…What difference can a weekend really make? The combination of 50 people living with Type 1 diabetes, 7 healthcare professionals, 2 motivational speakers, 10 Animas ‘Heroes’ and 10 Animas UK employees can attest to the answer being … Life Changing!
My name is David Burdekin, I live with Type 1 diabetes and I have been working for Johnson & Johnson – the company behind Animas - for 16 years. In 2012, having recently started to use an insulin pump, I was intrigued to attend the Animas Sports Weekend.
The Animas Sports Weekend 2014 (ASW2014) is the fourth time the Animas UK team and Dr Ian Gallen (Consultant Physician and Endocrinologist) have collaborated to bring knowledge and understanding to people living with Type 1 diabetes, to improve performance and glucose control during sport and exercise.
It teaches people living with Type 1 diabetes what happens under different conditions in the body and how they can create manual intervention strategies to better mimic what happens during exercise. To improve knowledge means that people living with Type 1 diabetes can improve their expertise in their diabetes management and therefore lead to improved outcomes. It is not, and cannot be, a golden rule book of absolutes.
What is very special, is the fact that the delegates get the opportunity to learn, not only through the theory lectures and practice sessions; but more so through conversations with thought leaders, healthcare professionals and especially the other delegates. The topic of conversation from Friday through to Sunday was singular and very engaging – TYPE 1 DIABETES.
The people living with Type 1 diabetes are for once in the majority and can openly discuss what concerns them with others who completely understand.
I feel very motivated about my diabetes management and control after the ASW2014. It feels like I now know and understand what has happened in the past and what I can do to prevent some of the things happening again. I, like many living with Type 1 diabetes, want to understand how to gain better control through understanding what manual interventions make sense and what is the reason to take the actions.
The ASW2014 was able to put another few pieces in the jigsaw for me and help me understand what is happening and what strategies I can experiment with to gain that better control. I felt safe, I felt understood, and I felt like everyone in the room wanted to help all others achieve their goals. I could talk to people without having to spend the majority of the conversation explaining diabetes, or why I am different, or apologising for sounding stupid or weird….I could just start asking the key questions and the other people got it!There have been key turning points in my diabetes life, and I just added a new one!