My TCOYD Providence weekend

It began with a cold that erupted the night before I was to Amtrak up to Providence, Rhode Island and speak at the Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) conference. Don’t even ask about that night’s sleep, or lack thereof.

The next day disembarking at a little train station in Providence – of course I could only think of the popular TV show of the same name a few years ago – I checked into my hotel room, flopped on the bed half comatosed and toyed for the next two hours with venturing out to find dinner or ordering room service. I love exploring new places – and that includes peeking through restaurant windows and the chance encounter with someone at the bar, or a friendly waiter, so my gregarious nature won. It didn’t hurt that the concierge told me I was only four streets from Little Italy.

Meandering up the road I found Andino’s. A friendly host set up a special table for me. I didn’t mind that I was near the glass and metal door to the outdoor garden which banged every time a waiter or patron entered or left. No, I was relaxing to Frank Sinatra on the stereo, the aroma of real family cooking and in short order the place filled with boisterous locals so who could hear a door anyway?  I couldn’t finish the house speciality, veal Andino, and truly wished I could have shipped it home on ice. Alas, the true disappointment of travel, you can’t keep your leftovers. Ah, but you came to here about the conference.

300 people got their first taste of TCOYD and I learned from my informal polling that everyone was loving it – learning a lot and duly impressed with the presentations, experts and inspirational speakers. Just to name a few CDE/psychologist Bill Polonsky was there, Urban Miyares – who has overcome every diabetes complication and just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny – was our inspirational luncheon speaker and type 1 race car driver, Charlie Kimball, closed the day. Personally, I think Dr. Steven Edelman, founder of TCOYD and type 1 himself since the age of 15, is amazing. Both in his informational delivery spiked with humor, and his passion, vision and execution of bringing education directly to patients. 

There were 80 health care providers also in attendance for credits and my favorite workshop was the afternoon’s “Diabetes Police and Diabetes Criminals Working Together.” If you’ve heard the term “Diabetes Police” you know these are usually our loved ones who think they’re helping when wagging their finger in our face saying, “You can’t eat that!” I guess HCPs fall under the Diabetes Police banner at times too. The session was comprised of both patients and providers and we spewed forth our irritations with the other to clear the air and then sought solutions so that both patients and providers would take away some ideas from each other how to work better together. 

I was on the afternoon roster of workshops and delivered a program to help us all take more loving actions to better manage our diabetes. I also shared the secret mindset that most who are managing their diabetes successfully use. I also shared some great patient stories from my interviews and “loving lessons” from my book, “The ABC’s Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes.”I’m happy to report there were very few empty chairs and so many people told me afterward, “We all need to hear more of this!”

So, the weekend was for me just as rewarding as for those who attended. There’s little I enjoy more than touching someone else’s life (so selfish). I got a great dinner out of it and got to say “hi” to my fellow peer-mentors and infamous diabetes bloggers Kerri Sparling and Bernard Farrell. Boarding Amtrak to return home the following morning, truth be told, I was only bummed to discover there was no wifi aboard. When they call “All aboard!” doesn’t that include wifi? Otherwise it was a charmed weekend. 

Through conferences and health fairs held in cities across the nation, TCOYD annually brings thousands of people with diabetes, those at risk and their loved ones into contact with national and local medical professionals and others with expertise related to living with diabetes for a day of highly informative and motivational programs. 

Join me for the TCOYD event Rhode Island, September 11th

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Join me in Providence, RI

TCOYD, which stands for Taking Control of Your Diabetes, is a non-profit organization that provides one day health fairs all across the country to help people better manage their diabetes. The organization alsobroadcast in-depth discussions with renowned health professionals and patients.

Next month, September 11, if you’re anywhere near Rhode Island, you should attend because I’ll be there presenting. Of course, it’s not the only reason you should come. You’ll hear lectures on facets of diabetes care from your feet to your heart, learn and get some exercise, bond with many others and attend interactive workshops where the learning is personal. It’s a full day affair of fine tuning your diabetes management provided to you by many respected people in the field. All for only $30. Register here.

