Registration for TCOYD (Take Control of Your Diabetes) $25
Gas to get me and a local D-mom friend to/from the conference $14
DOC – meet-ups at the conference – PRICELESS
After writing this post I realized it is really long – I hope you read it and check out some of the links but here are the highlights:
- went to a conference
- learned some stuff
- met up with DOCers
- laughed often
- advocated for a poster
- was punked – twice
Saturday I attended the TCOYD conference in Santa Clara, CA. It isn’t an extremely long drive but I was thankful to have company, a local D-mom that is also a transplant from my old stomping grounds in TX. She hadn’t jumped into the Diabetes Online world before Saturday but I’m fairly certain she will have a twitter handle by the end this week – how could she not after having met some great DOCers at the conference.
We arrived early to the conference and enjoyed a few laps around the vendor booths in the Health fair. I was able to snag a pancreas that I thought my daughter would want it since hers is broken but when I arrived home she was unimpressed with its texture and also that it was used since I had squeezed it a few times.
Other vendors included JDRF (always a pleasure), TrialNet (they wouldn’t take my blood – said I was no longer eligible since I was negative in 07 for antibodies), OneTouch /LifeScan (couldn’t give out meters – really I thought we always were able to snag a spare at conferences), Pump manufactures (Animas, Insulet, Medtronic, Tandem), GlucoLift (the samples were gone and supplies were sold out before we got to the booth later in the day but I approve of GlucoLift glucose tabs – they are yummy – my kids approve as well), and various other exhibitors.
There was this one guy at a booth (more of a table in front of a curtain – no information, no posters, no handouts – just a guy with business cards promoting a free iPhone application. The brief demonstration he shared using his own phone looked interesting. The application does graph blood glucose results (providing the user logs them manually). The thing was I asked the guy (didn’t get his name – no name tag) if the application tracked Insulin On Board/Active Insulin. At first he acted as though he didn’t know what IOB was. Then he said he didn’t believe knowing IOB was relevant. Of course I disagreed to which he wanted to know how I felt it was relevant. I shared how knowing how much insulin was active can help PWD make informed decisions regarding exercise, sleep, meals, and how to treat highs/lows. He didn’t seem convinced but it led to a question regarding how Insulin is used during exercise – is it used more effectively or faster or both? I asked Scott Johnson that question a bit later in the day and he said “both”. Anyway – I m not sharing the name of the application because I haven’t tried it, and wasn’t remotely impressed with the guy promoting the application. Yet if you would like to know what application it was you can shoot me a message and I will share it with you.
I would love to share some of my notes from Dr. Steven Edelman and Dr. Bruce Buckingham and but honestly I lost my notes. I do know my notes included the following:
- Well controlled diabetes is the cause of absolutely nothing. (ok that was also the title of his talk so that was easy to remember) Steven
- It’s never too late to take control of your diabetes Steven
- Steven said during is initial medical training only about 2% of his education involved diabetes but over 30% of the patients seen for none-diabetes illness had diabetes. Steven
- 2013 – 24 million people have diabetes but 80 million are pre-diabetic Steven
- You can not eat yourself into Type 2 diabetes Steven
- Don’t Do Diabetes Alone. Bruce
- Beware of Anxiety (Bruce had this really cool photo but I was too slow with my phone to snap of picture of his picture so I drew one similar)
- Bruce said something about “Mindless Eating” and I’m upset I can’t find that my note page on that because I feel like it was important. I’m gonna email him to ask him what it was he said and I’ll let you know.
The real fun began with the Type 1 Track break-out sessions that were followed with DOC shenanigans.
TCOYD has traditionally focused on Type 2 diabetes but recently has added at Type 1 track. This conference included a number of great Type 1 break-out sessions including:
- Diabetes Made Me Stronger – Becoming a Type 1 Athlete.
- Family Planning and Pregnancy
- Aggravation#1 – Despite My Best Efforts, I Still Get Wacky Results
- Celiac Disease
- Meet Your Diabetes Online Community
- For Parents of Children Living with Type 1
- Help for the Spouse (I don’t have diabetes but the person I love does)
- Thyroid and Other Autoimmune Diseases
I attended the Online Community session (how could I not when the panel included Kerri Sparling of SixUntilMe, Mike Lawson of Diabetes Hands Foundation, Kelly Close of DiaTribe and Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine) and the Parents of CWD session.
