I’ve been struggling to write a post that covers the whole of the 2013 Animas Sports Weekend. I had such a fantastic time and met such inspirational people with Diabetes, that there is no way it can fit into one post. So you are going to have to endure several posts about it. Or of course, you could just not read them….
I’ve blogged about my experience last year, and my last blog post was about my expectations of this year and how lucky I feel to be able to attend again as part of the Animas Team.
I’d not considered that as part of that team, I would have more time to spend talking to the delegates, getting to know them and inflicting my experiences of Diabetes on them. Well, they did ask (most of the time)….
I also got to watch them all. No not in a stalker kind of way, but observe them meeting other people with Diabetes. Some had never been in the company of another PWD before, even though they had been beating Diabetes (if you don’t wake up dead, you win) for 20 years plus.
I again experienced the power of being a PWD in the company of others, and not just that. To be, for only the second time in my life of beating diabetes, in the majority! Diabetes was of course the main topic of conversation from start to finish. But it was conversation, not the same old questions (are you allowed to eat that?, blah, blah, blah) but conversations around how people managed their Diabetes, their daily challenges, and a mutual understanding of how difficult it can be. That it’s not just about taking insulin. Its complex, its relentless, and it bloody hard work!
I blog and tweet all the time about beating diabetes as you know, and am vocal about how I will never beat me. But being with that group of people for the week end gave me a new and different view. Even better that beating my Diabetes to its knees as I feel I do every day. Being in the majority, being that relaxed with so many other PWD’s for such an extended period of time (which I extended further by staying up late at the bar) my diabetes faded in to the background. It was like I’d left it in the car locked in the boot. For a couple of days I was just a person that took insulin. Difficult to convey in a blog post, but for me being in the majority, talking about diabetes all of the time made it go away.
I try to never give advice, but am breaking that rule this time. It is hard to convey the power, value and motivation of meeting other PWD’s. So go out and do it. Experience it for yourself. If you can’t get to organised events, then organise your own. It doesn’t have to be a huge event, just get down the pub together maybe. If you’re not confident enough to contact other PWD’s yourself then ask your DNS to help. I’d put money on them knowing a couple….