’m giving blood this week.” I automatically interpreted it as an altruistic gesture, treating “give” and “donate” as synonyms, and replied, “That’s nice.”

Only to be told that it’s routine medical stuff, not actually a donation.

When I go in to have routine medical blood testing done, I refer to it as a blood draw or having my blood drawn. I guess everyone interprets things differently.

This week, I actually gave my blood away. Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to donate blood in a traditional sense because I don’t weigh enough (yes, people with diabetes can give blood). The blood draw (as I have been calling it) won’t result in lab information for me or my medical team. It got packed with ice and shipped to scientists. Continue reading

Why I participate in research

I participate in scientific research on type 1 diabetes. So far, the studies I’ve been involved in haven’t required me to do much more than fill out surveys and agree to share my regular test results with scientists, but I’m waiting for the consent form in the mail that will allow researchers to call me up and take my blood. There was of course the question of, “Why should I do something uncomfortable in the name of science?”

I don’t participate in studies to be compensated as being a research subject is not a lucrative job no matter what you see on TV (but the one-time free parking at the hospital was welcome!).

I hope that in those studies that I can’t be a part of, whether due to my age, physical location or other factors, there are others who want to contribute to research.It’s my hope that by letting the people who know more about science and medicine than I do take a peek into what my crazy broken body does and doesn’t do will help them put together the puzzle that is type 1 diabetes. I’ve found that several studies aren’t interested in me however, because I’m not a “typical” case. My story doesn’t fit the patterns they’re tracking.

Maybe by analyzing my blood and survey answers patient care can be improved.

Maybe by participating in science, I can participate in finding a cure.

I do what I can and appreciate those who do more.

I can’t cry for better treatment or a cure without being willing to be involved. So I’m involved.

Don’t forget that I’m giving away a Premier Bundle of Level Food goodies! You should enter.

Think Locally

With the election in just under a week, there was a bit of a break in presidential politics for us with the hurricane. The reprieve is already over and people are getting all fired up over who to vote for for president.

I can guarantee that there are people going out to vote who will ONLY vote for their presidential candidate and leave the rest of the ballot blank. That’s sad. If you know me in real life, you probably know that I believe informed voting is important.

State and local offices and issues have a more direct, immediate impact on you. Why would you not have your say in how your city, county and state operate?

I would ask that you take a few minutes between now and November 6th, to look up the local issues that will be on your ballots. Check out who is running for judge, what levies are up for vote and what issues you should have a say in. It’s easier that you’d think to find out what’s happening in your district. If you’re reading this blog, you have access to the internet and to the wide world of political resources. As voters in this election, we have the easiest access to information about what we, the people, are sounding off on.

Just because you’re fired up about who to vote for at the top of the ballot, doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest.

Not sure how to get started on research? Go to your favorite search engine and search “(your state/region) voter’s guide” or check out your local newspaper’s website.

Home Buying Millennial Style

If you didn’t know already, my husband and I are considering purchasing a home.

I know that there are millennials who own homes, but there aren’t very many millennials selling them or working in real estate, so here’s what we (specifically the K-couple) do or don’t do.

When we told relatives that we were looking at homes for sale, along with the supportive and other standard comments, we heard, “We remember house-hunting. We drove around on the weekends taking notes and calling realtors.”

We never would have considered driving around… at least to start.

We use apps. Actually we usually only use Zillow (also zillow.com), which aggregates real estate listings from many sources and allows us to search for homes using the criteria that we want.

We don’t look if there aren’t pictures. Continue reading