Presenting at IDF World Congress in Vancouver

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 10.26.20 AMI’m just about over jet lag having returned from San Francisco for DiabetesMine’s Innovation Summit. It was an exciting day meeting some great people and getting caught up on diabetes device usability.

Sunday the husband and I are off to Vancouver for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) World Congress. IDF is the global advocacy diabetes organization and every two years about 12,000 clinicians, researchers, scientists and others in the diabetes space gather. They’ll also be the notable exhibition hall crammed with current and new products, devices and meds.

This year I am receiving the IDF Lecture Award in recognition of my diabetes education and advocacy. The Award graces me with the opportunity to give a lecture on the topic of my choice. You will find me, should you be there, Tuesday morning in Rm. 119 at 8:30 AM presenting, The Flourishing Approach: A way to treat and live with diabetes that goes beyond coping. Click here for details. I am introducing a different treatment approach for health professionals; in short, to shift their focus from the medical markers of diabetes to also involve patients and foster their strength, resilience, confidence and motivation through various tools.

The next morning Wednesday, also at 8:30 AM also in Rm. 119, the husband and I will be presenting in the Living with Diabetes stream. Our presentation is titled, How living with diabetes helps our relationship grow. We will share how diabetes has gone from mine to  “ours,” strategies we’ve developed for making life with diabetes easier for both of us, and how it has brought us even closer as a couple. Click here for details.

If you’re at the conference please do come to our sessions.

Relaxing, sort of, on World Diabetes Day

Boudewijn RG

I realize just a few years ago I would have made sure I had a post up first thing in the morning on World Diabetes Day. Yet today I’m enjoyingan ordinary Saturday. Well, I must admit I have a cold so maybe I’m not moving as quickly as ordinarily. But, even so, while I am mentally marking this auspicious occasion – WDD honors the birthday of Frederick Banting who helped discover insulin -I’m basically enjoying just being an ordinary person on an ordinary sunny Autumn Saturday.

That said, I do feel I have to say something. So here is what I posted on Facebook this morning:

A friend of mine, Elizabeth Snouffer, also a fellow type 1 and editor of the Internation Diabetes Federation’s (IDF) magazine, Voices, related in a recent article something her beloved endocrinologist had said to her which I soooo took to heart. “The call for people with diabetes to self-manage without failure and achieve near Herculean results is cruelly unparalleled compared to other therapeutic categories in disease management.” Amen And so I believe today all of us with diabetes should honor ourselves for whatever we do to manage this disease, and honor others we know with it.

As for the more World Diabetes Day news, here are the highlights from the new IDF  Atlas:

-Number of people with diabetes has risen to over 400 million for the first time – if diabetes was a country population it would be third after China and India

-Half a million children now live with type 1 diabetes-the exact causes of this complex disease are still unknown (we have experts who can talk about environmental and genetic factors)

-Diabetes deaths total greater than HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria combined (WHO data used for comparison)

-Gestational diabetes (diabetes onset during pregnancy) now affects one pregnancy in seven. This an increase risk of development of type 2 diabetes in both

-12% of global healthcare budget is being spent on diabetes-this is larger than the US military budget. Total spending will reach 800 billion USD by 2040.

-There are strong links to rising type 2 diabetes rates in regions and countries where income is sky-rocketing alongside other factors such as urbanisation (as seen in the Middle East). IDF anticipates that South America or African countries could be the next diabetes hubs.

-The big opportunity: catching the 300 million people at risk of diabetes– there is still the possibility here to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and bring blood sugars back to a healthy range through healthier lifestyles.

Zoe’s marathon run looking back

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I wrote about Zoe Heineman (above center) on The Huffington Post and here a few posts ago who ran the NYC marathon November 3rd. Zoe has Type 1 diabetes. It was also the third marathon Zoe has run.

This morning she emailed me with this note which I’m passing on to you:
Hi Riva,

Thank you so much for your well wishes before and message of congrats after the marathon.  I was really pleased with how it went.  As before, I really enjoyed the experience.  It was a beautiful day – so your prayers worked!  I finished with a personal record, despite feeling nauseous for the last few miles.  My blood sugars were on the low end of normal for the entire race even at the end, (65-90 mg/dl) – unusually so consistently low and within range.  I actually took the pump off altogether early on and then just left it off because my blood glucose was staying so low.  My (Achilles) guides were great about helping me test while walking – we never stopped once.  They did to go to the bathroom, but I didn’t and was able to keep moving forward, albeit walking up the steep hils to pace myself and when my blood sugar was in the 60’s.
Most of all I am happy that I felt great, even the next day.  Stiff in the quads but that’s to be expected after a long run anyway.  Tired too, because I slept more than usual the next few days.
Thank you for making the marathon more fun with your article.  I received so many favorable remarks and encouragement because of it.  People really enjoyed reading it.  Brava!

JDRF’s campaign: T1D Looks Like Me

jdrf campaign

This month, Diabetes Month, JDRF is showing all the colors of type 1 diabetes. Well, one color, blue, the universal color for diabetes. But in its many shades – us. All of us who have Type 1 diabetes are the face of type 1 diabetes this month.

Please be part of the awareness raising. It’s oh so simple. Go here to JDRF’s site and download a photo of yourself. Your photo will be processed with a blue tint, as above, and the campaign logo will be added. You can share it on Facebook, Twitter, or any which way you like to share. Hashtag, #T1DLOOKSLIKEME.

As my friend Scott Benner, diabetes dad, said, “Such an easy and wonderful way of putting a face to type 1 …”

NYC Marathon where all are winners

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 11.36.03 AMThe New York City marathon is taking place right now. And I’ve just returned from watching, only a few streets from my apartment, the thousands passing through my stretch of Brooklyn. Hordes of runners in bright shirts, people on the curb cheering them on, music playing from small set up bands and apartment windows. And, for the first time I noticed lots of runners in bright chartreuse T-shirts with the name “Achilles Guide” on it.

I learned while interviewing Zoe Heineman for the Huffington Post, who is running today with type 1 diabetes (those are her medals above), that she runs with Achilles guides. They are a group of dedicated athletes who will run with anyone who has a physical or mental challenge. My heart actually swelled as I saw them all running by protecting their assigned athlete.

In our interview you’ll learn Zoe is not just running her third marathon today, but is also a passionate advocate for hypoglycemia awareness.