It went really really. Super dee duper well. I couldn't have asked for better kinda well.
The evening event consisted of three presentations. The first one was done by two ladies from OneTouch and they were presenting the OneTouch Verio meter. Not having one of these, I was pretty excited to find one in my bag of goodies. It's a pretty neat meter in that it can identify and track blood glucose trends for people who test their blood sugar a lot (ie. me). Apparently, once I have been using it for a while, it will beep when it notices things like my blood sugar is usually high two hours after lunch or it's low around 4am. That kinda thing. Plus it lights up, has a big screen, a rechargeable battery AND it kinda looks like a baby iPod if you squint just so. Sold!
I was up next. I had arrived early to make sure that my laptop connected to the projector and the speakers. All I had to do was walk to the front and start talking. I did just that. I started off by thanking everyone there for coming and for dedicating their time to helping people like me.
I told my diagnosis story and heard gasps when I told them how I was misdiagnosed as a type two. How surreal and crazy hard it is to have to learn to give yourself that first injection and how scary it is to go home armed with the ability to read a nutrition label and not much else.
I told my running story. They clapped when I said I ran my first half marathon. They laughed at how hard it was for me to run for one minute and they nodded in approval when I told them about the size of my running belt and how many emergency supplies I carried.
I told them how I typed the words "type 1 diabetes" and "runner" into Google and discovered my first diabetes blog (hi Scully - you're now famous!). I told them how cool it was to meet my first type 1 in the wild and how I decided to write my own blog.
I gave a few examples of the things that the DOC taught me. Like how to waterproof my pump for long runs and what things like SWAGing and type awesome mean. They loved SWAGing! I talked about how important the DOC community is to people and then I played a video that Sara sent me. Remember the video she made after people sent in photos of themselves wearing glasses and insulin pumps? And how the video was made for a little girl who didn't want to have to wear glasses AND an insulin pump?
And promised to check out my blog and click on other blogs, and learn about this Dee Oh See I was talking about.
They asked me questions like "how can we support people better" and I told them what Jeff (hi Jeff!) asked me to say. I said that too much pressure is put on people to reach the magic A1C number. Reaching this target over and over again, or even at all, is just not possible for most people. It leads to depression, stress and, sometimes, people risking too many lows just to get a better A1C. They nodded.
I told them that we are more than diabetes and that not everything that happens to us is because of diabetes. We can get real people sick too (they liked that term as well) and maybe our sore hand, stress fracture or whatever has nothing to do with diabetes at all.
I said don't tell us all the bad stuff that can happen to us - we know already. Treat us like people. Take the time to get to know us as more than just a disease. And teach people about the DOC so that they can get support during the 8,754 hours a year that we are not at the doctor's office.
It was a wonderful night. I loved watching the room light up, nod, gasp and cry as I told
By the next morning, two people from the audience had already left comments on my blog. That alone means I made a difference to more than one person.
Thanks you guys for your support, encouragement and words of wisdom. I felt like I was talking for all of us and I think I may have done you proud.