I was fortunate to have been assigned “The Art and Science of Behavioral Medicine Principles in the Diabetes Online Community” Interest Group Discussion this past Sunday at Scientific Sessions. This meant I got to see Kerri, Scott, Manny, and Jeff on stage while medical professionals attending the conference came to see them speak. I suppose on the surface there’s nothing out of the ordinary about people coming to hear what any of these four diabetes advocates have to say, but the setting makes all of this much more meaningful.
Scientific Sessions isn’t for “us”, the patient community. There’s a lot of high science that gets covered here – science that has a way to go before it’s turned into medical practice that may one day directly impact our lives with diabetes. This isn’t the conference for patients and professionals to have a sit down. And I’m totally okay with that. But the fact that someone on the planning committee thought that we the diabetes community had something to offer to these attendees, to these medical professionals, is a sign that things are ever-so-slowly changing. And that’s awesome.
Based on emails, status updates, tweets, and full-on hearsay, there appear to be a significant number of diabetes online community members descending upon the Moscone Center in the next few days to attend this year’s Scientific Sessions. That’s awesome. I wish I had the time, and opportunity to see all of you.
Alas, I will be working during the conference – but if you want to say hi, I’ll be monitoring sessions in rooms S-102 and S-104 pretty much non-stop.
While I won’t be able to pop in on every session that looks interesting to me, I figure it’s best to provide my ideal path through the week. You’re more than welcome to start here and modify as needed.
In an instance of irony that is not lost upon me, the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions will be in San Francisco this year – I drove across the country only to have them follow me here. Starting Wednesday afternoon, I’ll be working the floor as a “red shirt”, helping attendees find their way from room to room and assisting in the poster hall. This will be my fourth adventure at the largest diabetes conference in the world (San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, and now home).
I’ll be sharing my experiences on Twitter and Instagram when I can, so if you want to see what the conference is like from my perspective, you know where to find me. The hashtag du semaine is #2014ada if you want to follow the broader conversation – hopefully there will actually be a conversation instead of people spamming the hashtag or retweeting press releases.
Also, I’ll be moderating the Twitter chat during Johnson & Johnson’s Meet and Tweet. The chat will be covering diabetes stigmas, and I’ll be coordinating everything from the @DiabetesSocMed account that Sunday. Things seem to be appropriately timed for all time zones (in that it’ll be before Game of Thrones). If you’ll be around, I invite you to join the conversation. Here are the details. Continue reading
This weekend I drove up to Sacramento to attend the Taking Control of Your Diabetes conference. Going into the day, I had a number of assumptions and preconceptions about what TCOYD is and isn’t – most notably that this conference is geared towards people with type 2 diabetes.
This year TCOYD was being hosted in Sacramento’s Convention Center, at the same time as Comic-Con on the other side of the building (I wish I took pictures of the cosplay, I was very impressed). After opening remarks from Dr. Steven Edelman (Founder) and Dr. William Polonsky, there were two primary session “tracks” geared toward type 1 and type 2 audiences.
I did what I could to document observations and remarks throughout the day, so the rest of this post will be fueled by those tweets.
With Scientific Sessions behind me, I can now start to work off the days of sleep I’ve missed out on. Because the convention center was over 3 miles away from my hotel, I did not have the luxury of the cathartic walk to and from the day’s adventures. This meant I had to add the stress of rush hour traffic after the day was over to the stress of cab drivers with a wide range of behavior patterns. I did what I could but between exhaustion and stress, I had my work cut out for me each day.
I did my best to venture out into the city and its neighboring areas for sights and bites, most notably Butcher and the Burger, but it became more difficult to embrace my already lacking sense of adventure given the previously mentioned exhaustion and stress.
One other contributing factor to my immediate desire for rest and relaxation was my lack of blood glucose management. I tried to apply lessons learned from my previous convention center marathons at Sessions in San Diego and Philadelphia, but I think I was a little too proactive in my efforts.