JDRF TypeOneNation Summit 2016 and a Blast From the Past


Yesterday my husband and I attended the Southeast WI JDRF TypeOneNation Summit 2016 event. I went last year but wasn’t sure we’d go this year, since we moved (we bought a house!) and are further away from the event site. However, I got wind of the fact that Gary Scheiner, CDE would be the Keynote Speaker and would be leading one of the breakout sessions. I’m a big fan of Gary’s books (primarily, ‘Think Like a Pancreas’) and so knowing that he’d be speaking was the deciding factor for me!

The event itself was run just like the year before – a ‘vendor fair’ with tables set up and manned by reps from Medtronic, Animas, Tandem Diabetes, Novo Nordisk, Lilly, JDRF, Insulet, etc. The vendor fair was followed by the keynote speech, a breakout session, lunch, another breakout session, and an annual update on the research JDRF has been involved in funding.

I think the most refreshing part is just being surrounded by others who ‘get it’ and not getting strange looks or stares if you check your blood sugar at the table, give a bolus, if your CGM alerts, etc. This year I even had to change my infusion set in the bathroom and it didn’t faze anyone. (I had a set in my thigh that was leaking insulin. I was already going high by that point and I didn’t know how much of my lunch bolus had gone in. I have spare infusion sets in my car, but we had taken my husband’s car to the event and I didn’t have a set with me. The lovely Tandem rep gave me the last sample Inset/T:90 set she had. I changed it in the bathroom at the sink. No one batted an eye at me, standing there with my belly showing, shoving a  needle into myself. It was refreshing for it to be so NORMAL amongst the other women and girls in the bathroom.)  That’s a very powerful feeling.

The keynote speech and the breakout session with Gary Scheiner were informative, but also interesting in that they took us back 30 years in terms of diabetes management. Gary discussed how diabetes management looked 30 years ago and laid out all the many changes that have occurred over time. It was kind of fun to hear someone else poke fun at what we had to work with back when I was diagnosed. Granted, I was not diagnosed 30 years ago – I am only coming up on 24 years with T1D…but still….

I had to deal with a giant meter that took a lot of blood (about 10 microliters, versus current meters that take 0.3 to 0.5 microliters) and gave a result in 45 seconds (meters now give results in 4-6 seconds):

lifescan-one-touch-ii-blood-glucose-monitoring-kit-162

I had this meter! And yes, mine came with a cassette tape of instructions. My parents listened to the darned thing several times.

I also got to deal with exchange diet (carb counting was not something I did until I was about 13 years old):

exchange

I hated the ‘exchanges’. I never really learned how to use this system – my dad figured it all out for me. I used to know how many Teddy Grahams were a starch exchange, though (those were my favorite food when I was first diagnosed).

I also was reminded yesterday of the SUPER (annoyingly slow) insulins we had back then.

insulin

I was put on Regular and Lente at diagnosis, which I used for several years until I was put on Regular and Ultralente. It wasn’t until I began carb-counting that I was switched off Regular and put on Humalog, and then quickly switched to Novolog. I don’t believe I began using Lantus until several years after that.

Ah..the good old days?

It did make me think about how much I appreciate what we have today!

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