When we got to the JDRF Kansas City Family Connections Retreat we were greeted by JDRF staff and volunteers at the registration table. Each family that attended (there were around 100 families in attendance) were given their welcome packet that included a synopsis of the retreat, a T1D networking BINGO card, and the speakers as well as the individual family schedule depending on their selection of presentations they chose to listen to.
Aly and I got right to work on the BINGO card and our networking skills. There were many diabetes related companies in attendance in the vendor fair some companies that were in attendance were JDRF, JDRF Advocacy, Hy-Vee, Kids With Courage, Medtronic, Animas, Omnipod, Accu-Chek, Sanofi Diabetes, Novo Nordisk, Trial Net, and Turning Point. We also socialized with other families that we have met previously and others that we were meeting for the first time. Aly really warmed up and starting talking to people.
The sessions that I chose to attend at this event were Artificial Pancreas Project - What's New, Nutrition - Go Deep!, and The Teen Brain. While I attended my selected breakout sessions Aly went to the Kids Zone and played with other children who also have T1D.
Artificial Pancreas Project - What's new?
The 1st session I attended the Artificial Pancreas Project - What's new? Presented by John Martin and Jed Rellihan, in this session we heard that the artificial pancreas is currently in the first generation, before the artificial pancreas will be released to the public for sale it must be in the third generation. The researchers and hoping to have the artificial pancreas on the market for sale in the next 10 years. We were blessed to hear from Jed Rellihan a 14yo T1D who has participated in the Artificial Pancreas Project trial, he did advise that the Dexcom sensor was proven to be the best US available CGM.
When the 1st session was complete it was time for some grub and more networking. During the lunch session the tables had breaking the ice type questions to get everyone acquainted with each other at your table. The table that we sat at was about sleepovers, PS .... We already knew everyone at our table :) ..., it was a great time talking to other moms about sleepovers and how to handle them.
Nutrition - Go Deep
The 2nd session that I attended was Nutrition - Go Deep! This session was presented by Nan Borchardt. During this session we learned about Complete and Incomplete proteins
Proteins take 2-3 hours to convert to blood glucose
Fats take 3-4 hours to covert to blood glucose.
When eating a meal using the 2/1 ratio carb to protein will help diminish the postprandial spike
The Teen Brain
The last and final breakout session that I attended today was The Teen Brain. During this session we had an open discussion about all things related to having a teenager and dealing with T1D. (As most of you know Aly is only 8 but I wanted to know what to look forward to in the future).
During this discussion we spoke from everything from puberty, to drinking and how it affects T1D, to dating, anxiety and depression, driving, hormones, and much much more.
The things that I took from this session were:
- Have your teen work with you in trying to identify the factors as to why their blood sugars are why they are the number that they are
- Growth hormones make teens become insulin resistant
- Androgen and estrogen can cause a teen to need more insulin
- Teens with type 1 diabetes having a rigger risk of depression and anxiety
- Teen girl with T1D may do insulin manipulation to try and lose weight. Please watch out for this
- Puberty typically ends at 16.
- Your teen will be okay and they will mess up. The best thing to do is have an open dialogue with your child so they can tell you and you can help them get back on track
- You can do the best you can but your child is still independent of you. They will make their own choices
- A lot of times with anxiety you will see behavioral issues in children and teens
- As parents we have type 3 diabetes we don't live with it but we deal with it daily