“Sharply Dressed”, Undressed

I’ve been a bit remiss in keeping my promise to take you behind the scenes of the video I created for Diabetes Blog Week.

And since it was posted in response to a Saturday topic, and blog readership is relatively light on weekends, you may have missed it. And if that’s the case, you’ll need to spend two and a half minutes watching it (embedded below for your convenience), otherwise what I’m about to say won’t make any sense.

So… now that you understand, here’s the story behind the video:

Near the end of July/start of August, I was beginning a new job and really didn’t know how much time I’d have to dedicate to maintaining this blog. And following the old picture/thousand words axiom (and knowing from numerous Wordless Wednesdays that blogging in pictures tends to be faster and easier), I thought of going with the old “collect your (fill-in-the-blank) and take a picture of the pile”, where the blank could be test strips, syringes, or whatever. But I needed a twist (and was also severly lacking thumbtacks to hang things in my office cubicle, so it was on my mind), so I decided that I could poke my sharps on a calendar instead.

Well, I didn’t think a photo of a bunch of crap on a calendar would do it justice, so I somehow came up with the courageous idea to do it in video.

wpid-Mensroom-Site-Change.jpgAnd with the very first infusion site of the month, I failed in that mission. My infusion set crapped out while I was at work, and I was a little uncomfortable doing a site change there; much less finding a place to balance the phone to take video. (I did manage a photo though).

But not willing to give up on Day One, I forged on.

You’ll notice that, in the first couple of calendar-shots, the calendar is upright. Well, I decided pretty quickly that I didn’t want to leave a piece of cardboard with sharp things stuck in it lying around in plain sight for a month, so I laid it flat in an empty drawer. The remainder of the calendar shots are pointing inside that drawer.

Also, since I used the Sure-T (metal cannula infusion set) quite a bit at the time (I hadn’t stared on Mio infusion sets yet), you only get “access” to the needle upon removal, not upon insertion like soft-cannula sets.  This made the placement of sharps on the calendar a bit awkward.  I made up for it the first time by putting the removed set on August 1, but after that I used the date on which I removed it; which means there could be multiple infusion sites (a Sure-T and a Silhouette, for instance) on the same day. Weird, but whatever. There’s just no way around it.  C’est la vie.

Keep in mind that this was done in August, the month where swimming is at its peak. This is the reason I had so many sites inserted below-the-waistline. Typically, I don’t find those to be as effective as other sites, but given the circumstance (and my desire to keep my body-adhesives hidden), that’s where I went much of the time, particularly with the Sil.

That, and the back.  The back was always a favorite spot of mine for the Sure-T, as you see in the video.  These days, I’m being boring and sticking a Mio in my stomach, but I’m contemplating other sites because I need to dedicate as much belly real-estate as I can to the Enlite. I digress.

Remembering to video all the site-changes and CGM changes was tough.  It became a production that I had to do in the bathroom, balancing my phone against the toothbrush holder or soap dispenser.  Otherwise, I would have done it at my bedside while watching TV.  And you know how that one bedside site-change turned out, right?


Yes. That happened. The pump was sitting on the bed, and then it fell to the floor, taking the tubing and everything with it. And it hurt, and it was embarrassing. Yet my biggest regret is that I didn’t get a good camera angle of the pump falling on the floor and ripping out the brand-new infusion set.


But this also happened, which was pretty cool.  (If you’ve been paying close attention to this blog, you’ve seen that video before).

I was only recording BG tests, by the way, in which I was going to change my lancet (there are a total of two of those in August), and therefore have a sharp to add to the calendar, and the first time I did that, the number you see above popped up. Kinda makes up for the Sure-T getting ripped out.  Almost.


By the way, that Coors Light shirt you keep seeing was a promotional giveaway that a local bar-and-grill was giving out on St. Patrick’s Day. (Who knew Coors was Irish??)  I actually got two of them, and use them as a pajama shirt. And since sometimes the camera is pointed at the mirror (like you see in the corner of this image) and other times I used the front-facing camera pointed right at me, sometimes you see things backwards. I didn’t pay much attention to that throughout the month; I just tried to get a decent shot of what I was doing.

Nobody helped me in taking these video, by the way. Because, as I’ve said before, nobody I live with knows about this blog.

As for assembling the video, it took a long time to edit all of the footage I had taken (back in September and October), and the video was getting long and tedious.  I also questioned how much of myself I wanted to put out on the net, as the video could go viral for all the wrong reasons and could spawn cruel parodies. So I shelved the project for months, until the DBlogWeek topic came up.

Then I figured I’d tightly edit it, not focusing on the delicate and precise nature of each needle insertion (nor on the size of each needle), but on the repetitive nature of it all.  I trimmed off the front- and back-end of each video and sped them up quite considerably. In the end, I had 44 different video files to edit and piece together.

I think the real drama-lacking part is in the calendar itself.  A calendar with three or more syringes in each day, as I had done years ago, would’ve been more dramatic.  I found it to be a bit sparse in the end.

But as for the music …. the song selection was a given.  There really wasn’t anything else worth considering.

Posted on June 4, 2014, in D-blog week 2014, Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. So awesome – love the video, and the backstory to how it was made! Great stuff, Scott — thanks for sharing it.


    • Thanks Mike! Oh, and to answer your question on the other post… no, I normally don’t do the calendar thing. But it requires precision and dexterity when trying to un-pin everything to put in the coffee-can sharps container.



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