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  1. WDD14 and Cinderella's pumpkin

    Friday, 15 November 2013

    I talked recently about going down to London for World Diabetes Day. I did. and it was great.

    I got to London on the evening of the 13th, which meant I got to join in with a JDRF Type 1 Discovery Evening - I'd always wanted to go to one, but travel and finances have always prevented me. Boy was I glad to be there! The speakers were excellent, and included Fredrick Debong, from mySugr,  Kyle Rose (of Team Type 1, Delta PM Diabetes and about a million other places), an update on artificial pancreas research, and diabetes poetry. I ever got to plug my show quickly, and hand out a few flyers and press releases. Oh and a free bar. Excellent. 

    On the 14th, I woke up, and joined in with the #wddchat13 24 chat, still lying in my sleeping bag on my friend's settee, with her cat still staring at me.

    And we were off! I had people responding to me, loads of which had already been going for a couple of hours already. It was great. As were my levels that morning. 7.6 (136) - I'll take that happily. I threw on my Hello Kitty onesie, and got on the underground.I'll be honest that, with my tube-anxiety, I thought I handled myself very well all day in that regard!

    I met up with Shelley, the wonderful founder of Circle D and we hit the streets. We weren't really trying to collect money, we were more about making people look at us, and hopefully ask questions. We got into some great conversations with members of a London bus tour company, an owner of a souvenir stall, a taxi driver and a bunch of commuters. We joined in on a JDRF coffee morning. Then I sadly had to part ways with my other Type Onesies, who had to go back to work. I found myself hypo in a coffee shop, and whilst I was waiting to come back up again, I joined back in with the chat.

    I dropped in and out throughout the day. I went walking down the river and took pictures of buildings that had gone blue for the evening. It was great. I got back on the train to go home, and chatted away. As I pointed out...

     I really did feel tuned in and switched on throughout the day. I love the DOC, I really do, and I've made some wonderful friends over the past few years, but I do think that my location sometimes makes it difficult to join in things like DSMA. Much as I want to join in, I can't ever really justify staying awake to participate, because there's always work the next morning. So the 24 hour chat was a revelation to me. I met all sorts of new people, who cared about what I had to say, and I was fascinated with their answers to the questions. As I travelled back, I was tweeting away. And then it went past midnight. World Diabetes Day was over for me. 

    And the world continued. And my levels were RUBBISH by the time I got home. I was not enjoying the glue-mouthed 17's (300's). And that's the thing, I supposed. WDD is just one day - there's still the other 364 every year, where there's less visibility for us as a community, there's less of everything. Or is there?

    When midnight hits, and we leave the ball, we're still like Cinderella. We might have to put our ball gowns away, and our carriage might be a pumpkin again, but we're still there despite all the finery being put away. And we've still got a job to do, and it's an important one. We've still got to keep supporting each other, managing to stay alive, and stay strong. Even if it's in a slightly less celebrated way for the other 364 days.

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