Joining you will be top physicians, psychologists, educators, foot specialists, exercise physiologists and there’s much to see and do in the exhibition hall including many new devices, products and foods. 

TCOYD was the first diabetes health event I attended way back in the early part of this decade. There I attended, among others, psychologist’s Bill Polonsky’s workshop where I learned something crucial — that diabetes is not the leading cause of heart attack, blindness and amputation but poorly-controlled diabetes is. It made a huge difference to me: 30 years of fear slid down my shoulders and the resolve to master my self-care led me to the healthy regimen I have today. 

I also met a lovely gentleman in the exhibition hall who answered all my questions and then guided me to the peer-mentoring programs I deliver today around the country speaking to fellow patients. 

TCOYD is the labor of love of Dr. Steven Edelman who founded it almost 15 years ago. Dr. Edelman was recognized last year with the ‘Outstanding Educator’ award from the American Diabetes Association.  Edelman himself has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 15, and has dedicated his life and work to helping as many people with diabetes as possible to live healthier, happier lives.

My workshop by the way is titled: The ABCs of loving yourself with diabetes and I’m on at 3:30 PM. You’ll discover how to live a life with diabetes where you don’t just cope with diabetes, but actually flourish. If you come, do let me know. I’ll want to say hello. 

Back from the AADE

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I know I’ve just returned from San Antonio because my body is craving guacamole and the smell of fresh mint in those juicy mojitos! Ah, but that’s not what you tuned in for, is it?

The annual diabetes educators conference was a hit with thousands of diabetes educators, nurses, physicians and pharmacists attending the 4 days of lectures, bonding, learning and renewing their credentials, and their spirit. The first evening at the poster event while all were mingling, I asked several CDEs what keeps them going. The answer was always the same, “Making a difference in someone’s life,” and that feeling was palpable.

The meeting kicked off with President, Deb Fillman’s welcome address.  I was extremely happy, and surprised, to hear her talk so emphatically about the need for change. The need for educators and the profession to look outside the box for new ways of working as more will be asked of them. 

Prevention is becoming a big topic in health care and for CDEs. The U.S. Senate’s passage of the health care reform bill late last year includes a provision to establish a National Diabetes Prevention Program. This means an expanded role for CDEs in the prevention of diabetes. Although god only knows how they will do more given the thousands of educators for millions of patients.

Fillman asked the audience to be more adventurous with change in their personal lives, taking on challenges and reaching for more fulfillment and success, as it will flow into being even better mentors and educators. Fillman also spotlighted the AADE’s new online tool, “My AADE Network” which helps members connect wherever they are and create an online community and remote learning.

Rear Admiral and former AssistantSurgeon General, Susan Blumenthal, was the keynote opening speaker. She pressed the sense of urgency upon us that we need to stand up to deal with the obesity epidemic now that’s taking a huge toll on America’s health and economy.  

The exhibition hall, always interesting to me, didn’t get as much traffic as usual and vendors didn’t know why except to suggest the short hours precluded many attendees from spending much time there if they were sitting in on continuous lectures. Also, the bookstore made a decision to only carry ADA publications and those of their speakers doing book signings. Other authors needed to show their own book(s) at their own booth, if they had one. 

I presented Saturday morning a behavioral program titled, “Beyond Motivational Interviewing: What Can Happen When You Catch Someone Doing Something Right.” There were about 100 attendees excited to be introduced to an entirely new mindset and model for working with diabetes patients: a mindset of “flourishing” with diabetes and a coaching model that enables health professionals to work as facilitators with patients, as appropriate, to:

1.  Explore the context of patients’ lives 

2. Play “Strengths Detective” to help patients recall and reconnect with capabilities they’ve used in the past

3. Collaboratively design mechanisms for sustaining healthy habits, causing positive behavior change faster and more sustainably than when only using the traditional model of “telling patients what to do.” 

