The Time Has Come…
About three months ago, I came up with the idea of having a conference for just for adults with type 1 diabetes. A conference for a group of people who are marginalized because they are neither the majority nor children. A conference for a group of people who are dealing with diabetes burnout because they’ve been poking and prodding their bodies for ten, twenty, thirty years. A conference for a group of people who have their own unique fears about life. A conference for a group of people who aren’t talked about and feel isolated – but are not alone.
Most conferences are currently geared towards all types of diabetes. They discuss complications and they discuss healthy eating. They discuss schools and sports. These are all important things to talk about, but I felt that there were some unique challenges to a life as an adult with type 1 diabetes that never got addressed at the conferences I attended. Things that I wonder about. Explaining my insulin pump on a first date (or tenth?). Having a baby. Changing jobs and dealing with a whole new set of annoying questions. Fighting an insurance company to let me test more than 8 times a day or give me that continuous glucose monitor or finding a new doctor that doesn’t patronize me. Going low during sex. When I’m burned the fuck out after my 25,000th blood glucose test.
And this is just what I’ve come up with.
So I sent out an email to a small collection of adults with type 1 diabetes in my address book to find out if they thought this was a good idea. Most of the people, obviously, gave an enthusiastic yes!
Since that time, we’ve had a couple of discussions about what the conference would be like and now we’re looking to get your input and suggestions. With the help of Kelly Close and her team at Close Concerns, we have created an interest study to determine who and what you would like to see at a conference. Right now we’re just trying to answer some basic questions, but hopefully, if all goes well, I will back over the next few months to tell you more.
Also, we’re holding a contest for the name of this future conference. The person who creates the name that is eventually chosen by the planning committee will receive a copy of Know Your Numbers by Amy Tenderich and Dr. Richard Jackson. Two runner-ups will receive a Six Until Me mug or a Diabetes Mine mug (donated by Kerri and Amy, respectively).
We are trying to gather as much input as possible, so please send this to everyone you know, put it on any message board, and please blog about it! The survey will close on Friday, September 7, which gives everyone about two and a half weeks to complete it (it really should take you about ten minutes… and five of that will probably go to just the conference name question!).
If you have any questions regarding the conference, please email me.
Really, tell everyone.