This blog is dedicated to my Mum – who thought my last blog – The Antidote was written while I was having a hypo. No Mummy – I was on level playing ground – but just having fun with writing!
I attended my first Children With Diabetes (CWD) Friends for Life Canada International Conference and Expo in Toronto. I lucked in on getting on as part of the staff thanks to Jen Hanson from Connected in Motion, though sadly, because of working, I missed out on some great discussions, which I think is what the adult (and parent) participants rave about. So, I had no time to get fun photos, etc. but at least I got to schmooze with some of the CWD staff / DRI’s (Diabetes Research Institute) VP Tom Karlya on my first night. I think he’ll always remember me as the pole dancer wanna be – and an “ancient” diabetic without any complications. Most people that I met at the conference when we discussed about their child’s diabetes, and I mentioned my diagnosis date, along with my age, they were like Tom, not believing my age. What can I say? Good genes (e.g. Levis are my favourite) - as I blogged earlier this year – insulin is a youth preserver.
I think the most rewarding part of this whole event as I felt very much alone as a newbie to the staff as we all didn’t meet up prior to the conference starting so I felt abit like an outsider – was meeting up with many parents / kids / young adults! I hope I gave many of the parents I spoke to an insight on how their loved ones will turn out with the right guidance and tools at hand To me, this is what sticks in my mind the most, giving parents hope that diabetes isn’t all bad. I always wonder how it would have been for my Mum if she’d had the support of others that can now be found on the Internet.
I did manage to attend the closing one hour speech for about 15 minutes that was given by CWD President Jeff Hitchcock. I had to walk out of it though due to not liking the push for parents to put their kids on insulin pumps and CGMS’s (Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems). Maybe because of Jeff being American and that majority of pump users are based in that country, I found it abit too much pushing the product. Because I was raised on MDI (multiple dosage injections) for most of my 44 years of being a diabetic – it has not caused any problems similar to what he was showing as examples. Perhaps other discussions that I couldn’t attend over the two days did go into diabetes control by MDI – I hope so – because for many of us – using a pump is unaffordable if you do not have private medical coverage from work/government help.
So, Jeff and or Tom, if you are reading this, consider bringing me in to make a speech to parents next years events as to how having diabetes for my length of time can show that your children will lead healthy and productive lives – I have – diabetes has never stopped me from doing anything I put my mind to!!! I promise not to do any pole dancing :)
Picture credit below - Nicole Pitre-Cozad from We CARALot Blog
Photo credit - Frank Mannella of Animas Canada