This is exciting stuff that you’ll be hearing more about. I am currently putting the finishing touches on a curriculum to train health professionals on this mindset and model along with my two partners,Boudewijn Bertsch and Eileen Murphy.

A phenomenal play called, ‘Close to the Heart’ produced by Amylin was one of the conference’s highlights. With real actors in tow, it dramatized a patient getting a diagnosis of diabetes and how she deals with it, along with her relationships with her jealous best friend who is struggling with her diabetes, her supportive, yet pre-diabetic husband, and physician. Even I who have had diabetes for 38 years felt anew this woman’s confusion and pain. 

After the half hour performance Dr. Steven Edelman of TCOYD, Psychologist Bill Polonsky of BDI, heart surgeon Robert Chilton, Dr. Stephen Brunton and host Davida Kruger, certified nurse practitioner, answered questions in a panel discussion. Kudos to Amylin for going outside the box. It was a smash, and I know Amylin has plans to make short videos of it.

The general session closed with an in-your-face presentation by Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic about the cost, both physical and economic, of our obesity and diabetes tsunami. Roizen has been an impressive change-agent spearheading the “Lifestyle 180 Program” at the Cleveland Clinic, which was first piloted with Clinic employees and now available to patients.  

One point Roizen made that still resonates is — food is an absolute, you can’t make a deal with food. What you eat is critical to your body and your health and either will or won’t turn on the genes for illness. For instance the sugar in ice cream will change the proteins in your body. That, he says, is a given. You can burn off the calories, but too many unhealthy foods and you’re creating inflammation which creates disease. 

Next year’s conference is in Las Vegas. I think my husband is already booking the hotel and buying his binoculars to look for Elvis.

Orlando, a hotbed of diabetes activity

 

It’s not just the temperature in Orlando that makes it a hotbed of diabetes activity these two weeks, but the enormity of activities going on. 

The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 70th annual scientific conference has just drawn to a close. Roche just held its second social summit and Children With Diabetes (CWD) begins today. 

Amy Tenderich over at DiabetesMine has been following and reporting on some of the ADA highlights, start here with opening day and see the next few posts, as is Kelly Close over at CloseConcerns, look down the left-hand column. 

I attended Roche’s social summit where they invited 37 type 1 and type 2 diabetes bloggers and broadcasters to a day of exchanging ideas about meter accuracy, best practices and an open dialog between us and representatives of  the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators

These conversations drew fire, well we are a feisty group, about how the patient seems all but lost amid their constituencies, but the ADA was extremely open about the need and desire to turn their battleship org around to be more representative and serving of patients’ needs, including type 1s – and create more transparency. They also obviously took this seriously sending six representatives including David Kendall, their Chief Scientific & Medical Officer. Kendall talked about the ADA’s “Stop Diabetes” campaign which is one of their first steps in being more patient-centric. 

Unfortunately, the conversation with the AADE was less successful. To be fair, many of us felt it was taking place with the wrong organizational person. She seemed unable to put her finger on our concerns – MAINLY the fact that diabetes educators are a dying breed while patients are an epidemic and need them. 

There are only 15,000 educators nationwide, relatively poorly paid and many suffer burn-out and leave the profession. On top of that, it’s hard to become an educator. There’s no direct route, and, a big catch-22. You need to have 1,000 hours working as a diabetes educator with patients before you can sit for an exam to become certified, but how do you get hired as an educator with no experience? After ricocheting these thoughts around we also voiced that we would like to see the organization advocate to improve the track to become an educator. An interesting point was also raised by my fellow bloggers – why not create a track where patient-experts can also be educators in some recognized fashion?  

In the end, we offered our assistance to help both organizations in any way we can. Specifically with the AADE to link their professional members to more social media. While that idea was warmly received and seen as a benefit to CDEs, allowing them to hook their patients up with us, I hope the AADE also realizes that CDEs can benefit tapping into social media to get inside patients’ heads, and hearts, and follow the trends and news we report on.  

