Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CWD FFL 2017: The Week I Love Diabetes

One week out of the year, I LOVE diabetes. This sounds crazy, right? Who could ever love diabetes? Well, anyone who has ever attended the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life international conference will tell you that it is the one week out of the year that a sense of normalcy exists for those of us living with T1D. Last week I attended my second conference and when I tell you it just keeps getting better, I'm not lying. 
July 5- Departure Day!
Everyone has already arrived and registered, I just had to show up to the party a little bit late. Due to school being my first priority, I was only able to afford to take one day off of class. July 5, after sitting through a lecture, a lab, a practical exam, and a written exam, I was finally on my way to Orlando to join my friends at Coronado Springs. All day, my phone was blowing up with two of my best friends for life, Morgan and Michelle, texting and calling me to get constant updates on my location. We could not WAIT to see each other. I arrived very late and as I was getting out of the car, Morgan came out of no where and attacked me with hugs. We didn't want to let go. We've been speaking via FaceTime for a whole year now, it felt surreal to be able to hug again. I made it just-in-time for the Crystal Bowersox concert and I got to reunite with Michelle and I got to meet Gretchen, who by the end of the week would also become one of my best friends. Morgan was rooming with us, and that first night we didn't get in bed till around 1 am because we couldn't stop talking and laughing. I now had on my green bracelet (for those with Diabetes) and mom had her orange one (for those who love someone with Diabetes) we were ready to tackle the week. 
July 6- Let the sessions begin! 
Today began with a huge breakfast buffet and The Richard Rubin Opening Keynote: Diabetes at 212° by Dr Desmond Schatz. This keynote was amazing, upsetting, thought provoking, and interesting all rolled into one and it got us all pumped up for the next few days ahead. On this day, I attended the Sugar Surfing workshop with Dr Stephan Ponder. This is a session I was very excited about. I have read Dr Ponder's book twice and he has literally been instrumental in keeping me healthy with T1D. I enjoyed listening to Dr Ponder expand on the diabetes management tips outlined in his book and getting to talk with him personally about my journey and how much he has helped me. Mom got to attend sessions about the cost of insulin and advocacy. 
Much of today was also spent exploring the exhibit hall and reuniting with other FFLs from last year like the Fickling family, Logan and Samantha Merwin, the Paul family, the list goes on... And of course with the exhibit hall comes lots of free stuff and lots of time spent at the Pump Peelz stand with my friends Scott and Emily, picking out new swag for my devices. 
Next came the scary part of the trip... retinal screening. As you probably know, eye problems can be a serious complication of diabetes. CWD so generously provides all people with T1D a retinal screening to assess the eyes and how healthy they are. Thankfully, aside from some sun damage, my eyes are perfect. 
The day ended with the banquet, where we got to hear RaeLynn perform, eat amazing food, watch amazing people accept this year's awards, and watch DocuDiabetes III. Here is where my 5 seconds of fame comes in... my video I made for PTA school (about diabetes) was chosen as a top 5 for DocuDiabetes.
July 7- Adulting sessions galore... 
Today's sessions on my agenda were all about being an adult with T1D and entering the world of "adulting". I learned all about insurance and my rights as a person with Type 1 Diabetes. I got to hear one of my fave FFLs Leigh speak and she always teaches me so so much about how to navigate college and the workforce as a person with T1D. I also attended a session about the flaws in the hemoglobin A1C test and though mom and Morgan were utterly bored, the health sciences student in me thought it was super interesting. 
Tonight was all about adults and young adults. I attended the young adults dinner with lots of people my age and we went to the Tandem adults night where they had food, karaoke, drinks, and games. 
July 8- DISNEY DAY! 
Mom, Gretchen, Morgan, and I all decided to go to Animal Kingdom for the day and we had a blast. There is something pretty neat about sitting down on a curb at Disney and all sharing glucose tabs to treat low blood sugar... makes low blood sugar feel a little more "normal". We enjoyed seeing the new World of Pandora too! 
Now came the hard part... goodbyes started. Morgan was leaving at 4 am, so we spent our evening at the Family Night and running around the hotel so she could say her goodbyes. But, as sad as goodbyes are, this was one of my favorite nights. Gretchen came to our room for a couple of hours and we sat on the bed and laughed, cried, and shared stories. It is SO NICE to be able to talk openly about diabetes and it's struggles with people who actually care and "get it". I was not ready to leave this safety net. 
July 9- Farewell FFL 
Today is the day we dread. Saying goodbye. I cried a good bit of the morning hugging all of my people and saying "see ya next year". We all were getting ready to head back home and home for us is all over the country. Ohio, Canada, California, Florida, North Carolina. This part stinks. 
We enjoyed an amazing breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto and we shared some final memories. FFL 2017 was officially over. 

