I'm still in shock that a type 1 diabetes conference in Ireland sold out!!! There are 180 adults/parents and 62 children registered to attend, plus we have a waitlist for any cancellations that might occur. And while I'm sad that we can't have more people attend, this is creating a very positive buzz for the possibility of Thriveabetes 2017.
Those of you who do have tickets to Thriveabetes 2016 will have received an email from me via Eventbrite last Saturday with some useful information about getting to our venue and finding your way to the check in desk.
This week's blog post is from one of our organisers, Ken Barclay. I met Ken for the first time at Thriveabetes 2015 but we had known each other online through the online support group; Diabetes in Ireland on facebook. When he messaged me last year in the run up to Thriveabetes it was like he knew that we needed him. Ken has been looking after all the audio visual requirements that we have to make sure that speakers can be heard, and their slides are seen:-)
Ken talks a little about how he struggled with his type 1 diabetes in his late teens and about how he came out the other end of that struggle and the help of the Diabetes support group he attends.
Guest Post from Ken Barclay;
I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 10 years old. I won’t say how long ago that was but it is fair to say it wasn’t yesterday or the day before. Starting when I was a teenager and running through a fair number of years afterwards I wasn’t exactly great dealing with diabetes. That is probably understating the problem to a fairly largely extent!
There are many varied reasons why I eventually copped on and tried to improve things that I won’t go into but one of the things that helped me hugely was starting to meet up with others in the same boat. I started to pay attention to the good work Diabetes Ireland were carrying out and went along to a few events they ran. These events were great to have casual chats about how other diabetics lived day to day and just dealt with what can be, at times, a pretty crappy situation.
A couple of years ago I started to attend the Type 1 Diabetes Support Group that meets monthly in Dublin. These sessions were started by Emma O'Toole and Niamh Downes and I’ve found them incredibly useful. They are casual meetings that are either general chats or on specific topics. I haven’t been able to attend for the last few months due to some study commitments and I’ve missed them badly. My calendar has now changed and I’m hoping my attendance can pick back up. I’ve learned a lot in these sessions and they are a great forum for asking questions or getting advice on any issues that people may be having.
I can say there is a great comfort in meeting up with a group of people and everyone needs to occasionally whip out a blood sugar meter and deal with a problematic reading. I’ve found that the group is incredibly open to new members and to answer any questions people have be they recently diagnosed or old hands.
I was at Thriveabetes in 2015 and found the same atmosphere there. Everyone involved including all of the speakers and attendees were open for a chat and to give advice. I’m very much looking forward to the 2016 event. You’ll probably find me dealing with a problem laptop at any point throughout the day.
Thank you to Ken for sharing his story and for all the work he puts into Thriveabetes.