Asking my dad to use Glooko

About twenty years ago, my dad called me for one of our routine, catch-up conversations. We had been speaking for some time, then very casually, he informed me that he’d been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (T2D) earlier that week. At the time, he was 51 years old and had always been a very physically active person and maintained a healthy lifestyle.

I didn’t know very much about diabetes then so it was very disconcerting.  I asked him about medication and whether this was something that could be reversed. After a more detailed conversation, I learned that his mother had been demurely injecting insulin several times a day for almost 20 years. Later I learned that 3 of her 5 children were diagnosed with T2D as adults. My dad assured me that in a very short amount of time since his diagnosis, he had absorbed as much information and resources as possible, and would be managing his diabetes cautiously.

My dad has since retired after a long career in healthcare and remains a very physically active person. He receives medical care at various VA hospitals in Michigan. I’ve been both impressed and proud of the many ways he’s juggled his daily activities. So much so that I sometimes forget that he has a chronic disease to manage.

I’ve worked in the diabetes space for over four years now, which has created a consistent dialogue with my dad about how people manage their diabetes. During one conversation, he explained that the VA hospitals would ask for his meter during his appointments and that they have a way to download and view his readings on their computers. For years, he had been hand-logging all his glucose readings and the medications he had taken daily. He crudely estimated his dietary and physical activity details, which obviously lent itself to human error.

After several conversations, my dad agreed to use the Glooko Mobile App.  He was excited to try Glooko this summer, successfully registering and performing his very first sync within 15 minutes. He’s always been graphically inclined and was curious to click through the Glooko website and view different his data, patterns, and trends across different time frames. Additionally, the ability to add his medications, food, and physical activities painted a more conclusive portrait of his diabetes for ideal self-care.

Being a scientific family, my dad and I compared the 90 days before using Glooko to the first 90 days of using Glooko. These were our findings:

  • Daily average blood glucose (BG) reduction from 149mg/dL to 129mg/dL
  • Fewer hypoglycemic (low glucose) events
  • 13% more in-range BG readings

My dad encourages me to view his information remotely since I live 500 miles away.  When I visit him every several months, he continues to explain that Glooko has been a game-changer for how much time he’s saving and how valuable the information is that he receives in return. To quote him directly:

“It’s amazing to think about how I’ve come to rely on something so heavily every single day that I never had access to before.”

He’s also learned to email PDF reports to his provider directly from the app. His experiences with Glooko have been an outstanding point of reference for my clinical calls and detailing how the Glooko system works for both providers and people with diabetes.

I’m both relieved and excited to witness my dad’s progress, and appreciative of the impact Glooko has had on his diabetes and his health!

Robin Beadle