Pokesteps? Poke-yes!

A few weeks ago, I was lured into playing a game that has become quite popular. Of course, I am referring to Pokemon Go. Our 12-year old son had been quite a dedicated fan of Pokemon for years now, and since I missed this phenomenon growing up, half the time I didn’t understand what he was saying when he spoke about it. But I decided to give the mobile game a try.

Since I started playing, I don’t cease to be tremendously impressed about the way the game succeeds at getting you to go out and about. Not only is this amazing for kids and young adults (who grew up on Pokemon) alike, since it gets them back outdoors, the way most of us who were born in the 70s and 80s grew up. This game motivates people to get more active…

You are not told you have to put in X number of steps, you have to walk off to hatch eggs that will eventually turn into Pokemons that you can play with in the game. You are not invited to walk for 30 minutes, but without doing so you really cannot hit the Pokestops where you get the pokeballs and other items you need to catch Pokemons and make the most of your catches. The BYPRODUCT of doing all these fun things is that you put in steps that otherwise you may have not taken… As I call them, POKESTEPS!

SO this has officially become the first game since the early days of the Wii, where moving got you points and helped you advance, that I am truly excited about. Gotta catch them all!

Share your thoughts on Pokemon Go in the comments, below.

Repeating herself. Repeating herself. Repeating herself.

If you read this blog (though I wouldn’t blame you if you don’t), you probably know that my mother has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed several years ago, and I would like if I said it’s been an easy road: it hasn’t.

Along this journey, before yesterday, she has had at least three “leaps” we’ve been able to observe:

  1. That “OMG” moment, when it became obvious to me that something was off: I had dropped her off in church, to pick her up an hour later. After mass was over, I kept waiting and waiting for her, to be surprised by her phone call… from her home. She had gotten a ride back home, because she had forgotten I was outside. Soon after that day, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
  2. She had been living for nearly two years in an Independent Living facility, and some things pointed at the need for her to get more assistance in her day-to-day, things that resulted in her taking less care about herself than we were used to see her do. When I spoke with the Executive Director at her residence, she told me we needed to find my mom a place where she could get Memory Care… she was taking a “leap” into a new level of care.”
  3. For a few months now, more often than not she doesn’t remember I am her son. She still associates me with someone “familiar” (a kind gentleman, and at times, she is sure I am her younger brother). The first time that this happened, it was very hard to accept…

Yesterday, a new “leap” happened. I was used to her repeating herself: conversations with my mom have been cyclical for quite some time. The same topic comes back over and over. But yesterday, she started repeating words and short phrases, over and over. For example, she would tell me:

“Señor, señor, señor, señor, señor…” (“Sir, sir, sir, sir, sir…”)

This is all very fresh, and not easy. We will continue to be there for her. But it’s not easy… it’s not easy… it’s not easy…

% of time spent by people with diabetes with a medical professional in a year

If you have been to a diabetes conference in the past few years, there’s a good chance that you have seen this slide as part of a presentation.

This was a slide I first put together a few years ago, to convey a “back of the envelope” calculation I had done that essentially amounted to the percentage of time that a person with diabetes spends in the company of a medical professional in the course of a year. My estimate had all along been 0.1%. Today, I took the time to validate this looking for hard data from CDC, the American Journal of Managed Care, and other reputable sources, to REALLY back this finding.

I am sad to report that I was wrong: the percentage is even lower! 🙁

So this is what I searched:

Now, the math for the year 2010:

  • Minutes in a year = 24 x 60 x 365 = 525,600
  • Minutes in a year x number of people with diabetes, PWD = 10,932,480,000,000 (10.9 trillion)
  • Minutes in a year spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 37.3 million x 20.7 minutes = 772,110,000
  • Percentage of a year’s time spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 0.00007062532929 = 0.007%!

So I have been GROSSLY overestimating the number all these years! 🙁

What does this mean?
99.993% of the time, a person with diabetes is self-managing their condition on their own. Think about it… most people would call that nearly 100% of the time.