I am impressed by Roche. With their genuineness, commitment and desire to have an open forum with we, who have an open channel to you. And, yes, while we can assume all this will benefit Roche’s sales and marketing, I believe they hope just as much that it will benefit us in getting products we need and want. 

At the 2009 social summit Roche put their toe in the water wanting to learn from us how to enter social media as a “good citizen.” This year’s meeting was heavily weighted on what they believed would be of value to us. Either way you slant it, a pharma better understanding the experience of living with diabetes and doing something with that knowledge can only benefit all concerned. 

To this end, Lisa Huse, Roche Director of Strategic Initiatives, opened the meeting with a recap of the four initiatives Roche has enacted based on what they heard from us last year:

1) “Keep it real” – display the real experience of diabetes, the real blood sugar numbers we get and teach patients what to do with them. I think I heard there’s actually a TV commercial where someone shows a 273 mg/dl on their meter, yea! Then again, I could have been dreaming.

2) Address costs of diabetes – through Accu-check there’s now a 15% prescription discount card and Patient Assistance Program.

3) Advocate for the diabetes community – through their Diabetes Care Project. A coalition of like-minded organizations improving care for those living with diabetes.

4) Help the diabetes community amplify its voice – clearly evident with our exchange with the ADA and AADE. 

Lisa also told us that during this past year of following our blogs and having her ear on the ground with us, she’s come to understand diabetes much more than her first 11 years with the company. As the meeting came to a close I wondered why more companies don’t spend more time, money and attention listening to, and getting to know, their end users. It can only be a win-win.

Personally, for us bloggers in our virtual world, it’s wonderful to get together, to shake a hand, play ping-pong (hope the table’s back next year), give and receive a hug and say to each other, as we hope we say to you, you are not alone

By the way, if you blow up the photo, and notice I’m wearing a lovely blue boot, it’s the result of a freakish accident. Don’t worry, five or so more weeks in my lovely footwear and all will be well. (Thus the hope the ping-pong table reappears next year.)

In full disclosure all expenses were paid for by Roche for this meeting.

A success for “Weekend for Women”

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Okay, I know, a bit of schmaltz with former Ms. America, but for a good cause. I just returned from the first“Weekend for Women” event put on by Diabetes Sisters and sponsored byTCOYD. Actually, the two events dovetailed this past weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Diabetes Sisters was started just a few short years ago by Brandy Barnes, to bring women living with diabetes together and break the isolation so many of us feel. 

As Brandy opened the event Saturday evening she said she couldn’t believe how quickly she was seeing her dream come true as she looked out at the 100 faces staring back at her. 

For there we were: type 1s, type 2s pretty evenly divided, and all ages from early twenties to eighty. I talked with 80 year old Liza, who got type 2 diabetes three years ago and I only hope I have her vitality, and her looks, when I’m 80! Women also came from both the local area and as far away as California, Illinois, New York and Texas.

The event kicked off Saturday night with dinner, socializing and a pampering treatment: massage, nails, hair or make up. 

Sunday former Ms. America and diabetes advocate, Nicole Johnson, gave a truly inspiring talk. She developed type 1 diabetes at 19 and went on, against the wishes of many around her who thought it would be too much for her, to win the Ms. Virginia and then Ms. America title. 

While she is beautiful, her talk – warm, funny and personable – showed she is beautiful on the inside too. And while there was probably no other beauty contest winner in the audience, I think we could all identify with the limitations she talked about that others often put on us and that in mass we turn that around to show just how capable and remarkable each of us is.

The day continued with a host of informational lectures from keeping your heart healthy, feeding your body, mind and spirit and dealing with body image to having a healthy pregnancy and going through menopause. Sheri Colberg was our ending key note speaker and she shared from her book secrets of the longest living people with diabetes. 