As you can tell by my long winded post, FFL was once again more than I could have ever asked for. Once again, I felt so normal for a week. I was surrounded by green and orange bracelets. Someone always had insulin if needed. Someone always had test strips. Someone always had glucose tabs. Someone always had a shoulder to cry on. And EVERYONE genuinely cared about the battle we are all fighting against this devastating disease. 
Thank you CWD for making this possible. 
My green bracelet is off. My ID badge is hung up. My program book is on the shelf... but the memories are close in my heart and my FFLs are just a FaceTime call away. 
Let the countdown to next year begin. 

-Ashlyn

Oh and PS- Thanks to my amazing instructors Kelli and Melinda for allowing me to take a day off of school and rearranging your schedules for me to test early so that I could have this amazing experience. I hope you both understand how much last week meant to me after reading this. 
 

4 comments:

  1. Hi

    Imagine not having to measure your blood sugar, prick your finger or watch what you eat anymore...

    This is a new reality for tens of thousands of diabetics who used a few remarkably simple techniques pioneered by the doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine.

    Patients are able to normalize blood sugar and be taken off all diabetes medication and injections in just 3 weeks.

    After testing these natural treatment methods on their own patients, they now want to share this secret with the world.

    >> Discover the truth about diabetes How To Heal Diabetes.

    Take care,
    Alexandra

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks to the Doctor who bring back my life to the normal position because am suffering for Diabetes Disease that almost kill me. i had Diabetes since i was 22years. after researching on a cure for my Diabetes i saw a way out with herbal Dr Bude. he sent me his herbal medicine and within 15days i was cured completely. i received his herbal medicine through DHL delivery service. after 15days of usage i was cured. i am so happy now, my system was cleansed with the herbal medicine and i am well and negative once again thanks to Dr Bude the herbal man who cured my Diabetes Disease with his herbal medicine contact him now:budespelltemple@gmail.com or budespelltemple@hotmail.com or his what app:+2348138666235

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a sign of gratitude for how my husband was saved from diabetes , i decided to reach out to those still suffering from this.
    My husband was diagnosed of diabetes and it was really tough and heartbreaking for me because he was my all and the symptoms were terrible, he had difficulty eating, and he always complain of stomach pain and he always have frequent urination . we tried various therapies prescribed by our neurologist but none could cure him. I searched for a cure and i saw a testimony by someone who was cured and so many other with similar body problem, and he left the contact of the doctor who had the cure to diabetes . I never imagine diabetes has a cure not until i contacted him and he assured me my husband will be fine. I got the herbal medication he recommended and my husband used it and in one months he was fully okay even up till this moment he is so full of life. diabetes has a cure and it is a herbal cure contact the doctor for more info on drwilliams098675@gmail.com on how to get the medication. Thanks for reading my testimony

    ReplyDelete
  4. HE IS THE ONLY HERBALIST THAT HAVE CURE FOR ORAL AND GENITAL HERPES,TRY AND SEE FOR YOURSELF...

    TESTIMONY OF HOW I GOT CURED FROM GENITAL HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS WITHIN 7DAYS[with Herbal Traditional medicine].

    I was just 25 when I contracted Genital herpes.Other than the first two months of being symptomatic, for the next two years, I never had any relapses. So, it was no big deal to me.Then, when I was 27, 90\% of my days, nights, weeks and months were spent having constant, chronic, painful, blistering, itching, oozing and extremely contagious sores encompassing every layer of skin surrounding my genitals, anus and thighs.No sooner did one area heal then another outbreak occurred. When those sores healed, the previously healed area would crop up again, and so on and so on . . .

    Believe me, I tried everything including BHT, Lysine, acyclovir, creams, lotions, toothpaste, zorivax 5\% cream and pills too, bleach, (I would dab it on with a q-tip), ice, anything and everything.As if the sores weren't enough, there was the horrid pain of neuralgia, which I experienced on every part of my body, (you can't imagine how painful it gets when it's on your face!). . When I took a shower, even though the water temperature was normal, it would feel like hot drops of grease or cold drops of sleet.On one faithful day i read a testimony on internet of a lady who was cure by HERBALIST Called doctor osele herbs,so i contacted the same herbalist who send herbal cure to me through FEDEX company and i take the herbs for 1 week and i was fully cure after i got tested by my Doctor.You can also contact this herbalist via; doctoroselehealinghome@gmail.com

    He also have a herbal cure for,

    URINARY TRACT INFECTION,

    HERPES 1& 2

    CANCER,

    IMPOTENCE,

    BARENESS/INFERTILITY

    DIARRHEA

    ASTHMA...
    HIV/AIDS
    CURE YOUR SELF FROM THAT ILLNESS TODAY,DON’T SPREAD YOUR INFECTION OR DISEASES TO OTHER INNOCENT PEOPLE.

    Contact him now and you will have a testimony…Good luck HE IS THE ONLY HERBALIST THAT HAVE CURE FOR ORAL AND GENITAL HERPES,TRY AND SEE FOR YOURSELF...
    so you can contact him on this email doctoroselehealinghome@gmail.com@gmail.com , call or whatsapp hem with this +2347014460988

    ReplyDelete