Beyond the Blog
Melissa Lee's Published Work


Bigfoot Biomedical

TCOYD ONE Conference: New Trends in Care in T1D (August 2019)

"In mid-August, I had the opportunity to attend the 3rd annual TCOYD ONE conference – the largest conference in the world for adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The conference, set in the beachside paradise of San Diego’s Mission Bay, is a program of San Diego-based (Taking Control of Your Diabetes). This year’s conference saw over 700 adults with type 1 from 45 states and several countries! In short, it was amazing!"
Bigfoot Biomedical
A Day in the Life Managing Insulin-Requiring Diabetes (February 2019)
"Over the years, I’ve heard a few good metaphors for what it’s like to live with insulin-requiring diabetes. Dan Hurley, in his book Diabetes Rising, called diabetes “a child that you can't make stop crying.” Mark Wilson, diabetes advocate, describes having diabetes as “like driving a car that you can never leave...”
Between the Lines Series - Melissa (January 2019)
"...An insulin pump or a continuous glucose monitor or a killer app can give you information and deliver your medication, but they can’t heal your soul. Most do nothing to quiet the cognitive overload. No tool is there for you when you’ve had all you can take on any given day (and sometimes it’s the tool you’ve had enough of!)..."


Bigfoot Biomedical
The Cognitive Burden of Managing a Chronic Disease and Why Understanding is Imperative to Solving Big Challenges in Healthcare (December 2018) 
"...At Bigfoot, through our own experience as people impacted by diabetes, as well as surveys of our community and published research, we understand exactly what makes diabetes so much of a mental load. In a recent poll we conducted in our social community, nearly a quarter of all people surveyed said the never-ending cognitive burden of diabetes management - the constant thinking, planning ahead, attention to detail, and preparing for the unexpected - was the hardest thing about living with insulin-requiring diabetes...not the needles..."


PLAID Journal
Advocating for Your Diabetes Needs (October 2017)
"...If you have an insurance plan through your employer, enlist the help of your company’s Human Resources or benefits manager. They are trained to help you negotiate for your benefits and uniquely situated to select plans for the coming year based on the needs of their employee population..."



Sweet Siblings: Diabetes Youth Advocates Offer Support (March 2016)

Diabetes UnConference: It’s Tailored For You (March 2016)

Assess Your Prediabetes Risk in Under One Minute (February 2016)

Spare a Rose, Save a Child With Diabetes (February 2016)
"I will never forget the story I heard from Life for a Child several years ago about the children who stood at the end of a village road waiting for insulin to arrive from aid workers, crying when a vial fell to the ground and shattered."
Making It Simple: Bigfoot’s Approach to the Artificial Pancreas (February 2016)
"Bigfoot’s goal is to make pump-sensor therapy simpler than the pump companies before them have. They envision themselves as a service provider rather than a hardware or device company. Their service will be to “do a better job delivering insulin,” automating your between-meal insulin therapy, the communication between your pump and your Dexcom CGM, even so far as serving as a single point of contact for all of your supply and prescription inventory management."
23 Hilarious Diabetes Sniglets We Just Made Up (January 2016)

Beyond Type 1: Beyond Compare (January 2016)
"But after 13 years as a powerhouse diabetes fundraiser and as her daughter Mary flourished into adulthood, Lucas felt as though something was missing. Throughout those years, she had urged the big organizations to consider shifting their focus to include fostering community. She yearned for a sense of connection for people with diabetes."
The Race Toward an Artificial Pancreas: Where Are We Today? (January 2016)
"So what’s next from Medtronic? We are hoping to see the Minimed 640G with predictive Low Glucose Suspend (stage 2) approved stateside late this year or early 2017. Their next phase, the much-anticipated 670G, will be a stage 4 – an automated “hybrid” closed loop system that still requires meal time bolusing and carb counting. They are currently recruiting for the 670G pivotal study at multiple study sites."


Advocacy in the D.O.C. (November 9, 2015)
"...Grassroots action is exciting because it starts as such a seed. It starts as a single person saying “This isn’t right,” and rallying others to call for a change...Since 2010, our Diabetes Advocates program has sought to bring more than “clicktivism” to the social media space. We give grassroots advocates platforms to connect on issues that matter to them..."

A More Effective Advocate (July 6, 2015)
"...With 29.1 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, we certainly have the numbers to build a movement, and yet, we haven’t made much progress creating the kind of outcry to effect positive change for people with diabetes..."

TCOYD Newsletter
A Pathway to Advocacy - edition no longer online, but text available here (April, 2015)
"..The word advocacy turns some people away. It sounds like legalese. Surely advocates are the people you can call to rush in on your behalf and fight for your rights, right? Yes, that’s one definition, but it’s not what we in the diabetes advocacy space are calling you to do. Advocate translates quite literally to “to voice.” There are everyday opportunities for you, the person with diabetes, to apply your voice..."

