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The Story Behind the Diabetes Monster and Point System

2/6/2022 by mySugr

The Story Behind the Diabetes Monster and Point System

Ever wondered what on earth that quirky mySugr diabetes monster is all about? It can be found making funny sounds, giving you feedback or being handcuffed in the mySugr app. The mySugr app is also the place where you can gain points for logging your blood sugar values, but what does it all mean?

Have you ever wondered what we were thinking when we came up with our beloved monster and points system? We’re happy to take you right back to the beginning and tell you the story behind the monster. 

Let’s start by taking a trip down memory lane. We’re going to take a deep dive into mySugr history.  

Diabetes sucks. That much is true. Living with diabetes and staying on top of your blood glucose can sometimes feel like trying to train a wild monster to behave. That’s how two of our mySugr founders living with type 1 diabetes felt anyway, way back when mySugr was founded in 2012.

The Idea Behind the Diabetes Monster

Diabetes is invisible. But those of us living with diabetes know, it’s something we always have to think about. It’s a full time job, except one where you’re working 24 hours a day without a break or any time off. 

Diabetes is unpredictable and can often feel unfair. How many times have you done everything right, followed all the rules and instructions just as you were taught – and things still went off track? Doesn’t that make you want to smash your diabetes stuff into a million pieces?! In moments like these, you probably want to let out an enormous scream. And we don’t blame you. 

Our mySugr founders could totally relate to all of the above and with that, the idea of the diabetes monster was born.

The idea behind the diabetes monster is to give a face to the "invisible" chronic condition that is diabetes. Someone you want to yell at, but it’s also your ally that’s with you every step of the way (Yep, both are possible). The important thing about diabetes monsters is that they are all truly unique, because every single person with diabetes faces different challenges. That means, when you are living with diabetes, you take care of your own monster by taking care of your diabetes therapy. 

The quirky little green monster is basically the symbol for all the diabetes monsters out there. It's abstract, silly, slightly funny looking but also likable.

We’re totally aware that you can't beat the diabetes monster or get rid of it, but you can learn to live with it, learn to understand its behavior and even become friends. We call it monster taming.

Close up of mySugr App homescreen

How to Tame the Diabetes Monster

Taming the monster isn’t something that happens from one day to the other. It’s all about taking baby steps, but even tiny steps are still progress, right?

Taking care of your diabetes is crucial to living a healthy life. The truth is, data plays a critical role in diabetes management because it helps you and your diabetes team to adjust your therapy and helps you to better understand your diabetes. The more important and relevant diabetes information you collect, the better you’ll be able to spot patterns and trends and react accordingly. 

We also know that collecting and managing diabetes data like blood sugar, insulin units and amount of carbs can be a cumbersome, exhausting and time-consuming task. 

So we thought about a solution to make it easier and less exhausting for you. 

What’s the Point of Points in the mySugr App?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from people who are new to the mySugr app. The short answer is: You get points for taking care of your diabetes.

And here is the longer answer, along with some background information: 

Fredrik, one of the mySugr founders, went through a time where he struggled to manage his diabetes properly. So he decided to start improving his self-management behaviors by doing just one thing better each day.  

Initially I told myself, “OK, this week, I will test every day, once a day”, and then if I achieved that goal I would reward myself or my partner would reward me like I might get a break from doing the dishes!’

As it turned out, the idea of rewarding himself worked pretty well for Fredrik and his numbers improved. And so the idea of the points system in the mySugr app was born!

Many people here at mySugr live with diabetes themselves and we know how exhausting all that logging and diabetes management can be. That's why we reward you with points for each log entry. This not only includes blood sugar values, but also additional information like activity, meal photos, insulin units and many more. 

You earn recognition in the form of points for each action you take to care for yourself and your diabetes. Remember, the more you log, the more you know and the easier it gets to tame the diabetes monster. 

If you hit 50 points in a day, you’ve tamed your diabetes monster. Every step in the right direction should be rewarded. The blue circle around the monster on the app home screen shows your daily progress. You can be proud of your progress and for looking after your diabetes every day. Make it your mission to achieve more points every day. The points system is a great way to get motivated. Ready to get going?

We won’t judge you. It doesn’t matter whether you log values that are high or low. We simply reward you for taking care of your diabetes. 

To find out how many points you earn for a specific type of log, check out this list

Not a Fan of the Monster Sounds?

The diabetes monster on the homescreen of the mySugr app also reacts to your log entries. Your monster makes sounds, comments and little wiggles. If you’re not a fan of the monster sound effects, you can turn them off easily in the app. 

To turn off Monster Sounds (iOS):

  • Tap the "More" button in the far right corner in the navigation bar at the bottom
  • Tap on "Profile & Settings"
  • Open "Other Settings"
  • Toggle the small switch next to "Monster sounds" to 'Off' (switch will be white)

To turn off Monster Sounds (Android):

  • Tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner, opening your menu
  • Tap on "Profile & Settings"
  • Open "Settings" and scroll down to the section “extras”.
  • Toggle the small switch next to "Monster sounds" to 'Off' (switch will be white)

 

3 +1 more Fun Facts about the mySugr Diabetes Monster

#1 The monster eyes in the mySugr monster logo are a plus and minus sign which represent hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

#2 You can name your monster in the settings of the app. We once did a survey and discovered that the most used monster name was Igor.

#3 You can tickle the monster by tapping it on the home screen.

#4 The inspiration for the mySugr monster and its noises came from the Star Wars character R2D2.
 

Hope with this glimpse behind the scenes we could give you a better idea of what the whole monster thing is about and even motivate or encourage you to try to tame it as best as possible for you personally. 

Happy taming!

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The mySugr website does not provide medical or legal advice. mySugr blog articles are not scientific articles, but intended for informational purposes only.

Medical or nutritional information on the mySugr website is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult a physician or health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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