Get Paid for Having Diabetes? Yes, Thank You.

PrintWords are powerful. They’ve started wars, brokered peace, shared secrets, and molded opinions. It’s well documented that the most powerful advertising is a testimonial from someone who has used a product or service. It’s even more powerful when the individual is not compensated for their opinion.

That’s why I don’t do “sponsored posts.” (Sponsored posts are when a company gives you financial renumeration to speak enthusiastically about a product.) My word is all I have and it can’t be bought or sold on this blog. I may receive a product or service to try it, but I don’t accept cash for my opinion on this blog. (And I always disclose if I receive something for free.)

If I like something, I write about it. If I don’t think it benefits people with diabetes, then I don’t. (I will give feedback to the company on how they can improve on the product, because, you know me… I’m not shy.)

However, I do get cash for my opinion when I answer a survey through YourCareMoments. 

So, I’m writing about it.

I believe that YourCareMoments can benefit us.

Last summer, I was contacted by Zitter Health Insights about a survey service, YourCareMoments, that pay patients with diabetes for their thoughts and opinions and habits. I was told that the surveys would take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete and that I would get paid by PayPal a few days after I completed the survey.

Hmm, I thought. Is this a sham? Would I have to give up really personal information that can be tracked back to me? Would I waste time filling out a survey and not get paid?

So, I checked it out.

Here’s what I found… 

  • Anonymous surveys are sent to registered patients (it’s free to sign up) about healthcare experiences and decisions.
  • They pay a few dollars per survey.
  • They’re legit.

They ask for information (like when you are visiting your doctor or picking up a prescription) and then contact you to ask questions. No personal data is taken (no names or addresses) and the only thing they need from you (besides your opinion) is your email address to send your payment.

I’ve done it since last summer. They’re ramping up, wanting a larger group of patients, and they contacted me again, asking for help. Because I’ve done it (and it didn’t make me feel dirty or violated), I feel comfortable sharing the link with you.

This is the link to sign up:  www.yourcaremoments.com – (It’s free to sign up.)

You must be living in the U.S. and be eighteen years of age or older. 

Who is Zitter Health Insights?

Zitter Health Insights is a healthcare research firm that assists life science companies with issues related to product access, reimbursement, and managed markets.

What does that mean? They collect data from us and then they provide that data to other companies (pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, etc.) to help them make decisions about products, co-pay or coupon/card programs, or our overall attitude about a product or service. They don’t just do this for people with diabetes; they handle over 150 “therapeutic areas,” asking opinions from many other types of patients.

Why do I think you should sign up?

  1. You help the healthcare industry know what you value and what your opinion is about your life with diabetes. They learn what we want and need. 
  2. You get paid for your opinion. 

You know how I feel about empowering ourselves as patients. If we don’t give our opinion, speak our mind, learn about how we can be part of the solution, then we can’t help. And get paid for your opinion? Duh.

The questions they ask aren’t intrusive. They’ll ask you about pharmacy visits, what types of drugs you are taking to manage your diabetes, how you felt your last appointment with your healthcare professional went. (We talk about these topics all the time as a community. Why not get paid for it?)

And I got paid every time I completed a survey.

You have everything to gain. Let your diabetes voice work for you for once.

Register for free by visiting: www.yourcaremoments.com.

This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive any money or any free services. All of what I said is my own opinion about this service. I recommend it for free.

My Heart Is Snapped In Two

1414426_86457786There are worse things happening in the world. There are always worse things.

On Friday, as I was making dinner, a friend texted me:

“Did you hear the horrible news?”

My heart skipped a beat. The diabetes community is vast and wide and filled with people I love. Who was suffering? Or worse…who had died?

I didn’t respond by text. I rang her up and asked: “What happened?”

“Asante closed their doors today. They shut down.”

If you use an insulin pump, you’ll quickly understand how I felt. Your insulin pump is like a member of your family (it’s there at every meal, every occasion, and sometimes you fight with it…) and I have quickly grown to love my Asante Snap pump. I loved it so much that I became a consultant for them, writing about my experience with their pump and insulin pumping in general. It was no secret that I felt my control had improved that it was going to be the last insulin pump I used before the Bionic Pancreas became commercially available.

I am mourning the loss of an innovative company that attempted to give their customers what they wanted: choice. Some of the features the Asante Snap pump has is not available with any other pump on the market, and we’ll be hard pressed to find them integrated into any future insulin pumps (although they should – site change reminder? Missed bolus? Small things that made a difference in my time in range and overall control.).

Because I consulted with them, I also knew the employees that were just as passionate about the Asante Snap pump as I was. They were caught unaware, as all of the customers were. They found out Friday, right before the rumors started to fly and the public announcement was published on the website.

Customize-your-snap-insulin-pump-2Simply put, funding didn’t happen. The company attempted to go public, but pulled their IPO at the end of March when investors and the stock market didn’t bite. (Another pump company attempted an IPO at the same time, without success, and two other pump companies’ stocks were not doing well during the IPO offering.) From what I was told, the CEO was working with a company for a partnership and at the last minute, the deal fell apart.

 

I’ll choose another pump. (Both Animas and Insulet are offering Asante Snap users offers to switch.) The talented employees will find other jobs.

But my heart right now is snapped in two.

Goodbye, Snap.

#dblogweek – Making Diabetes Change

1269975_69331015Perhaps it’s because my sleep patterns are off (a combination of jet lag that still haunts me and a four-year-old who thinks it’s fine to wake me up at 2am because [insert a four-year-old’s logical excuse here]), but when I thought about change, all that came to mind was the old SNL skit about First CitiWide Change Bank.

 “At First Citiwide Change Bank, We just make change.” 

