Chris Wilson helps run some of the largest diabetes technology groups on Facebook. He’s also always on the lookout for the latest news from these companies and very involved in clinical trials.
Chris also shares his diagnosis story, inside scoop on Facebook groups and even talks about bowling in sandals. Yikes.
In Tell Me Something Good, a middle school 3D printing class helps out a 9 year old with type 1 and a running event goes virtual & big
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Use this link to get one free download and one free month of Audible, available to Diabetes Connections listeners!
Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go!
Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes. By real good foods real food you feel good about eating, and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.
This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
Stacey Simms 0:27
This week, Chris Wilson helps run some of the largest diabetes tech groups on Facebook. It turns out he’s also very involved in clinical trials. This one for a new emergency glucagon,
Chris Wilson 0:39
kind of an interesting experience. They hook you up to IV and so on and push your blood sugar down, I want to say under 50 and then turn off the IV and give you the injection and watch what happens.
Stacey Simms 0:52
Chris tells us more about participating in trials. Staying on top of diabetes news and bowling in San Jose. Tell me something good. A Middle School 3d printing class helps out a nine year old with type one. And a running event goes virtual and big. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of the show. I am so glad to have you along. I’m your host, Stacey Simms. And you know, we aim to educate and inspire about type one diabetes by sharing stories of connection here. How are we doing these days? I gotta tell you, I’m having good days and some rough days. I think like everybody out there. I don’t know. I feel like I’m not doing enough. Right? I have this weird feeling some days where it’s not like I’m not doing enough in my house, which I am not because we moved to a new house at the beginning of March. I know great timing. And so when I tell people that they’re like, Well, you’ve had so much time to set things up and get organized. I kind of Yeah, I guess We haven’t really jumped right in and set everything up the way I think we might normally do. We certainly have the time. And many rooms look very nice. Many rooms still have stuff in boxes. Because I don’t know, there’s there’s some days where I have a lot of urgency. And I feel very efficient. There are some days when I lie on the couch and watch YouTube all day. So I’m trying to be kind to myself, like I always advise everybody else to be, you know, I don’t think this is very unusual. There are some people doing amazing things out there. I mean, I don’t so, you know, I’m trying to figure out what I can do. I’m trying to serve the diabetes community, certainly, but you know, I think we’ll find ways to help as we move forward here, certainly in my local community as well. But I was talking to my kids about school. My daughter was concerned about the number of credits she was able to register for, I mean, long story short, like a lot of colleges out there. They’re making some changes they’re adjusting. No decisions have been made yet, but the way that people registered for classes changed a little bit. And so she was really concerned about Getting the number that she wanted as an incoming sophomore. And I said to her, you know, why? What’s the big deal? Because this school year may look totally normal. Everybody may go back to college, everything’s fine. You know, who knows? It may look extremely different. Nobody goes back to college, they continue online learning or they get there and things change. I mean, who knows what’s going to happen this fall? So all we can really do is act like it’s going to be, quote, normal, register for the classes that you can, but expect the unexpected and realize that, you know, maybe you’ll take some summer classes. Maybe you won’t graduate in exactly four years, which horrified her you she’s a very good student. And I was able to say to her look, did you have big plans for 2023? Yes, she’s not on a set schedule, which kind of made her laugh, but also made me realize I’ve got to be more kind to myself, too. I mean, the podcast is not getting out on Tuesdays, like clockwork, as it has been, and I very much pride myself on that schedule. I think it’s Hey, to let these things go, right. I mean, we want to come out of all of this with our mental health as best as it can be. And if that means tonight, I need to watch the what’s up with that skit from Saturday Night Live on repeat, because and if you haven’t seen this, I’m not really into Saturday Night Live lately, but I saw the one from home. I laughed so hard at the what’s up with that, and I couldn’t believe it was an ongoing sketch. It’s so stupid and so funny. And it was just remarkable. And the one with Zach Galifianakis where he’s playing the flute, I’ll link it up in the show notes. That’s how much I left and it’s so dumb anyway. But if that’s what I need to do that night, I’m going to let myself do that. So a long way of saying, I hope you’re hanging in there, I hope you’re not being too hard on yourself. For You know, when we went into this, we all