As much as we came together to bond, celebrate and learn, it was also inspiring for me to see what Brandy had created bringing us together, and the uncompromising support she appears to have from her beloved type 3 husband and sister. 

There’s another “Weekend for Women” in the works for next year and it may even happen sooner than expected. If you’d like to participate you might want to stay current on the Diabetes Sisters web site.  

2,000 amazing book signings

All smiles

With little fanfare, my husband turned to me about two months ago and said, “Wouldn’t it be something if we gave away your books to the speakers and member nations who’ll be at the International Diabetes Conference this year? After I rolled my eyes I said laughingly, “It sure would.” And, I’m here to tell you it was!

1,000 copies of “50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It” and 1,000 copies of “The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes” made their way to Montreal where they were on display last week in the Exhibition Hall of the IDF as my gift to all those who work to make life better for people with diabetes. The books were accompanied by thisletter that expresses my appreciation.

By noon the second day of the conference all the books had been handed out and are now heading back to libraries, clinics, hospitals and patients as far away as China, South Africa, the Philippines, Russia and most everywhere in between. The IDF has more than 200 member countries around the world.

For an author who rarely sees the impact of her work, chatting with those who surrounded me, seeing their delight in the colorful and unique pages of the ABC book, hearing them agree how we only talk about negative emotions in diabetes rather than strength, joy, appreciation and pride, was thrilling. Seeing their smiles glance over the playful cover of the 50 diabetes myths book that dispels a huge myth right on its cover was also a thrill.

So much so in fact that when the books were gone by 11:30 AM the second day I felt bereft. It had been so fulfilling to talk to so many who are working tirelessly every day in diabetes that I wished I had brought another 2,000 books! 

I did spend a fair amount of time at the many behavioral sessions offered at the conference where I heard confirmed the value of story-telling in helping patients in their healing process and that most behaviorists in the field are currently advocating motivational interviewing and patient-centric methodologies. I actually find both a step in the right direction but at the same time not quite the right step. Motivational interviewing is a directive approach where the HCP largely directs the conversation and intent rather than without prejudice openly exploring  the patient’s ideas for options, and as pointed out in one presentation, the HCP can bring his or her own prejudices to the process and a number of other blocks. Also, while most HCPs need to become more patient-aware, making the patient/doctor interaction patient-centered, too heavily weights the interaction on the shoulders of the patient and minimizes the HCP’s contribution. I am well aware of these approaches and working on a behavioral intervention that moves patients further and will be unique to the diabetes world.

Back to the conference, while it was a chore to leap out of bed early the first morning and walk a half hour in the cold to the conference center for the 8:30 AM session, it was the session that resonated most deeply with me and was most akin to the work I’m developing. 

It was given by Dr. Jean-Philippe Assal who spoke with the knowledge of a physician, the understanding of an educator and the eloquence and wisdom of someone who has evolved in his study of patient/physician interaction and human nature to understand that treating patients with diabetes is as much art as science.  

Dr. Assal also presented a remarkable video about gondoliers developing their skills to maneuver the waterways in Venice and comparing the development of those skills to how we develop the skills needed to live successfully with diabetes. An incredible metaphor and one that can only be recognized by those who look beyond the traditional care model.

The second day of the conference my husband and I found ourselves to our good fortune lunching with Dr. Assal, his wife, Tiziana, an education specialist, and their assistant, Benedetta Barabino, a biologist who is working in stage directing to help patients and physicians work through blocks and barriers. Needless to say it was a stimulating lunch centered around how the patient must be regarded as an equal expert to the provider as he/she is the expert on his/her life, and that working together the best outcomes can be achieved. 

One outcome that was immediately achieved over lunch is the husband and I have an invitation to visit the Assals at their Geneva home. Hmmm…I wonder how long it takes to get to Geneva from Brooklyn?