 “We will work with the customer to give that customer the change that he or she needs. If you come to us with a twenty-dollar bill, we can give you two tens, we can give you four fives – we can give you a ten and two fives. We will work with you.”

The topic for today’s Diabetes Blog Week post is about change:

Either tell us what you’d most like to see change about diabetes, in any way.  This can be management tools, devices, medications, people’s perceptions, your own feelings – anything at all that you feel could use changing.  

I’ve seen a lot of changes in the last three decades when it comes to diabetes management.

We changed exchange lists (Oh, how I hated the “2 Breads, 1 Meat, 1 Fat, 1 Milk” mentality!) for counting carbs.

We changed blood glucose meters that took two minutes for a reading to ones that give that reading in five seconds.

We changed syringes with long needles for short needles, mixed pork and beef insulins for analogues.

We changed insulin pumps for better insulin pumps and inhaled insulin devices.

I’m not saying that these changes are bad. They’re not. They’re prolonging lives and making diabetes more manageable.

But we’re still just making change. 

I want a cure.

 

#dblogweek – Zombies And My Diabetes Closet

I fear the Zombie Apocalypse.

752ff964193548fe4c6c4e4bedd35567Ever watch Zombieland? That’s pretty much what I expect life after Zombies to be, not the Walking Dead scenario. There are rules, according to Zombieland, that you must learn quickly to do – and avoid – in order to survive the brain munching masses.

The rules don’t cover diabetes and the Zombie Apocalypse.

But I have a plan.

Today’s topic for Diabetes Blog Week is this:

What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out?  This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to.  Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?

I have a diabetes closet. It was a linen closet once, but now the towels and sheets are relegated to a single shelf. Diabetes took over.

I won’t clean out my diabetes closet. Get rid of something? Nope.

In case of the Zombie Uprising, I will need every lancet in that box, every extra reservoir for insulin pumps that I no longer use. A bag of infusion tubing (But of course, no extra insertion sets, because I never seemed to change out both at the same time). What will I do with them? Sling shot material and projectiles. Finally going to put that extra tubing to good use!

Zombie McGuyver. That’s me.

You never know if those alcohol swabs that cascaded out of the box one day and landed at the bottom of my closet will come in handy to clean out a zombie bite.

I’ve got at least 10 cases to old diabetes devices that I can use to lob at their heads to confuse and stun those shambling husks.

Expired glucagon kits. I have two sitting there (and I’m proud of the fact that they are sitting there, because it means I didn’t use them!). I can whip those suckers at their feet, hoping to trip them.

Syringes with a prescription sticker attached to the box telling me that the syringes could apply for a driver’s permit. Would I use them now? Probably not. Zombie at my door? Totally.

Old meters. Back up emergency strips that I would really never use in an emergency, but what if… what if I needed them? Expired ketone strips? The vials are viable as weapons.

A tube of glucose gel that will never touch my lips because I watched a friend shudder and squirm after sucking one down in desperation. Not a resounding recommendation, so it’s a last resort that I’ve never had to use. Squirt that sweet yuck into their eyes!

Do I need to clean out my diabetes closet?

Nope. Saving it all as ammunition, because you know those zombies will have raided the pharmacy first before heading to my house and they’re carrying insulin to entice me out.

They want my brains… I want their pancreases. 

I’m ready for the Zombie Apocalypse. I’ll clean out my diabetes closet then.

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#dblogweek – Keeping It To Myself…. Sort of…

I missed yesterday’s prompt for Diabetes Blog Week (because I was so incredibly jet lagged), about what I Can do… I’ve talked a lot about what I CAN do with diabetes, so I’m taking a mulligan. And a warning… I will ramble. This is a total stream of consciousness post (which is scary, as I’m not quite conscious yet…).

Today’s prompt is this:

1251855_95290029Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?

There are things about my diabetes I don’t talk about on the internet…or with my family and friends….

or even myself.

But I have talked about these secrets face-to-face with other people with diabetes at The Diabetes UnConference.

For the first time.

Ever in my life.

One secret I had never uttered out loud before that moment, even to myself in a locked room, afraid that if I did, it would actually be real and that I would have to face it.

I shared that secret. I faced it. It’s real and no less scary now then when the words tumbled clumsily from my mouth.

That secret probably won’t be spoken aloud again by me…. ever. But I did share it with a small group of people who didn’t judge or immediately run and tell others or post it as a cautionary tale for the next generation. Because they had similar unspoken secrets that they shared with people in a room where they knew those secrets would stay safe and protected.

I share a lot of my life with diabetes. I’ve talked about how diabetes secrets can be harmful to my health, how not sharing certain secrets can be harmful to my relationships, but there are secrets that are kept just for me because I need them to stay that way.

Why?

They’re embarrassing.

Fodder for accusations or held up as ammunition by others about how NOT to live your life with diabetes.

And really, those secrets don’t help anyone but me. I learned from those experiences.

I am stronger for those secrets. 

We all keep diabetes secrets, even those who do not have diabetes. How we feel about people’s behaviors or attitudes and just keep quiet when you want to wrinkle your nose and say: “What the hell are you doing?” is a secret we keep. When we bite our tongues and don’t ask why they aren’t better educated on their own diabetes or even more honestly wonder how people survive with choices they make, it is a secret we keep.

Those secrets don’t help.

They hurt.

And I’m more about helping and lifting up others and educating those who want to hear it (and sometimes those who don’t even know they need to hear it) than I am about hurting others with the secrets about diabetes I keep.

But those secrets I have told? I’ve only told them to those who have secrets of their own and will keep my just as safe.

The Internet is not the place to share those secrets, because, as Edward Snowden has shown… the Internet is not a place to keep secrets.

My secrets stay with me and those who I entrusted at The Diabetes UnConference. My diabetes secrets are safe there.

Even the one that scares me.