Friends for Life 2011: The Afterglow

Who the hell returns from five solid days of Type 1 diabetesness, each packed with knowledge and camaraderie and excitement and insight and heat and compassion, just to sit down at their computer and think, “I don’t think I have anything to say”?

I do, apparently.

In truth, I have too much to say, and I’m almost too tired to form words.

Here are a few of the insights and highlights that come to mind:

  • While many of us struggled with the idea of using Guest Assistance Cards at Disney World (“We’re not sick people! We can wait just like everyone else!”), it took me about six or seven minutes of heat and crowds at The Happiest Place on Earth to take advantage of said cards. For a few fleeting moments, diabetes made things easier.
  • Whose idea was it to hold a Type 1 diabetes conference at a park represented by a mouse?! Cruel.
  •  Nothing is more difficult than spending hours on end with a sweet, shiny black dog that you are not allowed to pet. Heather (who is awesome in her own right) brought along Becca, her diabetes service dog. Becca is an amazing creature who can sense low blood sugars, fetch juice boxes (!), and elicit squees of joy from even the most hardened old soul. As challenging as it was to resist her charms, I’m so glad she came along.

You Can't Touch This.

  • There is an inverse relationship between the price of and the quality of food and drink at Disney. I know it’s not a revelation, but it bears repeating. $9 for a paper plate of chicken nuggets: never again.
  • I am not a big American Idol fan, and the fact that Crystal Bowersox did not win her season is a good example of why. The only things that impressed me more than her pump-disguising skills were her effortless vocals. She gave an amazing performance, as well as thoughtful answers to the questions that a crowd of diabetic children asked her. I’m glad she’s got her One Touch gig.
  • Speaking of One Touch, diabetes is big-ass business. I know it’s how the world works, but there’s something about a convention hall full of bajillion-dollar booths and displays that advertise pumps, test strips, infusion sets and glucose tabs that’s a bit nauseating.
  • It really is possible to spend a week with a group of people you have never actually met and have a great time. I was convinced we’d have some case where a diabetes blogger or tweeter turned out to be a non-diabetic Ukranian spy or something, but nothing like that happened. The most controversial thing about the week was the amount of plaid that Martin wore.

Martin and Scott, our very own Brawny Men.

  • I’m totally going next year.

Hopefully I’ll be able to compose a more in-depth post as the week wears on and I catch up on everything, including sleep. For now, though, a big thank you to everyone who made last week all it was.

12 comments on “Friends for Life 2011: The Afterglow

  1. Willis says:


  2. colleen says:

    I never, ever thought of the “mouse thing.”
    Thanks for the giggle.
    Oh – and loved seeing your photos with all that happiness just glowing!

  3. Rachel says:

    Also LOL’ing over the mouse thing. 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed!

  4. Jess says:

    brilliant as always! and i miss you…

  5. Lorraine says:

    Smiles once again. 🙂

  6. shannon says:

    My kid was diagnosed at almost exactly the same time that Crystal started on Idol, so I’ve got a soft spot for her. Every week when we saw her on the show we’d yell out PUMP PATROL! and try to see if we could spot her pimp (lol typo, I’m leaving it!).

    It was so rad to meet you, dude. 😀

  7. I totally know what you are talking about regarding the whole big-ass diabetes business deal! That is what strikes me every time I attend the JDRF walks and it is really what struck me when we attended the first CWD conference in Vancouver last year. I wanted to stand in the middle of the room and scream “HEY! My kid has this bullshit disease and all you people see is marketing opportunities?!”

    But instead I swallowed my rage and just made it my mission to score every free give-away I could get my hands on. New pump skins, meter skins, tee shirts, carb tabs, carb gel, pens…you name it – I grabbed it.

    Anyway, I look forward to going again when it returns to Vancouver and maybe one day when I get my ducks in a row and we all get our passports, we may just make it to the big one in Florida.

  8. Paul M says:

    I’m worried that I’m living under a rock and don’t even know it…of what Diabeta-palooza are you blogging?? I feel so left out.

  9. George says:

    Plaid is the new black.

    It was so great hanging out and finally getting to meet you. I cannot wait until next year!

  10. Lauren says:

    Aww! Did you get to meet Sam Talbot??

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