muddybrooks

My experiences post total pancreatectomy.

Friends For Life By CHildren With Diabetes

on July 7, 2014

The first word that comes to mind is, Wow!!!! This past week in Orlando at FFL was more amazing than I ever could have imagined!!!! I knew I would meet some amazing people but I wasn’t sure I’d get to meet the first bloggers and my D idols, Kerri Sparling and Scott Johnson!!!! They are just as down to earth and amazing as their blogs suggest!!! I found their blogs when I first came home from the hospital after my pancreatectomy and was told my islet cell transplant had failed, so that now I had surgical, type 1 diabetes. I was so in denial still, although I was testing and dosing my MDI, which I hated every minute of!! But, luckily, I had the foresight to read a little and then a lot about T1D.

My name badge which everyone had to wear for ID and for getting into sessions and meals, labeled me as a “First Timer” which I was a little embarrassed about at first but soon realized it was a great idea! People I didn’t know would come up to me and welcome me to the conference. It was so nice!! And other first timers would recognize each other and could meet up and form a special bond of understanding how it all was a little overwhelming at first until we caught on and learned the lay of the land!!

I attended MasterLab which was amazing and awesome at the same time. Awesome speakers and a great panel discussion, not to mention the great meals we were provided. I also spent some time at the Glu table performing my newly acquired Glu Ambassador status. I’m embarrassed to say that although I’m familiar with what Glu and T1D Exchange does, I wasn’t sure how to sum it up in a nutshell,l so people don’t get bored with my explanation, thereby deciding not to join this amazing nonprofit!! So, I watched the masters at work, Anna Floreen and Bill Woods, more affectionately known as GluAnna and GluBill. They taught me a lot for my upcoming stint at a local SLAM event in Canton, MA. Now, I’m hoping I can be more effective there!! They were so much fun to be around and I was happy I got the time to spend with them!!

I went to many of the warm and fuzzy sessions, “Support For The Long “, “Social Media 1 & 2”, and “Parenting With T1D”. All four were led by Scott Johnson, Kerri Sparling and some of their colleagues. (So, you could sort of say I was stalking Kerri and Scott, but honest I wasn’t!!(Ok although Rhode Island is in New England I very rarely make it there, despite Kerri’s claims it’s a suburb of Boston, except for visiting the Roger Williams Zoo. And, after getting pulled out of line due to my pump and hands testing positive for explosives, I have no desire to fly to Minnesota, unless the Mall of America calls my name!! Well, maybe I was stalking a little bit,  but I really liked they way they presented and ran the sessions.) We all sat in a circle and everybody participated. It was a safe environment where everyone could verbalize her/his biggest fears and questions and not be judged. And, most importantly, everyone would “get it”!!

All in all, FFL was an amazing experience and I plan on going back next year. I’ll have to start saving my pennies now because next time I want to include a trip to the Magic Kingdom!! ( I know!! I’m an idiot for not planning to go this time, but I did make it to Downtown Disney, an open air shopping area with many types of stores and a couple of rides. It was a good time. I got my souvenirs for friends and family back home, and the company was AWESOME!!! And, luckily, we left before a major thunderstorm that dropped a ton of rain, but not on top of us. I’m glad we went early!!! It was a storm unlike the 10 minute storms they usually get that lasted hours instead of minutes.

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend the conference!! It’s held every year sometime in the beginning of July in Orlando. Next year, it’s being held July 6-12 at Disney’s Coronado Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Florida & try to include some time at Magic Kingdom after the main sessions are over. We’ll be right on the grounds!! Visit http://childrenwithdiabetes.com for more information.

 

Remember, CHECK!! DON”T GUESS!!!! ( I learned this week, the only bad number is a number you don’t know!!)

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5 responses to “Friends For Life By CHildren With Diabetes

  1. Kristen says:

    So glad you had a good time. It was a lot of fun. Next year I’m considering driving with friends and staying extra days (instead of doing Christmas) to do Disney…I’ll keep you in mind.

  2. Karen says:

    It was so great to meet you IRL!!! I’m glad you had a fantastic time and I’m glad to hear you’ll be returning next year. 🙂

  3. StephenS says:

    I’m so sorry I’m just coming around to your blog now. Glad you had a great time at FFL. Wish I had met you at MasterLab (or did I, and I just don’t remember?). Anyway, I’m glad it was a great trip.

    • n1iwr says:

      Stephan,I’m sorry we didn’t connect at Master Lab. I don’t think Ive had the pleasure of officially meeting u. We may have passed in the halls and offered a hello to one another. Thanks for reading my post! Hope u had a great time at FFL too!!

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