One of the people on the diabetes forum suggested that it would be a good idea if trainee medics were made to carry around and care for a tamagotchi-type thing that was programmed with diabetes. They’d have to check its levels, feed it, ‘inject’ it, cope with activity and illness etc. Then, at the end of the training period the tamagotchi could be checked for its ‘HbA1c’ to see how well they had been looked after.
Of course, the device would be programmed with all the variables that make life as a diabetic so interesting and fun, plus a few random unknowns just to spice things up every now and again! At the review, the medics whose devices had fared badly would be castigated for their poor control – taking no heed of their protestations about inexplicable readings and assurances they had been working as hard as they could…
Welcome to the lecture! Now this may sound prophetic,
But by the time you leave this room , you’ll all be diabetic!
Don’t worry, we’re not going to tie your pancreatic duct,
But take part in some training that is often overlooked!
You’ve read all about diabetes - that’s all well and good,
But that is generalistic, so I think that you all should
Discover how much work’s involved to keep your levels steady,
So take your tamagotchis and start them when you’re ready!
I’m sure from all your reading you’ll know where you should begin?
For every gram of carb you eat, then you must type it in,
And if you’ve done some exercise, like gardening and such.
That might affect your levels, so estimate how much…
And if you get a virus, then your levels might climb high
And sometimes you’ll be really bad, but never find out why!
And maybe in the morning, as you watch the rising Sun,
You’ll be afflicted by the lovely dawn phenomenon!
Those of you on insulin, you’re all allowed to test,
If not, then we won’t let you as you might become obsessed!
I’d like to see you all back here when three months have gone by
Be warned – if you should fail we’ll want to know the reason why!
Three months pass...
Ah Jones! Your tamagotchi isn’t looking very good!
I can’t believe you’ve tried at all, I thought you understood?
Your A1c is dreadful, so can you please explain?
Or must I just repeat myself time and time again?
What’s that? This diabetes lark is harder than you thought?
But you said when you started it was nothing of the sort!
Perhaps you’ll have more empathy when patients come to you,
And acknowledge the complexities they speak about are true!