thought I’m gonna organize my house and I’m gonna work out every day and you know, there are people doing wonderful things, but it’s okay to do ordinary things and be there for each other and just come out the other side of This was a feeling that we made it through. I keep reminding myself we’re doing something important by staying home. Right. That’s how we’re helping. One thing that really has helped me a lot through this is doing some of these live events and chat events and just the zoom calls. I’ve been doing a bunch lately, had a lot of fun last week doing the world’s worst diabetes parent meetup. That was amazing. Thank you Project Blue November for letting me do that on your page. We got a great group chat with some parents told our mistake stories and gave away some books gave away some amazon gift cards. I’m doing stuff this week with the college diabetes network. And of course, I will be doing the 300th episode taping. As you listen, that will be Wednesday. So I believe this episode is going to be coming out either late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. So Wednesday, April 29. I will be live on Facebook answering your questions and talking about the diabetes community in June of 2015, which is when I launched the podcast holy cow So that’s the episode 300 taping. Okay, all right, getting to Chris in just a moment. Diabetes Connections is brought to you by real good foods. And last night Ben he came downstairs and said, Hey, do we have any ice cream? And we’re at the point of this where we have quite a lot of ice cream we have, but we didn’t have what he wanted. We had like regular I think my daughter had some Ben and Jerry’s. We had some mini ice cream sandwiches, but he wanted the real good foods ice cream that I’ve talked to you about. And I said, I think maybe there’s some in the garage freezer and he went and looked and there wasn’t any love, so I have to order some more. And as I’m looking right now there is a sale 20% off on their ice cream, so I forgot to get Benny’s order today. He really liked the peanut butter. They have the super premium peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream is so delicious. I happen to be a big fan of just the chocolate and my husband likes the mint chocolate chip. We didn’t try the salted caramel list. I’ll have to put an order in for that. This ice cream is so tasty. It’s not like that. A lot of lower carb ice creams, you know that chalky kind of chunky weirdness that you can get sometimes, but this is, as they say, a real ice cream experience with real ingredients, low sugar, 200 calories per serving, they list all the ingredients online so you can read everything that goes in it. And of course, when they ship it to you, they ship it in a cooler with dry ice when we got our first shipment of ice cream. It had we’re in North Carolina, we’re in Charlotte where it’s already warm. I know it may have just snowed where you live, but it’s been beautiful here and when we got our first shipment, the ice cream is frozen solid. They do such a great job free shipping on orders over $50 just go to diabetes, connections calm and click on the real good foods logo.
My guest this week is well known to a lot of you who are on Facebook, or maybe his profile picture is you may not actually know too much about him and that’s why I’m talking to him today. Chris Wilson is one of the admins for two very large closed Facebook groups. We’re talking thousands of people in these groups all about tandem and Dexcom. Well, if you’re not familiar, and I know some people still aren’t on Facebook or have left, you know, an admin is somebody who may have created the groups, but is always there to make sure things run smoothly. They can add or remove people or kick you out for bad behavior, that sort of thing. I run two groups on Facebook, and it’s a lot of fun, but it can be a lot of work. And Chris always seems like he knows an awful lot of behind the scenes stuff. He doesn’t work at tandem or at Dexcom. He gets asked that a lot. And we also talked about his clinical trial experience. I didn’t realize like he had so much to say about that was very interesting. So here is my interview with Chris Wilson. Chris, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for jumping on to talk to me. I really appreciate it. Well, thanks for the invite Stacey. You know, it’s one of those situations where I feel like I know you because we talk on Facebook all the time and I see your posts and you know, I read the valuable information you provide And then
Chris Wilson 9:00
I realized as we were recording as I, as I hit record, I don’t really know that much about you at all. I’m not sure I’ve been less prepared for an interview in a long time. So I appreciate you writing this out with me. Well, I mean, that’s kind of the the nature of the the online community is we interact with people, you know, we get to know them, at least in one aspect of their lives, but somebody that you’ve never met in person, you never had a chance to sit down and have a drink with or whatever. So,
Stacey Simms 9:29
well, I’m gonna start with a very hard hitting question. I did my research and I looked you up on Facebook. And it was very difficult because we’re already Facebook friends, but it does say the last time I wore shoes was January 2015. Is that true? And if so, what’s with the not wearing shoes?
