2012 TCOYD in DC

Yesterday my wife and I attended the TCOYD conference. It was a cold and slightly snowy day so we drove into DC and actually got there early. It seemed like not too many people were there, but that changed as the room for the keynote presentations quickly filled.

These conferences reach out to people to help them to empower patients to take care of themselves and to be able to live a long, healthy and happy life. The Diabetes Hands Foundation is a partner with TCOYD.

I think we can often get a distorted view of diabetes. There are many people out there who really struggle with their diabetes, they don't have to tools and education to take proper care of themselves, the "system" has let them down and they just feel depressed, angry and defeated. This conference really tries to change that.

The speakers were very inspirational, Steven Edelman, William Polosky and Urban Miyares. After listening to these speakers it really can leave you with a changed view of your own relationship with diabetes. Even the most frustrated of us has to feel some real hope and promise that you can change your life around.

Many of the attendees did appear to be people who really benefited from the day. It only costs $20, but it must cost nearly $200 or so per person. They had wonderful snacks and a diabetic friendly lunch. Many of the sessions and health fair exhibits are staffed by local doctors and professionals. I saw a fair number of ones that I have met before. I even crossed paths with Hope Warshaw about a dozen times in the health fair, although I declined to talk to her (we don't exactly see eye to eye).

I spent some time with Karen Graffeo who writes BittersweetDiabetes. Many of you may follow her blog. She is also famous for having started Blog Week. Karen is tireless and talked to many of the attendees. Karen manned a booth on social media and provided an introductory presentation. Emily Coles had sent me a bunch of brochures and Karen helped me distribute them. It was clear to me that while the on-line community really helps me and many others here, a lot of the attendees are not technology savvy and there remains a big gap. Many people seemed unaware of what was available on-line.

My wife and I were fortunate to meet up with our own fellow member kphil06 for lunch. We joined a table with some other participants and three physicians assistants (TCOYD runs a parallel session for health professionals). I really enjoy meeting other members. I am always so impressed with the people who are members here.

I really enjoyed this conference. It was a wonderful way to spend the day. I did learn a bunch of stuff had a great time talking with people, particularly at the health fair. My wife gained some real insight into the world of diabetes. And I think it makes me really appreciate how important it is to reach out and help others.

Has anyone else attended a TCOYD conference? What was your experience?

Hi bsc- Glad that you and your wife enjoyed the TCOYD conference yesterday. I would be happy to hear any of the speakers' info on how to successfully live w/ D. dLife has had many features on the TCOYD conferences, usually ones in CA. They follow the lives of people helped by their outreach program. I always enjoy watching the change in the people that are helped.
I have never attended a TCOYD conference, but would like to if one is set up in my area. (Philly)

When I had lunch with kphil06, sitting next to me was a young woman with her brother who has T2. Her brother was from Philly. It seemed to me like she was really trying reach out and help her brother get his act together.

TCOYD has many presentations available on-line. They have a program called Extreme Makeover as well.

I'm in the area but didn't get to make it (too many things going on with the kids).

A couple of the TCOYD "Extreme Makeover" videos I think could help explain things to my family or cow-orkers but I'm not sure that I really learned anything from them. Maybe that's good enough? Maybe I'm not really the target audience?

I think one has to approach these things with reasonable expectations. You are a veteran. You know what you need to do to take care of yourself. Many of the participants at the conference need much more basic education. I went to the intensive insulin management workshop. They asked how many times people tested. I was surprised to see T1s raise their hands that they test 2 times or less a day.

I would go again, not to necessarily learn but to be inspired.

ps. There were medical professionals and representatives who were quite knowledgable in the health fair.

I think maybe your standards have been set high, by the most frequent posters here and elsewhere on discussion boards. In fact we are a self-selected set with a heavy bias towards making the effort of tight control.

My biggest regret of not being there, is not being able to meet you :-)

I agree, the recent emphasis on "spikes" after meals is not catching the major portion of what a T1 has to be watching.

Thanks for sharing this info, bsc. I'm enjoying the videos on YouTube right now.

I find them inspirational.

That's so cool you had a good time and you gathered some inspiration from it. I would have gone but I was taking advantage of the snow . . . Great snowboarding at Wisp! Hopefully there will be something similar in the future.

I think you are right, we are a self selected group. We are not the average. And I hope that we can meet in the near future. Perhaps you can finally confirm that my face actually does in fact look like Alfred E. Neuman.

