Diabetes Forecast

Special Report: EXPO Chicago

By James A. Talbert, EdD , ,

Those of us with diabetes come in all shapes and sizes. We all have a singular goal: to manage our diabetes to the best of our ability and be more effective caretakers. Kudos to the American Diabetes Association for putting on an outstanding EXPO Chicago to help us in achieving that goal.

The Chicago event was well attended. That accounted for lines at many of the booths. It was great to talk with other people while standing in line. And at the end of each line was a presenter or representative with a big smile and a ton of information.

There were booths on health, healthy foods, fitness, pharmaceuticals, neuropathy, and devices for testing blood glucose levels. Representatives from the medical field were there to answer questions about diabetes, medication, wellness care, proper eating, and so on. Several stages were scattered throughout the venue and offered continuous expert presentations on healthy cooking, diet management, and other important aspects of diabetes care. As a walker, I spoke with two companies that provide shoes for people with diabetes; one of the distributors is right here in Chicago. I learned that most private insurance plans and Medicare cover a pair of therapeutic shoes if the policyholder qualifies for them.

One of the best benefits of EXPO was the free screenings provided by local health care organizations. Many Chicagoland hospitals and some of the clinics that serve people with podiatric needs were present.

There was a special section set aside for kids and their families. It was very upbeat, with a character hero welcoming the child and family to the many booths and activities. It is most important for us to supply information to children and adolescents, so that they can learn to manage their own care, realize that they are not alone, and participate without limitation in all of the activities that are offered at their schools. The kids' section and an interactive movement section for adults were the most lively.

I was delighted to see that there were free copies of Diabetes Forecast magazine and a subscription card for nonmembers offering a free three-month trial. Early in the day, more than 100 people had signed up. Those newly diagnosed people will certainly benefit from becoming monthly readers.

I walked away from the EXPO better informed and with a bag filled with information and samples. But, most of all, I appreciated the positivity that was evident from the moment I walked up the ramp from the parking lot and was waved in by smiling volunteers. Put me on the list to be a volunteer at next year's EXPO. I am working to better manage my diabetes every day, and I hope that you are, too.

—James A. Talbert, EdD
Diabetes Forecast Reader Panel

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