I’ve discovered since diagnosis that travel and diabetes lead to interesting thoughts! As I’m sat in an airport lounge waiting for my flight, I was contemplating whether my personal research work can influence how my clinical team and I interact!
At the moment, my work is focusing a lot on interpreting measurements made over time at the same and more wide-spread locations. The easiest way to explain this is by thinking about a river. If you measure at the same place (for example a bridge), you are constantly measuring a different
“patch” of water as the river flows past. If you observe the river while floating with it, you stay in the same patch, but you’ll be measuring at a different physical place. Finally, the most complicated is to combine these two: for example by cycling to one location, take a measurement and then cycle to the next place.
In my field, we call drifting along while making a measurement “Lagrangian” and staying in a fixed place “Eulerian”. Both observation strategies have benefits and disadvantages, but an observational programme which has both is generally most beneficial, but more complicated to analyse. As I was thinking about recent interactions with my clinic team, I realise we’re each making observations on how diabetes works in a different frame of reference, and now we need to join our findings.
My own experience with diabetes is very Lagrangian: in terms of the river, I am in the same patch (i.e. my body), but the countryside changes around me. My team on the other hand has a much more Eulerian observational view: they see many different “patches” of river flow by (i.e. patients), but they don’t see how the patch develops once it passes their bridge. From my own research, I know both types of observations have benefits and disadvantages; and that combining them gives the best results.
As I struggle to decide on analysis methods with statistics of spatio-temporal data for work, I realise that I also need to find a way for life with diabetes: my team see many patients but only very intermittently, I see one patient all the time!
Anyway, enough philosophical rambling for today!
Until next time,
The … Diabetic