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Go to a Diabetes Update Day!

Recently I attended a diabetes update day in my area. They are open to both health professionals and people who live with diabetes, and usually happens twice a year. I usually learn a lot at these sessions. The last one was no different.

Diabetes education

Some of the information is very high level, research-focused. I can usually follow with not much issue. I like that type of information. They talked a lot about the diabetic once-a-week injectable medications that have proven to be cardio-protective. This is always good to hear since we know that diabetes can have a huge impact on our heart. You can’t talk about diabetes without talking about heart disease and the effect on the heart.

I was very pleased that some of the information, I already knew. There’s nothing better than getting to a professional conference and realizing just how much I know just by living with the disease. Somehow, it’s comforting. It means I’m doing things right, or at least, I’m aware.


Occasionally, there is also opinion thrown in that really bugs me. It is just that, opinion, but with influence. Let me explain. The speaker was a pharmacist who was talking about the meds. I’m not sure now how he diverted the conversation but stated the dangers of proton pump inhibitors which are used for reflux and GERD, and how they cause stomach cancer with long term use. Well, didn’t that make me stop? I have been on that class of medication for about 15 years. I was due to see my family doctor so I asked him about this information. My family doctor said he had heard it at many of the conferences he attends. The problem is, there is no research to back up that comment. He said people are going off the medication based on these comments and risking real pre-cancers like Barrette’s Esophagus or worse, esophageal cancer from the acid. In hindsight, I wish I had a nerf ball to launch at that pharmacist.

Connecting with people living with diabetes

The best part of these in-service sessions? I talk to people like myself. There are always displays at these in-service days from pharmaceutical companies. I learn a lot when I mosey over to their tables to hear their pitch. This is also where I hear questions the reps can’t answer…but I can. I live with diabetes. I can educate. I had a great discussion with a lady who wanted her father to use a flash drive sensor thinking this would be a good device for him. I did not try to talk her out it when she said he had dementia as well. That’s not my place. I answered her questions. I said how amazing the sensor is; what was needed to use it; finger pokes are still needed occasionally; the high cost if it’s not covered by insurance; with dementia, would he pull it off not remembering what it is for? She said she was very grateful that I talked honestly with her.

The CDEs added in a ‘living with diabetes’ piece. They gave everyone a glucometer, had us practice using it on ourselves, and take it home. They taught the audience how to use an insulin pen and practice giving into a teaching device. Health professionals got a small taste of what it’s really like to live with diabetes, hands-on. Amazing!!

I highly recommend going to these in-services. For non-professionals, the price is pretty cheap but the sharing is gold!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.