Ever since I was invited by wonderful Abbott to attend this amazing event there was one obstacle in my way… Flying. I’m not a huge fan of flying, not sure of where my anxiety came from but to fly on my own how was I going to cope. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that I am not in control, I should be used to this by now with diabetes! The fact that I had to get two flights to get there, I envisaged myself having a complete meltdown/panic attack. But actually I managed it, I have been through a whole lot worse in the last few months with my dad nearly dying and talking about switching the machine off, that this was a walk in the park.
I met some interesting people on route, when normally I would not be travelling alone, it was nice to hear their stories. One thing I am not a fan of, if customs at the airport. My heart pounds, I get sweaty palms. I feel like I am a criminal, also get treated like one when you refuse to go through the full body scanner, to be taken to a side room for a pat down and swab my pump… All seems a bit over the top. It makes me wish the airports understood more about insulin pumps.
The whole weekend has been a surreal, inspiring, tiring experience. A lot of information, a lot of meeting of people I have never met and not a lot of sleep! Hearing all these amazing things other T1D folks have been doing is amazing, I felt rather guilty that I haven’t been able to do much for my young adult group for a long time, but then I have had such a horrendous time in the last few months I couldn’t mentally take it up, I think I need some help and not let it all rest on my shoulders unfortunately.
On the Saturday we had various talks from professionals with all backgrounds, the one that I enjoyed the most was Kate Steele about creative writing/storytelling. If there is one thing I miss is writing. As sad as it must sound I am always playing out stories in my head but never write them down. I know I have a good imagination if somewhat strange 😉 so maybe I might start with some short stories :-).
We also had a workshop on snapchat, I have only been using this in the last couple of months, with assistance from Heena, Apprentice at work who is 11 years younger than me… If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have a clue! I’m not sure how you make a career from snapchat but somehow Geir Ove Pederson manages to do just that. I don’t think I will be doing that anytime soon, but I will stick to friends and family with my silly photos and videos if you want to add me then sweetpea_lynz88 is the name.
One workshop that I found interesting but equally depressing was from Rudy de Waele futurist, it’s fascinating how technology advancement can hel in the world of diabetes, but robots replacing our jobs and flying cars is just not for me. Nothing wrong with a bit of make do and mend or up cycling.
We had a couple of other workshops from Marie Ennis O’Connor who like many other patient advocates out there has done many marvellous things to help patients care, really inspiring. Also a workshop from Rebecka Bobst on Mindfulness, which I think if you didn’t want to participate then you should have had the option to leave the room, I enjoyed this but found it hard to switch off with people sniggering or an uncomfortable chair! Mindfulness has helped me and my anxiety in many ways and wish I practised it more often.
I really wish I had more time to get to know everyone and enjoy Stockholm, but arriving a little too late on the Friday probably didn’t help, then having to leave early on the Sunday. Hopefully we will all keep in touch via the tinternet!
I still can’t believe I was invited, it really was a surreal experience. I never did take any photos, one of the things when I’m having fun, I always seem to forget!!! One question I still need to know the answer to… What does Dx stand for? In my medical world it means diagnosis 🙂