On Saturday I went to the TCOYD event in Albany. My husband and I had gone last year to Providence, but it’s nice to get a refresh of the camaraderie and spend a day around other people who “get it”. (My husband came this time too, but had to skip out after the morning sessions). Plus, there was the great opportunity to meet with some online bloggers - like Karen and Abby (the Person). Of course I didn't bring a camera and am spacing on the blogs of the others in attendance, but I figure Karen will post hers up soon and I'll be off the hook by virtue of having linked to her. (Sorry, Karen - but if I wasn't lazy I'd have done D-Blog week...)
The conference was smaller than Providence - but it was also right in my backyard. I’d expected smaller - this is Smallbany, after all - but found a few things disappointing. Lunch, for one. After morning lectures talking about how you should eat healthy, less-processed foods, and eat what you like in moderation, our box lunch consisted of choice of sandwich, carrot and celery sticks, a tiny container of low-fat ranch dressing, and a pack of “no sugar added” cookies - 21grams of carbohydrates, high in fat, plus the warning label that “excess consumption may have a laxative effect”. Yum, yum. Two Newman-Os would have been lower in carbs and fat, not to mention much better tasting. [I realize I mentioned Newman-Os in my last post too, which makes them two-for-two this year....]
The other disappointment was during the afternoon programs. The first session was pretty evenly split along “type” lines: either “Type 2 Treatments: Orals and Injectables” by a local endo, or “The Latest on Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring Devices”. I chose the latter, even though I’ve been wearing a pump for seven years and a CGM for five and a half, joking with Karen, Tina and Abby that if there was no new information, maybe at least I could heckle the presenters.
As it turns out, we all did. OK, so not heckle, exactly, but when a presentation called “The Latest” in 2011 has slides talking about how Dexcom has a 3 day sensor with no arrow displays or 24 hour screen, I was compelled to point out that the Dexcom STS was five years ago, and she needed to update her slides with the Seven Plus which could do all those things. Then she went on to say that Minimed has an integrated pump/receiver, but her info was also out of date and didn’t include the Revel or its features. Oh, and she kept calling the “receiver” of both systems a “transmitter”. And most of her descriptions of the MiniMed product were in reference to the 3-day “Pro” version - no screen, that you wear blind and download at the doctors. Not really what people interested in getting a CGM want to hear about, although I’m sure it is still a valuable tool to be used if you are a health care professional with patients who cannot get a CGM of their own.
Perhaps one of the worst disservices of the lecture was showing a screen with four graphs and data lines scribbled everywhere, and saying “this is how the software provided can help your doctor adjust your treatment”. It probably scared off anyone even thinking of a CGM. I mean, I was in the FDA approval study for the MiniMed 722 in 2005, and even then their software had many more user-friendly and understandable displays. Dexcom’s software is kind of lame, but again many times more useful than the crap they showed.
At any rate, our little “blogger” cluster turned into the most vocal section of the audience, and afterwards we got to talk to several of the prospective pumpers/CGMers in the audience. In fact, maybe we should have grabbed some of the logos and set up our own fake programming track: “Sugar free is just more processed crap”, “Ask a real user about pumps and CGMs”, “You are not the only type 1 dx’d as an adult”. Hmmm.. next time...
However, despite the disappointing session, the rest of the conference was still great, and definitely worth the time to attend. Even if you learn nothing new, you still spend a whole day thinking about your diabetes (which, let’s face it, when else would you be doing that?), and getting reenergized by being around other PWDs of any type who are interested in improving their health.
Next year, though, I'm bringing my own "session" signs.