Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slipstream 2012 Part 1

We are a sexy group of green!


This past weekend, Connected in Motion held their 4th annual Winter Slipstream event. This is the first year I was able to go. Thanks mum 'n dad for the wonderful Christmas gift!

I am so lucky to have connected with this amazing group of people. We all need something like this!

Like many exciting T1D events that I've been to in the past year, I always walk away from them unable to really formulate my thoughts straight away. It's not for lack of thoughts, it's because of overwhelming emotions. I don't think my brain processes very quickly.

What I drove. At least it was freshly plowed.
The trip started off pretty straight forward but my route was nothing short of direct. I got majorly lost and turned around and by the time I realized my directional mistakes, it was too late to turn back and go the right way. I spent well over an hour driving down dark unlit snow covered twisty roads void of a single other vehicle. I arrived 2 hours later than expected and needing to majorly pee but just in time for the evenings' events.

I felt rather discombobulated upon first arrival. It was all so much to absorb. What was it, something like 56 Type 1 Diabetics? All descending upon the quiet Muskokas to have a good time, learn, and play in the snow! It was so awesome to see familiar faces and reunite with friends as well as meeting a bunch of new folks that I would come to spend time with for the next two days. My throat hurt on the first night from yapping my mouth off so much. Sorry D peeps!


You know why I like these CIM events so much? Yeah, a lot of it is the camaraderie of hanging out with other pancreatically malfunctioning human beings but also because of the learning aspect. It's like camp for adults. It wasn't just about sliding down snow, hanging from trees and junk in the trunk, it's so much more. It's organized and planned and surprisingly well timed. It incorporated a good portion of working and learning in a relaxed and open environment. Complete with markers, chart paper, assignments and group work reminiscent of my high school days. The only difference, this was something I actually WANTED to brainstorm about.

At one point I realized I was sitting at a table with a whole bunch of other type 1 endurance athletes. For the first time since I started meeting other T1D I felt incredibly humbled and totally at ease. These guys (and girls)  know what I'm talking about man! How to test your blood sugar while running? ask them. How to attach your glucose meter to your bike handles? ask them (I need to do this!). Shove GU under your swim cap? Awesome tip! Race nerves pushing BGs through the roof? don't we know it! It was just really cool to spend some time around an entire table of 'em, all in one place!

It's highly educational and there are a few things I had an "ah-ha" moment about which I'll go into another day.

These weekends are more than just getting together to consume massive amounts of glucose tablets. They are about networking and building up connections. After all, this is not a disease that a simple pill-a-day would fix. This is a horribly demanding suck-the-life-out-of-you burden that only we can possibly understand. It's important to have friends to turn to who can offer some understanding and compassion as well as helpful tips you'll never hear from your doc.

Sure, refill and re-use infusion sets? YUP!
Your endo is a douche too? YUP!


Where else could you be snowshoeing on a frozen snow covered lake while chatting away with a friend who goes out of her way to mention BG trends she noticed you had? Then turn to offer suggestions and trouble shoot why those trends are happening?


So, it's more than just camaraderie and people who "get it". It's a universal understanding and eagerness to help manage what is normally a personal disease. It's the determination to manage the unmanageable.

It's the common understanding to live each day the best we can because life can feel so much shorter when you have diabetes. You just never know.

I have plenty more to say and a load of pictures.  Stay tuned.

7 comments:

  1. Sounds wonderful! I'll stay tuned...

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  2. Oh wow that post was so beautifully worded. Awesome Awesome!

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  3. sounds awesome! cant wait to see the pics and hear more about your great weekend adventure!

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  4. Oh, Scully! What an awesome present, indeed!
    Sounds like it was an amazing time and I can't wait to hear more.
    Making connections is such an important part of this pain-in-the-ass disease...so glad you were able to build on 'old' ones and make new ones!

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  5. I wish there was something like that near me. Sounds neat!

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