July 14: a gr8 day for the diabetic community. Now what?

July 14, 2009 was the day that we held the test-in where we called on 14,000 people with diabetes to share their glucose reading at the same time: 4 pm ET.

We reached out to hundreds of media outlets through a press release that we got feedback for from a number of PR specialists. Although we did have one interview about today’s event with a Hispanic station in Los Angeles, the result of the day’s activities was really the fruit of the diabetic community coming together.

The call to action was easy:

  • If you were a member of TuDiabetes (or EsTuDiabetes), you were invited to post your glucose reading @ 4 pm ET in the community.
  • You could also post your reading on Twitter, using the #14kpwd hashtag (this is how “conversations” can take place on Twitter, with everyone “tuning in” to the URL for the same hashtag) and linking back to http://14kpwd.org
  • Last, many people also posted on Facebook or their favorite social network, linking back to http://14kpwd.org.

As the time of the test-in approached, the excitement started to build up on Twitter as if the New Year were approaching. You can sense some of this, if you take a look at the progression of tweets associated with the #14kpwd hashtag.

It will be a few days before we can establish how many people in total participated in this effort, but I would estimate well over 1,000 people participated in this beautiful exercise of online diabetes awareness.

A few thoughts linger with me after today, for which I will borrow from the words of three of our members who posted about the experience on three different places:

* Kathleen commented here in TuDiabetes: "To everyone that put a qualifier after their reading of "not too bad" or an explanation of why a number may have been above range....there are no good or bad numbers in diabetes. It's information to help guide us to make decisions. We have diabetes, we will have numbers above our range and that's ok. I guess I just want to ensure that we are not continuing to open ourselves up to judgment about our numbers. I want to feel good that I"m checking and being proactive regardless of the number. Frustration is ok, feeling like you did something "wrong" or that you have to explain yourself is not needed. Not here. Happy Checking!" (the bolding was mine)
  • Brenda Bell (a.k.a. Tmana) shared on blogabetes:
    One of the most positive things that came out of this massive “test-in” demonstration is how many of us found other Tweeps (people on Twitter) to “follow” and to see as part of this organic, rapidly evolving online community of diabetics. Regardless of how visible we were to the rest of the Twitterverse, connecting up with others is always a Good Thing.

So what do we do next?
We have many more friends touched by diabetes, here in TuDiabetes and elsewhere. We have a renewed confirmation that WE ARE NOT ALONE. We realize that a glucose reading is a point in time, a point in our history of living with diabetes…

I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to run by you:

  1. In Twitter, there are hashtags such as #musicmonday, #charitytuesday and #followfriday (if you don’t have a clue as to what these mean, don’t worry). What if we institute a “day” hashtag for #diabetes? For ex #bgwednesday or #testingthursday. If you have a Twitter account, join the Twitterbetics group so we can have a discussion about this.

  2. Besides that, we should definitely follow this effort with a broader initiative that lets us break through the noise of Twitter and beyond, in time for World Diabetes Day, November 14. For now, join the World Diabetes Day Group so we can brainstorm about ways to do this.

Manny: That was such a cathartic experience. I did not develop diabetes as a child, but I would like this experience to going to camp and finding out that others do just the same thing as you.

I must be honest; testing is one of my biggest downfalls. I don’t do it nearly enough. And no matter how many goals I set to do it, I always fail.

But having a community, reminding me, making me feel as if this practice were commonplace, that inspires me.

I would like to see a definite trend of a hashtag for a time or day that we all do this, and I would definitely like to see more PR go out nationally, and try to gain more than just 1K of our members.

WTG - this was a great experience - thanks to you and @KellyRawlings for making this a go!


I thought that the event was a tremendous moment for sharing the diabetes experience and an indication for all those who took part of the power we have at our, well, fingertips I guess, when we join together in a concerted effort.

My reading was higher than I had wanted it to be (regretfully an all-too-common experience) and I even― yes I admit it― considered not participating, exaggerating my result or trying to find a way to get a better reading (a quick run round the block in my pyjamas perhaps―it was 10 p.m. in Belgium!).

Some early posts featured readings with which I would have been very comfortable, yet the accompanying comments suggested less than full satisfaction. This made me a little anxious. As higher readings came in I felt a great sense of relief that I was not alone - and then even a little competitive, I can do better next time. The event was an empowering experience and one in which I hope we can encourage many more to join next time around.

Thank you to those involved in conceptualizing and promoting the diabetes measurathon, but thanks a million to all of you who joined in and helped build the reassuring sense of community. Let’s take this forward and build further!