Chris Wilson 9:47
That is true? It just sort of I mean, I wear sandals.
outside the house, it just sort of happened by accident. My job’s done. don’t require me to, you know, wear close toed shoes or anything I live in Southern California on a really cold night in the winter it might get down into the 40s there’s you know, no real need to wear close toed shoes and insulate one’s feet.
Stacey Simms 10:18
All right, okay, so I have a much better mental picture of your day to day life. No close toed shoes do formal wear. You’re not going to the office with a briefcase.
Chris Wilson 10:28
Right? I even actually have a pair of custom made bowling sandals that I use for bowling.
Stacey Simms 10:33
You do not you? I do. Can you post a picture of that when we do the when we hear this? Because that just sounds like you never got hurt wearing them
Unknown Speaker 10:42
now. Oh, man. That’s funny.
Chris Wilson 10:47
Well, when I had the idea to do it, because bowling was at that point, the only time I was wearing shoes, and I sort of had the idea of Hey, I could you know, take the soul off of these a tournament a bowl of cheese, replace it with a bowling soul and be Half of my friends said, Oh, that’s awesome. And about the other half said, That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard in my life.
Stacey Simms 11:07
Well, now that I know you’re not getting hurt, I’ll refrain from commenting, but I’m what my initial reaction was. Okay, so we’re going to talk bowling, we’re going to talk all sorts of stuff. But let’s start with diabetes, which is really kind of how we know we found each other. Certainly, Tell me your story. When were you diagnosed?
Chris Wilson 11:26
I was diagnosed my freshman year of college. Oh, wow. I had and I was probably starting to really get the beginnings of symptomatic as I was leaving for college. But you know, you go away in August and I went to school 3000 miles away from my parents on the other side of the country, and so no interaction with them. You know, they didn’t see me for anything like that. And I started losing weight in the classic symptoms thirsty all the time having to go to the bathroom all the time, but you never crossed my mind that something that could be diabetes. This lasted all the way until Thanksgiving. I went to go see my grandparents for Thanksgiving. And my grandmother took one look at me and said there’s something not right with you. My grandfather was type two. So he had a meter and two mornings in a row, they prick my finger and got readings in the three hundreds. And I went to calling the advice nurse for my health insurance and said, you know, hey, what should I do? I’m from California. I’m in DC going to school. Right now I’m in Pennsylvania, my grandparents house and they said, stop whatever you’re doing, do not pass go do not collect $200 get yourself to the nearest emergency room. When I got there. Actually, the meter wouldn’t even read. They had to send my blood to the lab to get a blood sugar reading and it came back at almost 1000 milligrams per deciliter. And I was well into DK And the doctors looked at me and they said, We can’t explain how you’re alive, let alone conscious. Oh my gosh. And so I got to spend a couple of days they actually sent me to the pediatric ward even though I was an adult, because that’s where all the people that knew type one were right. So I spent a couple of days in the hospital there my my mom flew out to come and collect me and they taught me how to give myself shots and prick my finger and everything else. And then after that, I went back to school when finished out the semester.
Stacey Simms 13:32
Okay, I have a couple of quick questions for you. Do you remember what it felt like when you got your first dose of insulin? I’ve heard that that’s just an amazing feeling after you’ve been feeling lousy like that for so long.
Chris Wilson 13:43
Oh, it is it’s you can almost like feel the the ketones leaving your blood is sort of the the way that I think about it. almost feel like pins and needles inside as things get really bad. And if it’s happening slowly and building up, you don’t necessarily feel it acutely. You just sort of build up a tolerance to it when they started me on the insulin and everything else it was just like this weight was lifted and I didn’t even realize how bad I had been feeling until I felt better. Yeah, that’s amazing. I
Stacey Simms 14:14
you know, obviously not living with diabetes myself I don’t have I can’t I can’t relate to that at all. But I can only imagine how much better you must have felt. But then to go back to college, what was that transition? Like? Because I assume your mother did not move into your dorm
Chris Wilson 14:27
always wanted to? She did not. She made me tell my roommate and all the other people on my floor. What was going on? Some of them or were actually like oh, wow, cool. You know, you get syringes and stuff. It’s almost like we’re living with a druggie. Lots of joking about it, but at least the first couple years actually, it was almost like an extent I had a really long honeymoon phase. And so I didn’t even really need it. You know, I gave myself the insulin and I ate when I was starting to feel hungry. You’re low and didn’t really even think about you know, managing intensely or correctly or the way that we do now. It was just okay this happened. We’ll we’ll deal with it. And
Stacey Simms 15:15
and when when was this What year was this? If you don’t mind me asking? This was 1997 Okay, so before certainly before CGM, and well before a lot of people even had an insulin pump,
Chris Wilson 15:25
right he will log was I believe brand new at the time.
