This past Saturday I took myself for a harrowing drive down to Sheldon College in Redlands. By harrowing I mean I drove for 20 minutes with a frozen GPS and a steadily-shining fuel light reminding me that I shouldn't stray too far from civilization.
Eventually I found my way to Sheldon College - with 15km of my reserve fuel left to spare - and gambled over to the registration desk for EXPOsing diabetes.
EXPOsing diabetes events are 1 day information exhibitions run by Diabetes Queensland for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics. I think I read that more than 300 attendants came along for the day - with about 30 odd of us being Type 1's. The seminars were separated for each type which meant that the programs were tailored to each specific type and their particular program needs.
The Type 1 program that I attended was fantastic. Each speaker addressed us in warm, friendly tones and allowed us to ask plenty of questions; although doubtless this was easier for the Type 1 group as we were a much smaller group than the Type 2 group.
The lectures were informative and I learnt something new from every one of them, and began to consider things about my Type 1 that I hadn't before - like I might be asking for an inclusion to go to an exercise physiologist in my next care plan, as exercise is something I have always struggled with with my Type 1. The seminar on diabetes and driving, given the recent law changes was exceedingly helpful in dispelling some diabetes and driving rumors and myths - and to clarify what was the real deal. That HbA1c under 9% your doctors keep threatening you with is in actual fact just a guideline and not a hard and fast rule - but was put in places for obvious reasons such as the fact that you may be experiencing more tiredness and an inability concentrate with a higher HbA1c.
I was also really happy with the inclusion of the seminar that dealt with more of the mental health side of type 1 diabetes. However that's a blog for another day.
I was honored to sit among Type 1 Diabetics who had had the disease much longer than I have - including 2 Kellion medal recipients. I think I was actually hands down the youngest person in attendance - which didn't phase me. The ladies that I sat with ranged in age from (I think) late 20's to 70's...but the thing about a disease like diabetes is that it can create mutual understanding and friendships between vastly different age groups. The attendance of willing participants proved that you have the capacity to learn and better understand the disease you live with at any age!
Overall I commend Diabetes Queensland on the institution of the EXPOsing Diabetes programs and would recommend anyone who can to attend one - even if you think you know everything there is to know, I gaurantee you you will walk away with at least 1 piece of knowledge about living with diabetes that you didn't have before.
They also have stalls set up by meter, pump and other such companies for you to check out the available products and chat to about if you're thinking about say, moving onto a pump. As an added bonus for me at the event I walked away with a free pump skin from Medtronic Diabetes. I'm happy as pie (I can only assume that being as delicious as they are, that pies are happy). My pump looks vibrant and pretty and I have a renewed interest in mushing buttons to record everything that happens every second of my life (as you are expected to do when you have diabetes).