7 New Diabetes Products To Look for in 2016 (December 2015)

Life as the Punchline: Should We Joke About Diabetes? (November 2015)
"Whatever version of a disease a person has, it’s a struggle for that person who is sick. The person in the center ring. The person who is afraid, who is bombarded by media blaming them for having given themselves this disease. The person whose well-meaning GP and Dr-Oz-loving-Readers-Digest-reading family probably tells them that it can be “reversed” if they just start toeing the line, shaming them if and when they fail."
Shopoglycemia: Low Blood Sugar in the Supermarket (August 2015)
"There is no easy, predictable solution to blood glucose management. Highs and lows happen. Every time I visit my endo and her nurse (who does not have much knowledge about the particulars of type 1) asks if I’m having any lows, I say “yes, ever since diagnosis.” The goal of normoglycemia is a nirvana that we reach toward, of course. “Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for,” right? To dismiss my parenting-with-diabetes dilemmas as the story of someone not tightly managed is to misunderstand the volatility of the disease."
Which New Blood Glucose Meter Should You Buy in 2015? (May 2015)

Does Diabetes Interfere with Your Parenting? (March 2015)

Are You Getting the Right Care for Your Diabetic Eyes? (January 2015)
"Dr. Ben believes in using the latest advancements in eye science – namely OCT (ocular coherence tomography) and FAF (fundus autofluorescence) – to screen people with diabetes much earlier, less invasively, and more effectively. He wants children to benefit from having an established baseline (long before the standard of an exam 5-8 years post-diagnosis) and he advocates for the parents to go back to their doctors at home and demand that those doctors adopt similar high-tech screening technologies."
Product Review: Animas Vibe Insulin Pump (January 2015)



7 New Diabetes Products to Look for in 2015 (December 2014)

The Diabetes UnConference: Be There (December 2014)

Insulin Pump Comparison: Which Pump is Right for You? (December 2014)

Cities Changing Diabetes: Houston Leads the Way (November 2014)
"With an influx of people into industrialized, crowded areas comes the need to address basic elements of urban infrastructure – how we live, move, work, eat, play, and thrive in these environments. In the past, there has been a focus on diabetes only in at-risk subpopulations. What public health researchers see when delving a little deeper into the complexities of urban diabetes, however, is that diabetes risk can vary from 5-20% across the same county, as it does in Harris County."
CGM in the Cloud: A Community Unites to Tackle Diabetes (September 2014)
"CGM in the Cloud is a concept first put forward by engineer (and father of a young son with type 1 diabetes) John Costik early last year that, in a nutshell, entails taking a patient’s CGMs device real-time data, sending it to the cloud, and then allowing access to that data – again, in real-time – in remote locations, such as a webpage, a cell phone, or a wearable, like the popular Pebble smartwatch"
Skydiving With Type 1 Diabetes: The Adventures of Dennis Adair (July 2014)

Should I Screen My Child for Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease? (May 2014)
"Twenty years after my diabetes diagnosis I gave birth to the first of my two children.  Curiosity about my kids’ futures with potential autoimmune diseases came along with the packages of diapers, but we agreed early on that we were not going to succumb to fear or worry. "
Having a Healthy Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes: Advice from New Moms (May 2014)
"In the six years I have been a part of the Diabetes Online Community, I have seen so many would-be mommies realize their dream. I’ve had the pleasure of watching my two children play with theirs, of squeezing chunky baby thighs and discussing non-diabetes-related parenting topics like whether or not you carry crayons in your diaper bag. I’ve also seen too many women struggle. Too many women bombarded with bad information. Too many women whose medical teams seemed unsupportive, uncooperative – supposed caregivers who feel that scare tactics are the way to whip a diabetic mommy into shape."
Balancing Diabetes: A Conversation with Kerri Sparling (April 2014)

10 Things to Love About the Asante Snap Insulin Pump (March 2014)

What You Should Know About Flying with an Insulin Pump (March 2014)
"The difference in pressure between where they took off to the pressure in the cabin when flying results in some of the air that is trapped in your insulin to leave the liquid and form a bubble. This is because, as the pressure drops, the amount of air that can be dissolved in the insulin decreases. This is called outgassing. 
Another example of outgassing is what happens when you open a can of soda. The pressure change from popping the can open causes carbon dioxide to leave the liquid quickly and form bubbles. Your insulin is doing this as the plane takes off..."
Spare a Rose, Save a Child 2014 (February 2014)


You can also see posts from Sweetly Voiced syndicated at Diabetes Daily
See my author page here

Updated: July 2019

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