20th World Diabetes Congress

Just landed home from two weeks in the U.K. where I’m collaborating with an expert in behavioral intervention to help patients better manage diabetes. This promises to be exciting new work in the coming months and something I’ll be writing more about. 

Off again tomorrow morning to theInternational Diabetes Federationconference taking place this year in Montreal. The conference brings together the top researchers in diabetes from around the world. It begins this Sunday, the 18th and finishes on the 22nd. I’ve never been to the IDF conference so it promises to be enlightening. 

If you happen to be there check out the display area where my books will be available. 

Now that I’m still on U.K. time which means I’ve been up forever and the room is beginning to spin, I’m going to say come back next week when my travels will be limited to my walk around the park and shlepping groceries home from the local market

A strong chorus of voices, amid others, in the diabetes community

Screen Shot 2015-02-08 at 12.17.32 PMIt is now a few days since I’ve returned from the Roche Diabetes Care Social Summit and my inbox has been flooded with daily bursts from enthusiastic returning bloggers. There’s the sharing of all our blog posts as almost 29 people blogged about the conference, of course. And there’s everyone’s vote winging back and forth on the T-shirt in the works that Chris immediately went to work on to commemorate, I think not so much the working summit, but all of us meeting. 

I’ve been flickered, tweeted, googled and just learned what (#) means. I used to think it stood for “number” but apparently I have been sleeping through the past several nanoseconds. It’s a “hashtag,” a way to combine tweets on the same topic. But you knew that, didn’t you?

This email below came in today from one of my fellow bloggers at the summit and I had to smile reading it as it reminded me that while for a few hours we were heralded as the Diabetes “A” Team, we are all only figuring it out ourselves as we go along, every day, day by day.

A quick note to those of you on the bus from the (Roche) factory to the airport. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was having blood sugar issues on the ride. All I remember was a lot of talking and laughing. By the time I got to the gate, I was confused and didn’t know where I was. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor staring up at a group of airport employees, who trying to figure out “who is this crazy man, and why is he sleeping on my floor?” (I’m sure they thought I was drunk) After I muttered the word “diiiaaabetiiic”, a nice lady from behind the counter gave me some OJ. When I checked my blood, I thought my meter was malfunctioning. It read 38. I checked again, and my hypo event was confirmed. So…if I displayed any anti-social behavior on the bus, please forgive me.”

For those of you who’d like to read more accounts of this unprecedented event that Roche created here are a few of the many:

My Spin on the Roche/Diabetes Social Media Summit

Wait, You Wanted Pictures??

Roche Hosts Diabetes Care Social Media Summit – A Meeting of the Minds

Roche Diabetes Social Media Summit: My Turn

Diabetes Social Media Summit: my thoughts

As you’ll notice we all represent a wide range of personalities, interests, opinions, activism, but with one central tenant: We all share living with diabetes in an attempt to help others and also help ourselves. Below my fellow bloggers’ photo are all their web blogs.

 

  1. That would be me
  2. Ginger Vieira
  3. Kelly Kunik
  4. Fran Carpentier
  5. Calpumper
  6. Kitty Castellini
  7. Sandra Miller
  8. Christel Marchand
  9. David Edelman
  10. Brandy Barnes
  11. Bennet Dunlap
  12. Lee Ann Thill
  13. Allison Blass
  14. Gina Capone
  15. Jeff Hitchcock
  16. Kerri Morrone
  17. Manny Hernandez
  18. Chris Bishop
  19. Amy Tenderich
  20. Kelly Close
  21. Christopher Thomas
  22. Scott King
  23. Bernard Farrell
  24. Scott Strumello
  25. George Simmons
  26. Scott Johnson
  27. William Lee Dubois
  28. David Mendosa
  29. Charlie Cherry

(A special thanks to Sandra Miller for typing up this list.)