What Phil said!

I test all the time by myself. It’s great positive reinforcement to test with other people. Thanks to all my new diabetes friends.

I like that we saw numbers from low to high–that’s diabetes reality and confirms that we all have ups and downs.

I like that many people used the opportunity to make a self-care decision: treat a low, vow to test more often, try to figure out the reasons behind a number.

I like that we had numbers from many countries, many ages, many colors, many levels of diabetes experience. That reflects diabetes, too.

I like that @JaimieH and @CALpumper were especially prolific Tweeters. Those keypads were smokin’!

And I like thinking about the future and how to make the diabetes community stronger, more supportive, and a force for positive change. Starting now.

It was exciting. As other people said, a little like a New Years Eve countdown. Then it started - the flood. It was even a little overwhelming to try to keep up with. It was great to see all the posts and the various results. Caleb’s happened to be a good one, although it was on the tail of a rare 315 that had been corrected 2 hours earlier. :slight_smile:

As I went back and forth between Twitter and TuD I recognized people by their BGs! I have so many more connections from this event.

I am continuously moved by the inspiration and support that this group provides and yesterday was no exception.

Did I hear someone suggest doing this again on WDD? Would it make sense to encourage non Ds to check their BG? After it was over, I envisioned all five of us sitting around the kitchen table with a drop of blood on our fingers waiting for the clock to turn 4:00. Wouldn’t that have been neat for Caleb? Not only would it unify an even bigger group of people, but perhaps an unsuspecting person might find an elevated BG and take action that they might not have otherwise.

yes, I agree! A great thing to do for WDD. :slight_smile:

Lorraine, I love your idea about encouraging family members to participate as well. When my husband found out that a few non-diabetic spouses had participated, he was jealous. He wanted to test in, too. laughs Should have sent a meter to work with him yesterday.

It was the first time I’ve ever tested with anyone else. And I was so excited about it. Thanks to all who participated!!!

I loved the fact that this event may have gotten some people who don’t usually test often to actually test. It’s great that people saw their # (whether it was low, high, or in range), and then decided which course of action to take as a result.
Bravo everyone!!

I test 8-10 times a day and I love that I had a day to share with everybody. They was doing the same thing I was. I did not feel as alone in it.

after a week of ups and downs yesterday was the first day that I had numbers that were actually in range I seriously thought that I was going to have a BG of like 250 or something, but was shocked to see 136. :smiley:

Testing for this ‘event’ was really fun. I made many new contacts and felt very excited to be part of a huge global community. Thanks Kelly for the idea and Manny for organizing it.

Manny, you are an awesome social networking organizer! And, belated happy birthday!

You know, testing yesterday and today after the #14kpwd event was a bit of a let down. I felt lonely. No one to share with.

Then I realized that somewhere, at the very same time, several other people with diabetes were probably testing, too. There are millions of us. Every day, at every moment of living (and during all those self-care decisions and calculations) other people are doing the same thing. That’s a real comfort and a source of inspiration. Looking forward to the next big event–whatever that turns out to be!

This was a great thing to do. Our family being new to T1D this was an overwhelming experience and to see the look on my 7 yr old’s face with such relief that she wasn’t the only one with a high at that time was priceless and gave her a better realization and proof that she is among many others in the world. I am so glad Lorraine told me about this site it has been nothing but a positive and inspiring experience for our family!

I always felt I had failed somewhere along the way when Aleksi had a high blood sugar reading and then I read the comment from Kathleen that Manny had highlighted - Thank you ,now I don’t feel quite so bad.

I appreciate high morale of Brian. With high spirits I have seen patients even winning deadly wars with diseases.
All the best
Dr. Shankhdhar

I totally missed the July 14th event (pout) as I was taking a much needed respite from computer screens.
But reading KELLY’s comment (below, July 16) , and I quote: “You know, testing yesterday and today after the #14kpwd event was a bit of a let down. I felt lonely. No one to share with. Then I realized that somewhere, at the very same time, several other people with diabetes were probably testing, too. There are millions of us. Every day, at every moment of living …” (thanks, Kelly!) That made me sit up and realize a truth, that my Seeing a communal, world PARTY with each BG-check will help me to check more often – Lord Knows I really need that qreater frequency. I very much dislike making public my numbers because of the inevitable (yes, even among you friends) resulting judgements , , BUT I look forward to another chance at a world-wide simul-check, maybe on Nov. 14th?