During the “Meet Your Online Community” session Kerri, Mike, Amy and Kelly answered questions about how to get involved online and what it means to have the support of an online diabetes community. A highlight of the session included a moment when a woman in attendance shared how she has had diabetes for over 40 years and wanted to know how she could connect with others like her – at which point a gentleman moved from his chair to the chair next to hers. The simple action was so powerful and while the action took place in real life it is so much like how being part of the online community really is.
The Parents of CWD session was great fun as well. It was hosted by Dr. Daniel DeSalvo, a pediatric resident at the Children’s National Medical Center – also recipient of the David C. Leach award for research on medical errors with Type 1 diabetes patients and a PWD. During this session Daniel moderated discussions regarding concerns parents have for their kids and how to discuss diabetes with our kids. Somehow the session got a little derailed (I’m not admitting guilt) and turned to the need for awareness posters in pediatric offices (again not admitting guilt). Dr. DeSalvo handled the derailment with grace and brought us back around to discussing the challenges of parenting children with diabetes.
After the breakout sessions the D-mom posse I was hanging with met up with Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson (he totally crashed the conference). I mentioned again the need for awareness posters in pediatric offices and Kerri had a great idea. The International Diabetes Federation has created a number of great posters including one that highlights the most common symptoms of new onset Type 1 Diabetes. Kerri suggested printing out the poster on our own dime and delivering a copy (or more) to our doctor’s offices. I’m talking about our general practitioners office and our pediatric offices. The lack of awareness posters/materials in general practitioners offices has been a real pet peeve of mine. We nearly lost our littlest, he was diagnosed with massive ketones, sky-rocketing blood sugars and severe dehydration. I thought all his symptoms were the flu or another virus. Had I read an awareness poster in the doctor’s office at any one of the 3 dozen times I had previously visited the office I would have known better. Too many kids are lost each year due to missed diagnosis or delayed diagnosis. It’s time to get the word out and educate general practitioners so no child is missed. You can download a poster HERE. I will admit these are not my favorite posters – there is a better one also produced by IDF but I couldn’t find it to share. I will update the link when I find it. Also – I would like to see IDF or anyone – create a poster that depicts children because I believe one of the biggest misconceptions of diabetes is that it only affects adults. Many people don’t know that kids can get diabetes – I didn’t.
Scott needed (wanted) a Diet Coke so we all set off on a Walk and Talk that ended in the hotel bar area – coincidence? We were in the bar area and there was a waitress so I felt obligated to order a martini. It is here that I met Christopher Angell who was at the conference with GlucoLift who unknowingly played a crucial role in punking me. Another D-mom Carie (who I met for the 2nd time at the conference but had first met in 2009 at Friends For Life in Orlando) decided to screw with me and nearly had me convinced that the Christopher sitting beside me was in fact Mr. Chris Sparling. Me asking Christopher (in front of Kerri) if he was indeed Kerri’s spouse provided all those in attendance with great amusement. In real life relationships most people wouldn’t consider punking new friends so early in the relationship – the thing with DOC meet-ups is although some of us were meeting in real life for the first time – we have been exchanging ideas, support, and laughter for a good deal longer – thus punking is a completely acceptable means of interaction. To be honest I was honored that Scott had no problems having his own go at me regarding his wrist tattoos – which btw are not the dates he started blogging.
The last session of the conference included Bill King – a marathon runner with Type 1. He rocks. During that last session I may have chit-chatted a little too much – often inspired by something Bill shared. Perhaps sitting next to DOCers was not the wisest choice since I am chit-chatty in general. (yes my teachers had to move my desk often – who would’ve imagined) At one point the couple sitting in front of us moved to another section – I felt bad but then they won the give away with all the TCOYD goodies so it all worked out.
The conference was great fun and I did manage to learn a few things I didn’t know.
I met some new friends and laughed with friends from the DOC and honestly that alone is worth the time and money spent for the conference.
Picture – or it didn’t happen.