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The Planning Shift

I am on the evening shift in mission control for the next few days. It's normally quiet - the astronauts are asleep (they run on Greenwich Mean Time), so our goal is to perform the final schedule verification and uplink any last minute documentation - it's lovingly called "the planning shift". Of course, we always have one eye on the data flowing from ISS to notice, what we engineers refer to as, "out-of-family" trends should they arise. 

I have listened to several astronaut debriefs once they're home safe on earth and one question that inevitably comes up, "Do you feel safe while you're sleeping?" I have never heard any answer but "yes" - they know teams around the world are dedicated to watching over their onboard systems and them 24/7. 

There are so many of us in the diabetes community on the "planning shift" - the quiet, behind the scenes minutia of the disease. 

This is a shout out to the parents of young T1Ds, vigilantly monitoring day and night, ready at a moment's notice to administer insulin or deliver a juicebox. I see you and you're doing a great job. 

A hearty "hoo-ray" for those interns and congressional staffers trying to figure out a way to cap insulin prices or make insurance pricing more transparent - thank you, keep up the good work! 

This is a nod to those school nurses and teachers who carefully watch their T1D students without being intrusive - letting kids be kids and easing an exhausted parent's burden. We need more like you in the world! 

I see you - diabetes advocate, giving talks or posting real-life-diabetes-schtuff. Thanks for your grass roots or influencer-level impact. 

Even you - the dad who is barely hanging on, who doesn't know a carbohydrate from a crack in the wall, who is more terrified of the lancing device than your 11-year-old daughter, but who actively educates and corrects misinformation (ok, hi dad!), you deserve a shoutout too! 

For the moms who wince slightly at the term "playdate" knowing there is more than just swim suits and sunscreen involved. 

Head nod and eye wink to those digging into the data, preparing Loop technology and shouting "we are not waiting!!" This community is better because of you! 

Hugs to the siblings and friends who are blind to the CGM and pump sites and see us for us. 

Hat tip to the endos - the good ones, and their nurses and dietitians for dedicating your life to helping us, our community. We are forever in your debt. 

And for all of those demographics I missed, for all of those in the shadows, in the support circles, in the tertiary support teams, in the research and development rings, the best friends and acquaintances - know that we love you and need you and depend on you. Even if your roles are not well defined, your positive presence is so, so important. We are better because you are in our lives. 

Thank you. 


  1. Our Type 3 supporters are the best. Especially, parents who worry about us while we sleep day and night.

  2. Hi from a T1D mom in the midst of the Planning Shift! I’m writing a blog post about my space crazed seven year old son with type 1 diabetes, and came across your blog. Thank you so much for writing this. And an even bigger thank you for just being you, doing what you love and sharing it with the world. ~Erin


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