Stacey Simms 15:29
It is wild to think about that stuff. I mean, Lantus had just been approved pediatric Lee when Benny was diagnosed, we thought Wow, this is so cool. We get to use this new insulin that just got approved. You know, it was really it’s amazing when you look back on it. When did you start getting interested in technology and I say it like this because I assume you are pretty interested since you run these these groups now on Facebook.
Chris Wilson 15:50
I didn’t pay too much attention to it because for the longest time, I was surviving uninsured haha and the over The counter Rnm I actually couldn’t get to a Walmart. There wasn’t a local Walmart. I was getting it from CVS in the basement of the Watergate hotel, if you believe that. That was the the local CVS. Wow. And that was just, you know, kind of what I knew. I mean, even at that point, anything newer than that, the more modern analogs and stuff like that was just prohibitively expensive without insurance. So I figured that out, I figured out you know, which meter had the cheapest test strips that I could could get and I didn’t test nearly enough wound up in it DK and hospitalized briefly, once during that time, although not entirely due to the insulin regimen. My parents had come to visit me and I, being a impetuous college student got mad at them and decided I was going to take a road trip so I hopped in my car and drove to Florida from DC without any insulin. By the time I got back, I was feeling pretty awful and went and checked myself into the yard.
Stacey Simms 17:00
I feel like I want to say something. It’s funny, Chris, as a parent, I’m, you know, I hold my breath when I hear stories like that, but as someone who’s talked to people with diabetes for a long time now, so many people have done things like that it’s just life, you know, and if you as you’re listening you’re I could never imagine, you know, things happen, right? It’s nobody’s perfect. So I’m glad you were okay. That is kind of scary.
Chris Wilson 17:24
Well, I wouldn’t do that now. Oh, of course. I know. I know a lot better. Now.
Stacey Simms 17:28
Of course, when were you able to get insurance and then to get you know, a pump or CGM and everything that you have now. Right back to Chris in just a moment, but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop and getting diabetes supplies is a pain. Not only the ordering and the picking up but also the arguing with insurance over what they say you need and what you really need. Make it easy with One Drop. They offer personalized test trip plans, plus you Get a Bluetooth glucose meter test strips lancets and your very own certified diabetes coach. Subscribe today to get test strips for less than $20 a month delivered right to your door. No prescriptions are Kobe’s required. One less thing to worry about not that surprising. When you learn that the founder of One Drop lives with type one, they get it One Drop gorgeous gear supplies delivered to your door 24 seven access to your certified diabetes coach, learn more, go to diabetes, connections comm and click on the One Drop logo. Now back to Chris talking about when he was able to get coverage for what he really needed.
Chris Wilson 18:39
It was with the ACA when in fact, I had actually looked at insurance options briefly and the one insurer in because I’ve moved back to California by this time, the one insurer in the state that would even offer me a policy quoted me a premium that exceeded my gross income once the ACA went into effect and they couldn’t raise the premium Just because I had type one diabetes, all of a sudden it became an option and you know, we went through the the standard of Okay, we’re not going to do the the regular the mph anymore, we’re going to get you on lattice and get you on human log. And after trying that and tweaking things here and there and figuring out what worked and what didn’t, and they decided that really, my basal needs fluctuated so much throughout the day that I needed to, to be on a pump. Then after I was going through, I don’t know 1015 test trips a day cuz I was testing about once an hour, trying to catch the spikes and dips and figuring out where things were. And I was regularly having my blood sugar dip into the 50s and 40s without feeling it. At that point, my endocrinologist looked at me and said, You know what, we should probably put a CGM on you. Hmm.
I said, Okay, yeah, let’s let’s do that.
