Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pump it Forward?

My oldest son is getting ready to graduate high school and establish what he wants to be when he grows up.  Besides having my own crisis that my baby could be 18 already, this has also left me wondering when I will figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have a lot of hats that I wear and yet I often am left feeling that I am not doing enough.

In one of my many soul searching moments, I began to reread "What Color is Your Parachute?"  I was hoping it would provide me with some insight for myself or my son but instead I found a phrase that has stuck with me ever since.  "Each one Teach one."  I thought it was brilliant. I could see it in so many applications. It would not help my son decide what to do in September but what a difference it could make in the world.  It reminded me of the saying "Give a man a fish and he will have food for a meal. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime."

This phrase will not leave my head. Could it be applied to diabetes? Isn't it already happening though? We often learn from each other. We rely on the "YMMV" rule but we get general guidance on how to make an insulin regimen work better, which pump has features we would love, what meter works the best and how a certain insulin works in a specific circumstance.

I wondered if this could further be applied to help with new pump programs. Would governments be more willing to fund programs if they didn't have to solely rely on the medical community to get people ready to pump or to follow up with them? Could we provide one to teach one? Whether they would or would not accept this idea, I quickly realized (and verified with a friend) that the medical liabilities would create far too much fear to even begin to think about this ever happening in the real world.

The concept of sharing information, education, and experience still stuck with me.  Each one Teach one.  It is so simple and yet so powerful. It could work with the diabetes boot camp I have written about many times. It was stuck with me to the point that I wondered if there was a website attached to the phrase.  Sadly for me there was. I am sure it does really great things--how could they not with such a great name?

I was not completely discouraged. I still was (am) obsessed with the concept.  As my train of thought continued to wander, I was led to the AccuChek Share to Care contest.  Sharing, teaching...paying it forward.  That was what it was all about but I was still stuck. How do you pay it forward on a larger scale? How could you "Pump it Forward"? I loved that phrase too. It was almost as good Each on Teach one.  This time I found out that it wasn't a website. It was mine for the taking. I could take that name and use it!

Use it for what? I have no idea! What does "Pump it Forward" mean to you? What would you expect to see on a website like this? Would it offer a service? I understand that there are already many great mentoring sites out there so what would be different with "Pump it Forward"?

I haven't finished reading "What Color is Your Parachute?" Perhaps I will find what I am looking for there...if you don't come up with a better idea first!


  1. I think that is a great idea and I love the name! Although I understand the fear of medical liabilities, if you do it on a website (or even a book!) with the “I am not a doctor” disclosure, would you have those same liabilities? Did John Walsh have liability insurance to write Pumping Insulin?

    When I went for my pump training, I went to a local diabetes center. My doctor knew nothing about pumps & I assured him I would not ask him for any help. They came up with the starting rates that he had to sign off on. Be clear that people need to get that type of information from their doctor but you could teach them what patterns to look at to make adjustments and things like that. Just think about how much information and tips are in your head from dealing with this everyday. I have learned more the past couple years from the DOC than I have in 28 years from doctors. I say go for it!

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement Kelly!!! You have definitely given me something more to think about! I really do want to do something with this its a matter of logistics--how it will work, what it will offer, how it will offer, etc. I agree, I think it can work with a LOT of disclaimers.
    If you have any other ideas or thoughts, please throw them my way!

  3. Barb, I live in Caracas, Venezuela (South America), and just as it happens with you, this has been an idea that does not leave my mind. I am fortunate enough to have a great medical team, but I am certain that there ares so many out there in my country that may not even have the means to buy their medication.
    The idea rounds and rounds my mind, but I do no know where to start. My teen uses a pump and anytime someone asks about it I offer the information and give them my phone number in case they need help. I've only gotten that far. In ten years I've learned so much and will love to share what I know with others who are not as fortunate as we are