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I Saw Children

It was with some trepidation that I went to the Children With Diabetes 2011 Friends for Life Conference.  For those of you who haven’t read my blog in the past, before I found the fantastic support of the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) I was totally isolated in this disease.  Anger, depression, bitterness and hopelessness was my normal daily existence; an existence that I would not wish upon anyone.

The DOC has really been the only way I could find my way out of that morass of self-doubt, insecurity, and negative thinking.  Honestly, without them, I might not be here today but that is not a story I want to tell nor is it the topic I want to talk about today.

It has only been very recently that I have been able to really read the blogs parents post about their children with diabetes (CWDs).  I tended to view their future through the cracked, pitted lens of my past.  So I was more than a little worried about how I might react to seeing lots of children with diabetes.

I saw children.

I saw children who were already involved in something that could totally prevent the things that I suffered with.

I saw children whose parents, siblings, and grandparents were making sure that they knew they were not and never would be alone.

I saw children.

I saw children playing, forgetting about diabetes for a bit to experience a little Disney magic.

Thank God for the children I saw and thank God that I was able to see them.

I hope I will always see children and that no one is ever alone again.

I saw children.

** Disclosure: I paid all expenses related to attending the Children With Diabetes 2011 Conference including travel, hotel, meals and entertainment.  I was not asked to post or not post about my experiences nor have I received compensation relating to this event.

©2011 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com

  • Love hearing this from your perspective. It really is magical. 

  • shannon

    thanks for making me cry, jerkface!

    • I’ve been teary-eyed since I hit the Publish button…

  • Kerri at www.sixuntilme.com

    (( Hugs )), Scott.  This is a beautiful post.

  • alexis

    Talk about me making you cry! Please.

    Sounds magical. I pray next year we will be there and can give you a big ol hug!

  • Love this post, Scott. I felt like I could feel what you felt…well, you know. 😉 I’m glad you had this experience, and that it included children.

  • Helen Zamora

    Powerful!

  • There were extended families with grandparents, siblings, and even aunts and uncles there all to show support to the one child in the family with diabetes (I got the chills just writing this!). If that is not magical, I don’t know what is!

    • I don’t know what is either, it was certainly a special week for me

  • I love this post man and I know what you mean. Thanks for the tears. 🙂

  • It really is amazing for those of us that didn’t have all this to get to be a part of it now. It’s said that you can’t appreciate sunlight without midnight, and I think it’s the same in being able to appreciate having a community of people with diabetes to share and bond with after a lifetime without them. Just makes it that much more sweeter (but without spiking the BG’s).

  • Great post Scott. I love that most of these kids will not experience the isolation we once did.

    So glad you could be there.

    • I’m glad too, Scott.  It was fantastic seeing everyone!

  • Thank God we have left the Diabetes Dark Ages behind!! 

  • Robyn

    I loved the glow of the bloggers on the Coronado steps one nite, and meeting many of you in person.
    CWD is where are kids learned to be kids and we parents learned to let them, my child was dx as an infant and is now 17 and this was our tenth conference. Glad to see so many YA so the tradition can continue after the teen years!

    • Thanks Robyn, that is actually going to be the topic of a future post!  I’m so glad you have all been able to participate for so long!

    • @516d9ee1058e2abc29939a72b4d995de:disqus , I’m hoping that the tradition won’t need to last forever. Jeff Hitchcock told me that CWD had signed a long-term contract with both hotels for FFL. Their only cancellation clause is if a cure is found for diabetes! Now that’s optimism, wouldn’t the last one be a great party!

      FYI, I was diagnosed as a teenager….in 1972. I’ll bet your child will be doing excellently in 30 years time.

  • This was beautiful, Scott.  As a mother raising a child with diabetes, I’m incredibly thankful for the foundation that people like you have laid before us. Your experiences (and others) have taught the world how vital the role of a supportive network is to overall well-being and happiness.  

    • I’m so glad you see how important support is, we have to keep spreading the word that it is available and find those who don’t know it is out here

  • sniff* 🙂

  • inspiring…

  • Hallie

    Dang it, Scott!  I’m crying!  I’m SO glad you went to FFL and had a wonderful experience!  And I’m so happy that you are part of the DOC and able to guide our children in this crazy life with diabetes!

    • heheh, thanks Hallie… hope you are all doing well!

  • Meri

    Man, you really got to me!  I can promise that there are armies of parents out there doing their darndest to make sure their kids know they are never alone.  Knowing you witnessed it…knowing it touched you…well that makes my heart swell with happiness! 

    • I know there are and it so awesome to witness it in person!

  • Mac1whit

    We are social animals……..we need each other here daily as part of  our journeys…….and there IS power on facebook social networking with daily encouragement and educational updates………God Bless You, Scott !!

  • Mike Hoskins

    Absolutely outstanding post, Scott. Thank you so much for this heartfelt message. Yes, that’s the topic that often brings me to tears and made it nearly impossible for me, too, to read D-Parent blogs. Because I didn’t see any hope and that sense just depressed me. But the DOC has changed my world in that regard (among many many others), and i’m so grateful to be able to look in those young faces and smile. And see them living large, and strong, no matter what. Good riddance, D-Dark Ages!

    • Thanks Mike. It’s really good to see things changing in terms of long term support and great to see the kids and their families benefiting from it.

  • You brought me to tears. So well put. Thank you!

  • Great post Scott. I loved FFL last year and I’m hoping (tentatively) to make it in 2012.

    • Thanks Bernard!  I’m hoping to go next year as well so hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet IRL!

  • Joanne

    What a beautiful piece… and a reminder of why I do what I’ve been doing for my daughter since she was dx’d at 12 months old.  And why I need to keep doing it.

    I’m hoping to make it to FFL next year.  Would love to experience the magic in person.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Thanks Joanne, I hope you can make it as well. It is a fantastic experience!

  • Beth

      This is beautiful.  We were fortunate enough to get to FFL a few years back, after attending a regional CWD conference.  Other than the week at d-camp every summer, it’s the one place where my daughter can fit it with everyone and feel *normal*.  For siblings, it’s a chance to vent about what it’s like to be “the other child”. For parents, it’s the chance to connect with other parents who get it and to be inspired by the adults who have navigated growing up with diabetes – it gives us hope for the future. Seeing and hearing that diabetes hasn’t stopped anyone from doing and being who they want to be is….I can’t even put it into words. 🙂    For anyone who ever has any questions about attending FFL, go and do it.  As soon as you can!  

    • Thanks Beth and I totally agree with everything you said!

  • Anna Kiff

    Scott – so glad that you went – and your eyes were opened!  Times have changed alot over the years for kids diagnosed with diabetes – and that’s one thing I’m looking forward to sharing with the kids I’ll be supervising during my stint at the CWD in Toronto in a few weeks.  I think I have more fears about going low and acting more crazy then I am already – but guess what? – I will be with other D’s like me – and this is going to be so cool since I’ve only ever been to one other major diabetic event in my life (last one was 5 days of IDF here in Montreal where I volunteered greeting people from all over our big blue marble).  Like you say – we are not alone – never, ever – there is always someone out there either on FB or Twitter for me to “talk” to – and hopefully one day I’ll get to meet all of you one day … saving up my loonies & toonies for the 2012 FLL in Florida!!

    • Heheh, I’m hoping your loonies and toonies stay in your piggybank! I’d love to meet you someday!

  • PrincessLadyBug

    Amazing post.    ((((((Scott))))))

  • Stacey Simms

    Catching up and just read this. Simply wonderful.

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