I spent a fun weekend in Birmingham with 70 people living with diabetes, working with diabetes or caring for people with diabetes. We were discussing priorities in diabetes care over the next few years and what charities could most effectively do to ensure they are delivered. Interesting stuff and more on that soon, but what made it fun was the breadth of conversations you have when you spend a weekend with a group who have only diabetes in common.
Having type 1 and being married to someone with type 1 is apparently a very good thing – you both understand what it’s really like to live with diabetes but the house looks like a war has broken out if you both have a hypo in the night.
Claire and I spent a while enthusing about the magic of DisneyWorld,
Gordon and I discovered a shared interest in ballroom dancing, although I think his talents in that area far exceed my attempts.
I met someone else who likes writing about diabetes – the famous and lovely Kate who writes about pumping in Diabetes UK’s Balance magazine.
We talked about how hard it is to get young people involved in volunteering but were very impressed to see that people are starting early nowadays as we shared the weekend with a 4 month old baby.
I talked to so many people about how attitude is so critical when it comes to living with diabetes. We talked about how easy it is to let yourself think that diabetes can stop you, when really it’ll only stop you if you let it. And on the other hand how when we’re sometimes a bit too tough and resilient for our own good people don’t see how hard it can be to live with diabetes or how much we need decent care.
The highlight of the weekend has to be the alpaca wool. Fellow pumper Marian keeps alpacas and livened up an edition of BBC’s Gardener’s Question time by sharing her views on the fertiliser properties of alpaca poo and presenting the Chair with her homespun alpaca wool made into an interesting garment. I didn’t expect to have that conversation when I set off for Birmingham on Saturday!