This past weekend I attended the local JDRF TypeOneNation Summit. I’ve attended this event several times over the years, and the first one I went to I even drove 5ish hours to a different city which was the closest location at the time.
I always get a lot of out of these events. Sometimes I crave them. Some people ask me why I still go because after almost 25 years of living with diabetes, you’d think I know everything I need to know by now, right? That’s a big fat negative. There’s always little nuggets of information I pick up. But even more than that, one of the main reasons I go is because I get to be surrounded with my peeps for a day. People that get it. People that hear alarms beep and instantly know what’s going on. And if it’s your device that’s beeping, you can beep away without feeling like you need to hurry up and silence it before someone figures out something may be “wrong” with you and starts asking questions.
To be able to eat in a big group for lunch where everyone is looking at CGM data, and pulling out meters to check blood sugars. Where you don’t feel like you have to hide it in your lap. (Although, I did catch myself sitting mine in my lap, out of habit.)
To get to hear my friend, Kerri, as she was the keynote speaker, share her experiences of living with diabetes and reminding us that there is no level of perfection that we need to be striving for. To hear her say that having her children was “a life that was a maybe that we turned into a certainty.” (love that!) And to hear Kerri also remind us that people have no idea what goes on behind the scenes each and every day, for us to remain healthy. And gave the example of ducks swimming – you look out at a pond and think “Oh how cute is that duck” but you don’t see how fast their little legs are paddling.
To be in a room where you feel thankful. For so many things. Do some days suck having to manage my diabetes? Abso-freaking-lutely. But at the end of the day, it could always be worse. And I can’t undo the fact I have diabetes, so I try to just live day to day the best I can and not let it interfere any more than it already does. One of the guys in a session I was in was wearing a shirt that said, “I can do anything I want. Except produce insulin.” Haha Love that.
To get to make new friends, and to see friends that I would not have known if it were not for my diabetes. (Shout out to my friend, Suzanne, who I failed to get a picture with!)
And an even cooler part of this year’s event that was different for me, is I was asked to moderate a pump user’s panel. I’ll be honest, I went into it pretty nervous. I have been an attendee for so many years, so I was a little nervous how it would go being in the front of the room. But I had THE best group of panelists – four of them wore different pumps, and one was on MDI. We had lots of good questions coming from the audience, and the time flew by. Was honored that JDRF asked me to do that!
So those are just a few of the reasons I keep going to these events. And will continue to do so. We can/should all try and learn something new every day-diabetes related or not. #challengeaccepted