Diabetes 2.0 was fabulous! I met Allison at her apartment, and we took the bus into Manhattan. As soon as we got to the Marriot Marquis, bloggers just started appearing: Kelly, Scott, Bernard, and Karen and her husband, Pete. They had an impressive continental breakfast spread of fruit, muffins, croissants, bagels, hard-boiled eggs, cereal bars, and cheese. I am a total turophile, so I’m in heaven when there’s a beautiful cheese assortment (there’s your word of the day). They even had little signs with the carb counts for the baked goods. Although we all concurred the count of the bagels was incorrect. Supposedly they had 56g carbs, but having eaten more than my fair share of bagels, those bagels didn’t have more than maybe 30g carbs. Regardless, the counts for the muffin and croissant I had seemed accurate enough because I used those numbers to determine my bolus, and my BG’s stayed stable all morning.
We took our seats, and listened to the presentations. Those first presentations weren’t of great interest to me. I read a lot of medical journal articles so I’m no stranger to medical jargon, but I generally stick to behavioral health research. The technical details of biology and biochemistry aren’t my thing, and as I said last week, I don’t have a burning interest in cure research. It sounded like most of what they presented was primarily continued work on theories I’ve been hearing about for years.
After that part of the program, I met Gina and Val, and got to briefly chat with Amy as people were dispersing to attend their respective breakout sessions. Because of my interest in behavioral health, I attended the breakout sessions by psychologist, Dr. Wendy Rapaport. The first session was for parents of diabetic kids, and covered ways to facilitate children’s development of a healthy relationship with diabetes. Dr. Rapaport easily engaged the parents in a great discussion.
Everyone gathered for lunch after that breakout session. As with breakfast, the carb counts were provided (don’t you wish that info was handed to you anytime you eat anywhere?). After lunch, some of the head administrators at DRI spoke, and then the panel discussion, ‘Hope or Hype?’, moderated by Amy Tenderich, began. It was a very interesting discussion that included questions posed to the panel that Amy had collected last week on DiabetesMine, in addition to some audience questions. The main idea that seemed to come out was that the headlines we see so often about “breakthroughs” are in fact significant advances for the scientists working on the cure, but diabetics and their families should take into consideration that each of these headlines generally represents a teeny tiny step towards solving a problem that still isn’t completely understood. That’s what I took away from it anyway.
Following lunch and panel discussion, there was another breakout session. Again, I attended Dr. Rapaport’s session for adults with type 1 about managing the diabetes police. Again, her engaging manner generated an active dialogue. After the breakout session, everyone gathered for the final presentation on managing burnout by Dr. Rapaport, which was as great as the other presentations of hers I had seen. We talked about diabetes-related behaviors that trip most of us at some point or another. I openly admitted my aversion to exercise that has become the albatross around my neck – but that’s another topic for another post. She wasn’t able to get through all of her presentation slides during her presentations as the sessions were relatively short. I’ll be emailing her to get copies of her presentations, so at some point in the future, I’ll be able to share some of that info more thoroughly.
We stayed behind to get some group photos and chat before we went to dinner at a wonderful restaurant Allison chose. Amy and Fran weren’t able to go out with us because there was a dinner function for the presenters after the conference. The rest of us made our way in the rain to the subway station, where I rode the NYC subway for the first time. I’ve been to New York maybe a dozen times in my life, and just never had occasion to ride it. Nothing much to say about that though. It was a subway. Dinner was delicious, and we had a great time. I had scrumptious cranberry walnut pear turnovers with vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. It was was to die for. I normally order whatever has chocolate, but decided to try that instead, and I was not disappointed. Luckily, Val offered a couple bites of her chocolate souffle, which was also awesome.
Eventually it came time to leave as people had trains to catch. Allison and I headed back on New Jersey, and I drove home to catch about half of the Phillies game. There’s actually an addendum to this story, but I’ll save that for another day this week.
All in all, it was a lot of fun, very informative with a great variety of breakout sessions to meet the needs of all the attendees (families, healthcare professionals, adults with diabetes, you-name-it). I was so happy to have the opportunity to meet fellow bloggers and just spend the day with other diabetics. Who knew having diabetes could be so fulfilling and fun?
Bloggers: Scott (Scott’s Web Log), Fran (Diabetes, Day by Day), Gina (The Diabetes Talkfest Blog), Karen (Bitter-Sweet Diabetes), Me, Val (Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Low), Kelly (Diabetesaliciousness), Allison (Lemonade Life), Amy (Diabetes Mine), and Bernard (Bernard’s Blog)
Special thanks to Allison for giving me the nudge I needed to go, and letting me tag along with her into the city.