Stacey Simms 19:58
What did you think? When you got on Dexcom,
Chris Wilson 20:01
my first thought was, oh my god, this is amazing. I can actually, you know, see, maybe not quite in real time but basically close enough what’s going on and where I need to make adjustments to things that are crucial say, you know, make knowledge your superpower. And then a lot of ways it really is. And that kind of actually dovetails in with my job because as an IT consultant, I do a lot of working with data and data analysis and stuff like that, and actually having enough data to be able to analyze it and then make changes based on it. Yeah, was almost a perfect fit.
Stacey Simms 20:40
So how do you get from being you know, a regular guy, work for yourself and you’re on a pump and you’re on a CGM, taking care of yourself. You’re doing well to suddenly having thousands of people in these Facebook groups where you big Facebook guy from the beginning?
Chris Wilson 20:54
Well, I’ve actually been on Facebook. Basically since there was a Facebook. I was in college. We were, I want to say the fourth or fifth school to get Facebook. That was number one was obviously Harvard, that Stanford was second. And then they started expanding to two other schools. And where did you go to
Unknown Speaker 21:15
college? I don’t know that you said it
Chris Wilson 21:16
was it was George Washington University. I see.
Stacey Simms 21:19
That’s funny. I mean, I went on, I got on in 2008, which I thought was really early. If you go, there’s no record of that. Because long story short, I messed up my Facebook when I left my old job at the radio station, and went from like a friend to a pub, whatever I did, I messed it all up. But I was on in 22,008. And I thought that was early. But oh my gosh, you’ve been there really? Since the beginning?
Chris Wilson 21:40
Yeah, I want to say it was like 2001 or two, when it was the Facebook when it was the Facebook. My endocrinologist actually had encouraged me to when I was even just starting to research pumps, and then CGM and the other things. I was encouraged to go online, find user groups, do some research. So I joined initially the the tandem t slim pump group. And as I got better at using it and more familiar with it and figuring out how things worked, and at least the best way to do things for me, I started answering more and more questions. After a few months of that, I think one of the, the original admins of the group asked me if I would be willing to help out with admitting and you know, making sure people didn’t do things that violated the rules and answering questions and stepping in when incorrect information was given out, and that sort of thing. So that happened, and not too long after that happened. Then, when the G five came out, one of the admins of that tandem group started the G five CGM users group. She sort of tapped me to come in and help out with that. So that’s sort of how I wound up there. I mean, both of the groups have have grown significantly since then. It used to be that we, you know, let anybody post whatever they wanted pretty much. It that’s, you know, had to be clamped down on somewhat just to keep things orderly.
Stacey Simms 23:12
What’s the what are some things that people should know about Facebook groups? Like, is there anything that’s kind of behind the scenes stuff that would help us either post better or use them better? Or they just drive admins crazy.
Chris Wilson 23:24
One of the big things that that gets me at least is Facebook is not Twitter. There’s no character limit. You don’t have to cram whatever question it is that you’re asking her describe the situation in 140 or 280 characters or less, you know, by all means, use lots of words be as descriptive as possible, because sometimes in there, there’s a little curl that have a little nugget that gives away what the actual source of the problem that person is having is the other
Stacey Simms 23:56
thing that was really interesting. We saw this so much with control IQ When it first came out was people don’t search the group to see if their question has already been answered. I mean, I run to smaller groups, and they’re usually really great. But that’s kind of drives me crazy.
Chris Wilson 24:12
It used to be, it drives me crazy less, because I’ve just kind of learned to shrug it off. In large part, it’s a function of just the way that Facebook’s algorithms and ranking in the way that it orders the posts that people see works. Facebook’s always trying to get the most recent stuff up at the top, or the stuff that it thinks you might be most interested in based on stuff that you’ve interacted with in the past. And there’s, I’m sure tons and tons of algorithms and things that go into deciding what you see and when. And it’s not even intuitive, especially looking at it on a phone or on tablet versus on the desktop website. There’s even really a search to group option in a lot of cases. And there are Tons and tons of people that do search that that’s one thing. But the people that do search, almost never actually post a question because they get their answers by searching the group. So those are the people that that we frequently interact with. It’s you know, and you, you wind up seeing somebody posts a lot, because they’ve never realized that there’s a search function. Good point.
