Learn about the past, present, and future of diabetes management and care from our community discussion. Mike Hoskins, managing editor at DiabetesMine and T1D, joined us as special guest and Jewels Doskicz, health consultant and T1D, was our host.

Q. What has been your favorite management tool been since your diabetes diagnosis?

A. Mike: Diabetes tool from the ‘80s: Tes-Tape from Lilly, before the blood glucose meter days. My favorite diabetes management tool of the past was white square BD Glucose tabs! I thought they were yummy candy reserved for "special occasions." Also noteworthy: needle injectors that felt like shotgun barrels! Dexcom’s CGM is my favorite diabetes tool now, but back in the ‘90s it was this Dex meter.

Jewels: My Dexcom continuous glucose monitor is hands down the best tool in 31 years of living with T1D.

Other participants:
• My BG monitor for my phone makes tracking easier than using pen and paper.
• Data. Input requires a meter. Analysis is mostly on the fly now. I started with Excel.
• It is a tie between the CGM and the pump.

Q. What is the most impactful change you've witnessed in diabetes care?

A. Mike: Making diabetes technology more patient-friendly. Design is becoming more important based on what we want.

Jewels: We don't just treat diabetes; we treat the whole person. Emotions matter.

Other participants:
• The move from "food exchanges" to counting up carb grams and incorporating sleep, exercise, etc. Fine-tuned data awareness.
• Social media changed my diabetes world.
• It's still a slow-going process, but the renewed focus on mental health and language sticks out.

Q. How does the future of diabetes technology affect your life with diabetes now?

A. Mike: Much more manageable, hopeful. Now I know “you can do this.” These days, Afrezza has been a pretty impressive D-tool for me in getting to tighter control.

Jewels: With diabetes, health technology (and its possibilities) affect my well-being and happiness now.

Other participants:
• It makes me excited knowing my daughter's treatment options are getting better and better.
• Knowing that better tech is on its way I want to keep myself as well as possible now so the new is useful.
• It excites me and motivates me. So much stuff in the pipeline.

Q. What effective changes has your diabetes healthcare provider embraced over the years?

A. Mike: I appreciate how my endos and educators are listening to me and my needs, not defining me by textbook terms.

Jewels: As a child, my endo was caring but hypercritical. I notice more recognition, support, and positivity from providers now. 

Other participants:
• My endo has embraced downloadable technology.
• Nothing big, just tweaking the dosage formula as necessary. Tech aside, the basics of T1D care seem pretty unchanged.
• A big part of that has been their dedication to finding tools that work for me, which is a huge thing.

Q. How does the diabetes online community and patient voice influence care for people with diabetes?

A. Mike: The diabetes online community offers peer support like no other. It has saved my life. Love diabetes social media advocacy and diabetes community peeps.

Jewels: The patient voice isn't dampened. Our experiences can create positive change.

Other participants:
• The knowledge that no feeling or experience is specific to you only, plus new ideas and approaches to diabetes details is stupendous.
• The diabetes online community unifies PWDs and lets us speak with one voice.
• The diabetes online community has helped me to know I am not alone and made me want to take better care of myself.

Q. What are the diabetes walls you feel like you're banging your head against?

A. Mike: Biggest head-against-wall issues now are access, insurance, costs.

Jewels: I've been parenting a child with type 1 diabetes for 10 years—plenty to bang your head about. I'm holding my breath for artificial pancreas technology. I'm so happy for the parents of young children with type 1 diabetes that there's less worry and guessing between blood glucose checks as we once did.

Other participants:
• The fact that diabetes is a 24/7 thing and you never get a break. That can be very mentally grueling sometimes.
• Biggest wall for me right now seems to be getting all of my D-data in one place and analyzing it however I want.
• Diversity about type of diabetes is an issue we cannot seem to get over in the #DCDE. We have to be careful to be welcoming.

Thank you to Mike Hoskins, Jewels Doskicz, and all of the PWDs and diabetes advocates that joined in this week’s discussion.

Don’t miss the opportunity to join future chats every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET by following Diabetic Connect on Twitter and using #DCDE.