Wednesday, July 30, 2014

F-I-Dubs

...In other words: how every Diabetic is suited to be a flight controller.

You, yes you. You got the 'beetus? Don't feel down, little did you know you practice essential flight controller skills every.single.day.

Lets step back a little bit. Almost as soon as I commandeered my shiny new NASA badge and clumsily found my desk someone uttered those words, "FIW...Failure, Impact, Workaround."

"Well that's clever," I thought. I had no idea how many times I would hear those three letters.
Honestly, its probably on the order of a dozen times a day.
Its the buzzword, err, letters at NASA.
I'm surprised I haven't seen a tattoo yet.

As I progressed through my knowledge capture 'FIW' became a useful vocabulary word. I used those three letters to practice telling imaginary Flight Directors how new failures I learned about would 'impact' the system and what I was cooking up as a 'workaround'. It became so ingrained that I began thinking about everyday malfunctions as opportunities to practice 'FIW' much to my husband's annoyance.

But I realized something.

Whether consciously or not, I am constantly 'FIW-ing' situations surrounding my Type 1 Diabetes. I would venture to say that most, if not all of us, PWDs (Persons With Diabetes) use FIW all the time (holy acronym soup batman).

Example: Out to dinner and 'Low Reservoir' alarm rings on pump.
Failure: Low insulin levels in pump.
Impact: Possibility of running out of insulin before making it back home, especially since I am out to dinner.
Workarounds: (1)Eat less, (2) pull out backup insulin pen, or (3) site change materials, (4) do nothing and hope to get home before insulin runs out.

Sometimes its not so cut and dry...

Example: Ready to workout but blood sugar check shows 100 mg/dL.
Failure: Potential for going low while working out.
Impact: Abort workout, symptoms of low blood sugar, medical attention.
Workarounds: (1)Wait to workout until number increases from a swig of OJ, (2) skip workout, (3) take pump off or suspend.

Diabetes is a continuous FIW thought process. One 'F' can lead to a variety of 'I's', and there may be several 'Ws' in any situation. While I often curse Diabetes, I can honestly say its given me more practice with the 'FIW' process than anything else in my life. I feel confident in my abilities to think outside the box for 'Ws' because, let's be honest, we've all been in that sticky Diabetes situation that required a creative solution.

So, what does all this mean? We would all make great flight controllers! Whose ready to join me at NASA?!