Stacey Simms 25:24
So when control IQ came out, and this is particular to the tantum group, like hundreds of people, thousands of people, it seems like came into that group. Was it that many or is it just, you know, I’m sitting on the outside wasn’t really that many people,
Chris Wilson 25:37
I want to say, because the group’s kind of, you know, had a long steady growth. But I want to say for especially that few months when it was approved and not yet released, and then right after it was starting to roll out, there was definitely a spike in interest. We were seeing the group grow at almost three times the rate that it had been before that Wow.
Stacey Simms 26:00
So if you don’t mind, let me ask you about your experience with control IQ because there’s still you know, certainly a lot of people who haven’t who have tanto haven’t tried it yet. And there’s a lot of people who’ve listened who haven’t switched over to it, you post a lot of, you know, very publicly posted about your experience. How’s it going now?
Chris Wilson 26:16
It’s so going along, okay, I’ve actually backed off because, of course, when it was new, I’m paying attention to it all the time, right? I’m looking at it, I want to see what it’s doing. I want to see why, you know, see if I can figure out why it’s deciding to do what it’s doing right now. Now, I’ve gotten to the point where I trusted enough that I frequently just let it go. And sometimes that means that I don’t catch or foresee something that I would have otherwise. So my time range has dropped back down a little bit from where it was I’m not running, you know, 9597 90% time and range. It’s closer to being in the low 90s still, but a slacker in all honesty The low 90s is fine. And my average blood sugar has come down significantly. And the biggest thing that I was anticipating getting help with from it, I’m still getting out which was gone phenomenon. I’m still seeing that improvement. I’m not as a general rule waking up at 180 or 200. Even though my basal rate doubles before I wake up, Wow, it’s so definitely helping. And I’ve kind of decided I’m gonna let it go and try to be a normal user, not a someone who’s focused on it all the time, and sort of see how that rides out.
Stacey Simms 27:38
I think that almost in a way, it’s better. I think that and I have because I have a 15 year old son, who is very responsible. I mean, I don’t want to put him it’s gonna sound like I’m putting him down. I’m not he’s very responsible. But truly being a person who really would prefer to never touch this pump again, has helped him so much because I know people who overreact everything and they’re not doing as well with control like you He bonuses for food and then leaves it alone. And you know, four or five hours later, he’ll be like, Oh, yeah, it’s good. You know, he doesn’t, you know, and I’m not I’m not checking him as much as I used to because he’s a teenager. But it’s amazing. When you would let it do its thing if your settings are right, which is a whole other story. It really works out great. So, you know, we’ll see how it goes for you. But I think that you know, anything you can do to think less about diabetes is also very nice.
Chris Wilson 28:23
That’s right, it gives you you know, more time to think about the other things in your life.
Stacey Simms 28:27
So let’s talk about other things in your life. You’re okay, so you bowl, you’re an IT guy work for yourself. There’s some surfing stuff in your bio, do you surf or is that a company that you work with?
Chris Wilson 28:37
It’s primarily my biggest client is a nonprofit organization that focuses on ocean waves of beaches that includes access for recreation. So there’s a lot of surfing related stuff there. I can surf I have served. I’ll be honest wearing a pump and CGM is is not necessarily conducive to being out in the water recreating, I would need to figure out some sort of untethered regimen or something if I wanted to do it regularly, I can at least paddle out and catch a wave or two and not get tossed around too much. But actually, the the big surfing thing is comes from my dad. My dad who’s now in his 70s, you know, started surfing when he was 15 or 16. And still goes out and in surfs, usually two or three times a week at least when he can when we’re not all under house arrest.
Stacey Simms 29:38
Yeah. Oh, that’s great, though. That’s really cool. Do they live nearby?
Chris Wilson 29:43
They do. They live about a mile mile and a half for me. Oh, that’s great. So how
Stacey Simms 29:47
is everybody doing? I you know, I I don’t know exactly when this will air but I assume it was it will not be at a time when we’re all running around outside yet. So how are you holding up?