 

Diabetes dating in Indiana with Roche

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I just returned from Indianapolis late last night. After an almost harrowing touchdown, the end result of a storm that battered New York City all afternoon and evening, I was returning from an unprecedented event:  a major dialogue between giant diabetes manufacturer, Roche, and 29 diabetes bloggers. Roche, the leader in glucose testing through their brand, Accu-chek, and testing strips, invited us to their Corporate Headquarters to see how to better use we bloggers to get vital learning and information to more patients, those who are online and those who aren’t. 

Like a first date, we were all on our best behavior at the evening reception cocktail party and dinner. While we bloggers were impressive in number it seemed there were as many Roche executives present; each side felt confidently relaxed. The next day we were facilitated by Amy Tenderich of DiabetesMine (a few more photos) and Manny Hernandez ofTuDiabetes to explore how to widen our voice and reach. Some interesting ideas emerged:

– A go-to diabetes web site with a source list for all things diabetes, including blogs categorized by search-need ie: racial identity, young women, parents. 

– A national call to action on Diabetes Day, November 14th, like, “Today I will test three times.”

– A collective list of diabetes blogs to be included in the resource packet typically handed to new patients in hospitals and doctor offices

– A diabetes czar in the Whitehouse 

– Training health care providers to work with patients to empower them to take more responsibility as their own care givers

A significant working session profered what pharmas MUST NOT Do when using social media, the 3 s’s: Spam, Selling and Self-promotion and what they MUST DO, the 2 e’s: Earning trust and Educating. 

Other comments to note were of the 27 type 1s in this group, we all felt ads that show meters with perfect people and perfect blood sugar numbers like 101 and 104 sooooo put us off. “Get real” was the day’s battle cry. One blogger offered, “Today I woke up at 301 and felt crummy! But my meter let me correct and get to work on time.”

Mid-afternoon we were treated to a manufacturing tour and got to see just how those little test strips get made and boxed, and once I got over wearing the old ‘Roseanne’ hairnet helmet, I enjoyed it. I was also touched by the people on the manufacturing floor who have what look like grinding automated jobs and yet smiled and waved to us like they were greeting family members.

As our date drew to a close, we’re not exactly sure if Roche will call again. They did get sprayed with some heavy artillary over the high cost of test strips and why profits seem to come at the cost of many uninsured patients’ health. We wanted to know why does it take so long for new products to come to market? And the big question: Why are meters allowed to be up to 20% inaccurate? It didn’t help that Roche’s Senior Marketing Manager was not at liberty to answer these questions due to FDA regulatory policies. 

Overall, I believe the meeting was successful because it began a conversation and helped put a face on big corporate for us and internet voices for them. And I do believe this was an earnest attempt to provide better service to their tapped and untapped customers, and yes, profit from that. But then I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. And so I commend the Roche executives we met for braving internal hurdles I can only assume were there, and I hope more companies will pick up the gauntlet and see the value of tapping into this, and similar, very smart networks of professional patients on the ground.

ADA Scientific Conference

UnknownThis year’s scientific news

The American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 69th Scientific Conference began four days ago and closes today. This is the event of the year for the more than 14,000 scientists, clinicians, diabetes educators and exhibitors to get together and share their latest research findings and emerging new medicines, technologies and products. 

Many in the diabetes community are blogging and twittering about it including Amy Tenderich over at DiabetesMine, Kelly Close at Close ConcernsDavid MendosaManny Hernandez at TuDiabetes. Even the ADA has a Facebook page bringing you the highlights. 

Due to a report from Amy we know that mid-way during the conference there were already:

389 oral presentations

100 clinical symposia (more science talks)

104 late-breaking abstracts (papers submitted after the conference program was filled)

1,538 research posters

465 published abstracts (research synopses)

150+ exhibitors on one enormous exposition floor  

Much of the news you’ll find here portends what’s to come over the next year or two. Here are just a few posts among more information that I found interesting:

The Gene Effect

Diabetes Trailblazer Wins Banting Award

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

What you don’t know (about diabetes) can hurt you