Well. I’ve had an eventful weekend.
I spent my bank holiday weekend how I always do, at a CWD caravan holiday that happens to be organised by my mum (which resulted in a simple walk to my friends’ caravan on the first evening becoming a stop-every-5-seconds-and-hug-another-person walk, which was quite fun I have to admit)!
And yet this year was different. It wasn’t because it was our tenth anniversary of the holiday or because I had a GCSE exam the day afterwards. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it was different.
The first year this holiday ever took place, I remember meeting a little girl called Olivia. 6-year-old me was stood outside my caravan peeking out from behind my mum, focusing on the little girl who was mirroring me from behind her mum. I distinctly remember she had a red lollipop that I was highly jealous of, having never had one myself at that point. 10 years later, Liv and I still spend the whole weekend with each other!
I picked up other friends along the way, namely, Adam and Oliver. I met Adam 3 years ago and Oliver the year after, but they were all separate friends of mine in different social groups most of the time, at this event. (All of course there because of type 1 diabetes and being in CWD). I guess the thing that made this year special was that the four of us spent the holiday together.
We had an eventful weekend to say the least, including:
– a 2.8
– a 20.5
– an allergic reaction
– 2 episodes resembling an asthma attack
– 3 set changes in 24 hrs
– a number of highly competitive card games
Despite all of these mishaps, I simply can’t put into words how amazing my weekend was and how much I miss them already!
You’re probably reading this thinking – how lovely, she’s spent time with some of her diabetic friends. Except, none of them are diabetic. And, that doesn’t matter because they get it anyway.
They each have a younger sibling with it so blood sugar testing, insulin pumps and the rollercoaster of levels are their normal too. I wondered if coming on holiday to a place of diabetes annoys them because there’s so much of it at home anyway, even wondering if they found my having it an annoyance. So, I asked and, I quote, this was the answer I got:
“It’s about being with people who have similar experiences as you. To know you’re not the only one who feels a certain way.”
“I’m so used to it, it can be weird to not be with somebody who has it.”
Yes, they might not understand the frustration of being sat up, half asleep in the middle of the night with bloods in the 2s, what a hypo feels like or perhaps how painful a bad blood test (of the vein type) truly is. But that doesn’t mean they don’t live with it too.
For example, I had pretty much 5 hours of solid hypos on Saturday evening. At least three times I only tested because my friend said I had gone pale and he was concerned, although I felt okay at the time. (He had been correct).
They all revealed at another point that in fact they all carry glucose and/or spare set changes with them for if thier sibling needed them, or anyone at this weekend really!
At another point we got into the topic of my other conditions (CHI, gastroparesis and dyspepsia – as a result of the surgery) which can take a while to tell the whole story and explain. The friend I was telling didn’t nod off! He (seemed) genuinely interested, which was wonderful! I enjoy telling my story because I’m so proud of it and often people only are interested in the really basic bits so I don’t tell it too frequently.
That’s not even a fraction of the things they do automatically or how they help me. Another small but brilliant example – it not being out of the ordinary to debate whether or not I should have long acting carbs after a hypo. Not many people I know can do that. Even my family don’t know that much.
They really are special. However much my school friends are around a hypo me and however much I randomly blurt out d-related things – these three people, who I see ONCE A YEAR, understand me better. Simply because they don’t have to ask. Nothing about diabetes at all. They just know.
And I love them for it.
* I’d like to add that I love them for countless other reasons too but they’re unrelated to my blog:)
* CWD is Children with Diabetes UK and it is an organisation for, you guessed it, children with diabetes and thier parents (run by the parents).
* I did also socialise with other friends with and without diabetes over the course of the weekend, with these three there too, of course.