Chris Wilson 29:57
We’re all doing okay. The nature of my job is such That I can largely work from home. Most of the time anyway, that hasn’t been a huge impact for me. My parents have figured out Netflix and zoom, and doordash. And so they’re adjusting to their new restrictions, although they still do get out and walk around and make sure they get their exercise in as well. So
Stacey Simms 30:25
well, who knows what it’s gonna look like on the other side of this. So we’ll just do what we can. But one of the questions that you I’ve seen you answer in the groups and I want to talk about is, you know, people sometimes think you work for them, or you work for Dexcom and you don’t, but you get a lot of really good information. Can you talk to us about what you do? You know, how can lay people stay up on information from these companies, because it’s all public, I assume the things that you’re looking into.
Chris Wilson 30:55
It is, none of it’s a secret. It’s just a lot of it isn’t well publicized. I pay attention to every press release that the companies put out. You know, I have one of the stock tracking apps and I have it set up to notify me whenever any of the companies on my list put out a press release, and it’s not just Dexcom in tandem, it’s insolate for the Omni pod. Medtronic psionics. Basically, almost anybody in the diabetes space, I try to at least keep up with what they’re doing. I listened to the conference calls that they have for investors.
Stacey Simms 31:33
I salute you, because I have been on some of those conference calls. And they are so boring, but they are they have great information, but they are a slog, sometimes
Chris Wilson 31:42
they can be most definitely and if it doesn’t work out schedule wise that I’m able to listen to the call. Honestly, sometimes I prefer to go back through and read the transcript after it’s done. There’s that I follow the diabetes media. You know, I read everything that gets Put just about everything that gets posted on diabetes mind or diatribe, or any of the other publications that sort of track what’s going on in the diabetes world. And well, I do have some friends that do work for those companies living in San Diego or near San Diego, where they’re headquartered is kind of inevitable, but they don’t share any inside info with me or anything else. It’s just a matter of really paying attention. I’m curious why you
Stacey Simms 32:31
do that. What is it that makes you so interested? Obviously, you have diabetes, you were the technology, but most people don’t
Chris Wilson 32:38
follow it that closely. I think part of it’s just sort of the way that I brought was brought up, I have sort of the the engineering bent to and that goes again, with with the job, but, you know, I like looking at things and taking them apart and figuring out how they work and how they’re put together. And that’s not necessarily always a option with diabetes technology. Although obviously the, the we’re not waiting, the CGM, the crowd group has has done a lot with reverse engineering, what goes into these devices and how they’re communicating with the radio signals and figuring out ways to sort of hijacks some of that to use for their own purposes, in ways that the tech wasn’t necessarily originally designed to be used. But I’ve got some of that same sort of inquisitiveness about how things work. I mean, I remember when I was eight years old, I took apart my mother’s computer that she had at home to install an expansion card so that I could attach a joystick to it to play games. And I remember being told that man, if you put that to get back together, if it doesn’t work, you’re not getting your allowance for the next four years.
And you were eight and it worked. And I was about eight and it worked. was safe there.
Stacey Simms 34:01
It’s funny. But that says a lot. Right about being curious about, you know, having a knack for things. And for having the I don’t know, there’s something different about people who take a look at technology and say, I can do that. It’s like you said that like the night scout people in the DIY crowd to be able to look at something and have the confidence or just even the curiosity to say we can make this better. I think that’s really admirable. I don’t have that. There’s no doubt I’m, I’m scared of it.
Chris Wilson 34:28
Well, a lot of it just comes down to looking at it looking at what is the data is going into it, looking at what the actions are, that are coming out of it and figuring out what must be happening in between those because you don’t necessarily have any insight as to exactly what the system is doing. But if you input a two and it gives you a four, and then you input a four, and it gives you an eight, and you input an eight and it gives you a 16. It’s probably just taking whatever the input is and multiplying it by two and giving you the answer.
Stacey Simms 34:57
When you look at the technology and I No that, you know, who knows exactly what timelines are going to look like after this situation that we’re all in right now? What’s coming that excites you down the road for diabetes technology, because there’s a lot that’s on the horizon.
