Diabetica Expo Poland 2014 - Day 1

Living with diabetes is a real challenge at times, it can often feel like a numbers game battling between blood sugar readings, and insulin doses. But occasionally something will happen to remind you that there can be positive things associated with living with the condition too. Just such a thing took the form this month in my invitation to present at the Diabetica Expo 2014, also known as the national conference in Poland for diabetes.

I’d received the invitation a little while earlier from my friend Martyna, a lovely young leader whom I met a few years ago at the IDF Youth Leadership Camp in Tirennia, Italy. Martyna a neurosciences student from Poland had been a pleasure to meet at the camp and someone that I’d stayed in touch with since, even doing an interview with her for a Polish diabetes magazine. In recent weeks however, Martyna had been working hard to bring a youth element to proceedings at the forth coming Diabetica Expo or national diabetes conference, in Poland. With an excellent reputation throughout Poland as the number one symposium for people with diabetes, I was honoured to be invited to come and speak about my experiences of living with diabetes and achieving in sport. So I flew out Thursday afternoon to join Martyna and her partner Arek in her home city of Bydgoszcz.

Travelling with diabetes is always a challenge, especially the part at the airport where you have to go through the scanners with your insulin pump and declare any liquids/ medications you are carrying. But luckily my journey out to Poland went without a hitch and I managed to get there in one piece. After enjoying a traditional Polish meal (which was delicious), I spent my first night in Poland before travelling to the nearby city of Tourun, where the expo was being held. I spent the first day at the Diabetica Expo, experiencing the technology associated with living with diabetes in Poland. Very popular at the moment was a new device that attaches to your i-phone to measure and record blood glucose levels. One of the other very popular stands was Stevia- the sweetener/ extract company, where whilst at their stand I tried their fabulous chocolate spread. I also came across a well respected organisation that make creams to reduce the scars caused by diabetes issues such as injections. (I’ll let you know how I get on with the cream). We also enjoyed some lectures, on sport and diabetes education, which even went into the differences between proposed physical routines for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

After the first day of the Expo I made my way back to my lovely hotel located in the heart of Tourun, which was also the sight for the evening’s banquet. Wearing a lace dress (in diabetes blue, obviously) I was honoured at the event, when I was asked to officially open proceedings alongside Martyna and the President of the Polish Andrzej Bauman diabetes association. We then enjoyed the traditional Polish dinner, which was tomato soup with almonds to start, chicken stuffed with tomato and potatoes for main and then a range of taster desserts to finish. To burn off our dinner we then danced the night away to a mixture of British and Polish music, I also had my first taste of ‘discopolo’- a new genre of music amongst the Polish youth. After a brilliant first day, I retired to my room in order to practice my presentation one last time and get some sleep for the excitement of the next day!

L-R: Myself, Martyna (Fellow IDF leader), Henryk (Diabetica Expo Creator) Andrzej Bauman (President of the Polish Diabetes Association)



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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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