Last week I had the opportunity to be a part of the Diabetes 2.0 conference some re-caps are here.
This was my first speaking engagement EVER! and when I was asked back in July, or maybe June I forget! My heart dropped a bit because I was never on a panel. They asked me to be on the Girl Talk Panel with Nicole Johnson, Miss America 1999 who is an international diabetes advocate and she travels around the world promoting awareness, prevention, and management of diabetes. Yanelis Martin, M.D who is a second year clinical fellow training in Endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Miami. Ilene M. Vinikoor, LMFT, LCSW who specializes in individuals, marriage and family therapy.
Here is our photo!
We started off with Nicole introducing the panelists because she was the moderator. As Nicole was introducing us I felt myself becoming extremely hot and shaking. So, I took a sip of water that was provided in front of me. I thought It was my nerves but, after 5 minutes of ignoring it, I felt a low blood sugar coming on. I reached down to my bag on the side of me and got my meter out and put it on my lap. Pulled out a strip, and the lancing device and checked.
58. Oh great! Figures.
I am low on the first panel I have ever been on. So, I now caught the attention of Ilene to the left of me, because I am shuffling around and starting really feeling panicky. She quietly asks if I am ok. I just show her my meter. As I am showing her I am struggling to open my glucoshot bottle http://www.walgreens.com/store/catalog/Oral-Glucose/Gluco-Shot/ID=prod3471444&navCount=1&navAction=push-product
I love glucoshot drinks but, when you are low they are so hard to open. My husband gets so mad everytime he has to open them.
Anyway, Ilene takes the bottle and proceeds to help me because my hands are shaking. I look to the audience and Kerri is looking right at me. She mouths to me are you low? I mouth back yea, I’m low. I am really feeling hot now, so hot to the point I want to rip off my clothes because I am so sweaty. I wasn’t even that low! I must have been dropping quick. We got the bottle open and I drank it. Actually, I scarf’d it down. Two seconds later Nicole says we have heard from Ilene and Yanelis how about you tell us a little bit about yourself Gina?
I was thinking Oh, Sh*T. Ok, Well, I am Gina and was diagnosed with type 1 November 2000, started the diabetes talkfest, then I felt as though the room was closing in on me as I was talking and felt like a total babbling idiot. Maybe, I wasn’t but, I felt that way. I tell the audience, I am really sorry for babbling but, I just checked my blood sugar and I am having a low. I looked out to the audience and you can see they all just sympathized with me. Nicole got me out of it (Nicole is the best speaker and moderator ever!) and came back to me a little bit later when my BS came up. But, OMG I was so embarrassed.
After, I was finally coherent and able to speak human again we got into really amazing issues like menstrual cycles, teen issues, pregnancy, and diabulimia. I shared my personal story on each. I felt like I was just hanging out with my girlfriends!
After the panel was over, a couple of the mothers were asking me questions and how I helped them realize the signs of diabulima. They were so happy I shared my personal struggles. Some other people were stopping me in the hallway and even the bathroom as well telling me the great job I did. That felt so awesome! I thought to myself are you sure you are talking about me? Haha
I loved answering and interacting with people that were just like me. They also were telling me how great I was during my low blood sugar fiasco and how I held my composure through it. To tell you the truth I have no idea how I wasn’t crying from that!
It was the most rewarding experience of my life and I am so happy that the DRI gave me the opportunity to do something like this. I was so amazed that I (me, Gina Capone) touched people’s lives, and so sad it went by so quickly!
Maybe I can do it again next year! Haha hint, hint!
If you want to find out more about the Diabetes Research Institute check out www.diabetesresearch.org
They are the Best hope for a cure!