While your endo may accuse you of testing too much, I think if you asked most endos whether they would rather have a patient that tests too much or one who tests too little, the answer would be clear. Most endos I have talked to despair over their patients who won't take care of themselves. In my mind, that makes you a model patient.

My whole mission is to stay healthy, not to keep some insurance companies profits on track. I won't test needlessly, but I won't skimp. I take insulin. I must test before my meals and I have to test regularly after meals. That is just the way it is.

Well, given the mild winter conditions in the DC area, I guess I can't really fault you for taking advantage of conditions. Hope you had a great time.

Hi bsc: I have attended two TCOYD's here in California. I agree, it is good to go to get inspired. I try to do something at least once a year to stay motivated. Of course, TuD helps, but it is good to do things in person. For me, the best TCOYD was the one in Santa Clara, because they had the best technical presentations (I am thinking specifically of the presentation by Bruce Buckingham, MD, Stanford). This past year, I attended the DiabetesSisters event in San Diego (where I met the illustrious Natalie from TuD, and several other TuD members). Bill Polonsky was a speaker at DiabetesSisters--he is simply awesome.

Thanks for posting about your TCOYD day! Sounds great! And really good that your wife attended, too.

Once again, thanks for the great info BSC. Cheers! :)

Hello bsc!

Ran across a post by judith caterall on facebook - and it made me want to just come in and say hello!

Nice post. Well what was i thinking when i read your post here - what was going through my mind when i think of all those of don't know better about their D (those lacking knowledge or motivation)- what was racing through my mind?

It was a comment I recently heard "Walk while you can!"......

About TCOYD....

here is a great podcast about them ....


And a bit more About TCOYD....

Steven Edelman, M.D.
Founder and Director, Taking Control of Your Diabetes Renowned Diabetes Expert
Dr. Edelman, who has been living with diabetes since the age of 15, is the founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 diabetes education organization founded in 1995.

Committed to promoting education, motivation, and self-advocacy for people living with diabetes, Dr. Edelman has become a local, national and international leader in diabetes treatment, research, and especially education. He champions the cause of patient advocacy and has dedicated his life to helping people with diabetes live healthier lives.

Dr. Edelman currently serves as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at the University of California, San Diego, and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System of San Diego. He is also the director of the Diabetes Care Clinic VA Medical Center and the editor of the journals Insulin and Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy.
Dr. Edelman received his MD from the University of California, Davis where he was valedictorian. His postgraduate training included a residency in internal medicine at UCLA-San Fernando, a clinical fellowship in diabetes and metabolism at The Joslin Clinic, a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, and a research fellowship in diabetes and metabolism at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Edelman is certified in internal medicine and metabolism, diabetes, and endocrinology.

A highly sought public speaker for both professional and lay audiences, Dr. Edelman has given over 1,000 lectures around the globe and appears frequently on television, including the TCOYD-TV educational series. He has written numerous books and over 200 publications, including articles and abstracts that have been published in such journals as American Journal of Physiology, Diabetes, and Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Dr. Edelman is a reviewer for several journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. His honors include valedictorian of his medical school graduating class, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of California, Davis
School of Medicine, multiple Chief Resident’s Teacher of the Year Awards from the University of California, San Diego, the Humanism in Medicine Award from the University of California, San Diego, and the American Diabetes Association’s 2009 Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award.

Dr. Edelman is married to Dr. Ingrid Kruse, a podiatrist who specializes in diabetes foot problems. They have two daughters, Talia and Carina.

And if you are still reading this, you might want to check out one of my favourite videos of all time, starring none other than Dr Edelman.



Thanks for posting bsc! I'm really sorry I couldn't make it, maybe the next one on the east coast. Great that your wife went with you.

Thanks for posting this Michael. I think that a lot of TCOYD reflects Dr. Edelmans personal energy in trying to change the world for the better. Dr. Edelman and Dr. Polonsky both seem to really "get it." That controlling diabetes isn't necessarily a medical challenge, it is a mental challenge. I wish more doctors understood that and embraced that in their philosophy.

I'm glad my wife went. She was actually grumbling when I dragged her out of bed on her "day off." I think it can be really hard to be a type 3 and support someone without developing a sense of understanding of what they are going through.

Wishing they would have a conference in the NY metro area.