The Power of Numbers

Make a commitment to make a change


Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!

February 2011 — Numbers matter! They matter in political elections like the one that just took place in the United States, but they matter even more when you have diabetes.

You test your blood sugar once or twice a day if you have type 2 diabetes, and many more times if you have type 1. Then come the blood sugar numbers: too high, too low, just right…. Then you eat and, if you take insulin, you have to give yourself a shot for your meal and before you do it, you count carbs to make sure you don't fall short or go too low. It's always numbers!

Enter November, Diabetes Awareness Month! It's a month when numbers become more important than ever. Certainly the numbers we read on the screens of our glucose meters and the numbers on our insulin pumps or our syringes with insulin matter! Without them, we'd be as good as driving blindfolded.

American Diabetes Month This November, I invite you to make a commitment to make a change. It's simple, actually, and this is my own way of saying something my friend Tom Karlya has already said in his column. It takes numbers to make change possible, numbers of people and numbers of donations.


This November, I want to ask you to do two things with numbers:

  • Do the Big Blue Test. This initiative started in 2009 and it takes place every November 14 during World Diabetes Day. People with diabetes are invited to test their blood sugar, do 14 minutes of activity, test again, and share the results by visiting In 2010, the Big Blue Test is being promoted through a video on YouTube. Roche Diabetes (the sponsor of the video) will make a donation for every view the video receives up to $75,000 (the more views, the bigger the donation). The donation will translate into needed insulin for children with diabetes.
  • Be Part of the Cure. Ever since I visited the Diabetes Research Institute in South Florida last year, I am convinced they are the best hope for a cure for diabetes. This month they have launched a beautiful campaign called "Be Part of The Cure." To participate in it, visit and submit a photo to the "CURE" mosaic. As you do so, donate at least $10 to really be a part of the cure! The more people in the mosaic, the more donations to support this committed group of professionals who are literally obsessed with finding a cure for diabetes.

There you have it! Two ways in which you can help others—and help yourself—through numbers this Diabetes Awareness Month. Are you on board? Will you help make these numbers bigger? I sure hope so.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 19, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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