Where do I begin? I have so much to tell you about but this post will just give you the highlights. I attended the TCOYD conference in San Diego this past weekend. TCOYD is Taking Control of Your Diabetes and is the brainchild of Dr. Steven Edelman who is an Endocrinologist and also lives with type 1. I have never attended a conference about diabetes and I think I picked a gem for my first endeavor. It. Was. Awesome! (I need to think about more creative ways to describe awesomeness in my blog because I seem to be using awesome quite a bit. But hey, it WAS awesome!)
Ray and I drove to California on Friday and stayed with my sister and her family. We left at 6:30 AM on Saturday and began our 2 hour journey to San Diego. (Ray planned to spend the day at the harbor taking pictures of the ships etc. He is an aweso…fantastic amateur photographer.) I was there early enough that there wasn’t much of a crowd which surprised me. I found a seat and it didn’t take long before the room began to fill up. It was packed by the time the event began.
Dr. Edelman’s reason for starting TCOYD came from the fact that only 5% of the time spent in medical school covers diabetes education. That’s right, most doctors only receive a small portion of their education learning about diabetes. That combined with the fact that things are always changing explains why so many primary care physicians lack knowledge about the best way to treat those of us who have diabetes. Eye opening. He charged us with taking care of ourselves; we have the main responsibility to control our diabetes. (I knew that but so many people don’t!) He was also sure to tell all of us that diabetes does not lead to complications; poorly controlled diabetes does. That is an important thing for all of us to remember!
William Polonsky, PhD, CDE spoke to us as well. He is an author and is founder and president of Behavioral Diabetes Institute. (He’s the “touchy-feely” guy.) The thing that he said that stayed with me is that we need to take action to control our diabetes. The best way to do that is to take action to start something, not to stop something. What does that mean? It’s a change in focus. If we have behaviors or habits that need to be changed, then we should focus on something we can do instead of something we should stop. It’s a way to stay positive and not dwell on negative things. Instead of telling ourselves that we should stop eating so much junk food, we should tell ourselves that we should start eating healthier foods. It’s all about focus.
|Dr. Polonsky and Dr. Edelman|
The day was split into tracks for type 1 and type 2 folks so we could receive information that focuses on our own situation. We were free to attend anything we wanted but someone who doesn’t use insulin doesn’t need to hear about pumps and someone with type 1 doesn’t want to hear about what to do if you’re at risk of developing type 2.
Bobby Deen was there to show us how to make the gumbo we had for lunch. He talked about how we should “eat the rainbow”, adding more colorful foods to our diet. He is also a big advocate of fresh foods and avoiding processed foods. (Agree!!) He said, “If we didn’t have it in 1910, we shouldn’t be eating it today.” I’m not sure I agree with that 100% but it does make you think, doesn’t it?
The health fair was full of booths selling stuff, educating and encouraging us to take control. Zumba classes, chair dancing, personal trainers, roving CDE’s, carb education and a booth with endocrinologists who were available to answer our questions. There was also a booth for the Diabetes Advocates! Guess who I met?
Manny Hernandez, founder of TuDiabetes and the Big Blue Test, is an amazing guy. Not only is he someone who has diabetes, but he is someone who is making a difference in the world for the rest of us who deal with diabetes as well. I was so pleased to have met him and have a chance to chat.
Crystal Bowersox, an entertainer who has type 1, was there to entertain us. I thought I had video of her singing but it didn’t turn out. She’s a talented young lady!
I could go on and on and on about this event and how much I loved it. I have so many ideas floating around in my brain and I’ll be blogging about them separately, soon. I loved being surrounded by people with diabetes. The luncheon we had gave me a chance to visit with others.
|Our lovely lunch|
|I wasn't alone!!|
The entire focus of this day was on diabetes and how we can live wonderful lives despite it. Dr. Edelman said it best, “How many people spend a whole day concerned about improving their health?” Yup, we are awesome!