Chris Wilson 35:13
I think the biggest thing that I see and it’s actually sort of already here is the option to be able to infuse multiple hormones both insulin and glucagon. Now that we actually do have a shelf stable liquid glucagon on the market, that being the G voke. from Paris, I would assume that Zealand’s product isn’t too far behind that since that’s what’s being used for the for the island with beta bionics. So we should have two options before too much longer. Hopefully, just having the ability to not just take your foot off the gas, so to speak, but actually be able to apply the brakes is I think, going to be a major thing and then going along with that and something that I haven’t really seen talked about too much is Lily’s faster humalog which I mean, that’s one of the big challenges is always that food is fast and then slow, the slow. And so anything that that can be done to speed up the insulin action to get it closer to what you would actually seen that happen naturally when your pancreas dumps that insulin straight into your veins, I think gonna be a big improvement.
Unknown Speaker 36:26
You mentioned g Volk. Did I read you were in one of the trials. Did you talk about that at some point? I did. I’ve discussed it.
Chris Wilson 36:33
From time to time I do various clinical trials as they as they pop up. A lot of the research gets done here in San Diego, and if nothing else is an option to get paid for having diabetes, which is nice to have happen. Once in a while. I did participate in the phase three clinical trial for for the G Volk, where they actually compared it to the standard glucagon kit to prove that it was of equivalent efficacy. That was Kind of an interesting experience, they hook you up to IV insulin and push your blood sugar down, I want to say under 50 and then turn off the IV and give you the injection and watch what happens. And the sort of the cool thing was that they actually didn’t make me take off my CGM when I was doing it. So I saved and screenshotted the data from the days that I did both the traditional glucagon kit and then the, the product that they were testing the G voke to be able to look at and sort of compare the two, but doing that kind of stuff. And I also did the G six clinical trial, proving that it was good for 10 days if you wore it and also that it would block at least up to a certain dose of Tylenol.
Stacey Simms 37:43
Oh, that’s interesting. I didn’t realize you’re in that trial too. Did they give you a bunch of Tylenol?
Chris Wilson 37:47
It was thousand milligram pill of kill of acetaminophen. They had as a saw, I want to say it was you know, 15 ish people and all basically crammed into a clinic room. IVs in so they could do blood draws every five or 15 minutes depending on what stage we were in of the of the testing. And they were running them through the lab grade glucose meters right there in front of us and comparing the readings from the CGM because we were all wearing both the G five and Digi six so they could compare the two. That’s wild. And it was it was basically controlled chaos for about six hours.
Stacey Simms 38:28
Yeah, I’ve signed up any for a few you know, to get into some clinical trials. But here in Charlotte, North Carolina, we really don’t have the access. We could drive to Virginia sometimes sometimes there’s some stuff in the Raleigh area, you know, the Research Triangle, but and the pediatric ones are hard anyway, but we’d love to do one that’s really interesting. I’m going to tell them about that thousand milligrams of Tylenol in one pill
Chris Wilson 38:51
which actually isn’t too much more than the extra strength the normal extra rectangle
Stacey Simms 38:56
so Oh, wow. I used I thought it was like 200 milligrams in one And then so it would be five. But I didn’t think that the extra strength oh my goodness,
Chris Wilson 39:04
well, if nothing else, I mean the the clinical trials also give you a chance to have testing done that nobody would ever pay for as a normal patient. They’re looking at all kinds of stuff I’ve done at various stages of research trials for other things where they’re looking at measuring your resting metabolic rate. And they’ve actually got a giant plastic hood that they put over your head to measure how much oxygen is going in and co2 is coming out. And based on that they can calculate how fast your normal metabolism is running. And they’ll do it under various conditions where they’re running extra insulin into you and extra sugar to counteract that insulin in an IV. Under normal circumstances, I would never do think it was 100 gram of carbohydrate challenge to see what would happen but I do Did a trial where they did it before and then after giving the medication that they were experimenting with to see what the difference was how high did your blood sugar peak? How fast did it come down? And nobody would ever do that. They’re laying in the bed and they’re practically doing blood draws and you’ve got your CGM on and you can see exactly how your body responds to various things. And it was actually kind of cool because if I had not done that trial, I would not believe that in score lasted five hours in my body. Oh, yeah. But because I did that, I’ve now actually got documented proof that I can show that no, like, here’s where I had the hundred grams of carbs and gave myself the the bolus of insulin. And I could then watch as the blood sugar’s slowly comes down and tails off. And that was six hours of measurements. Well, I
Transcribed by https://otter.ai