Monday, April 11, 2016

CWD Friends for Life - Falls Church, VA

We just came back from Children with Diabetes 'Friends for Life' Conference in Falls Church, VA.
We had attended CWD Technology Conference in 2013, in Crystal City, VA. You can read about that here. The previous one was in Conshohocken, PA in 2012.

And every time we go to CWD, we go with Grace's BFF, Lily. THE LILY. That's why they go, you know. So they can hang out together. Other than D-camp, this is when they see each other. This is when they commune, baby. Oh and commune they do. It's like they never were apart.

And now they are in the Teen group at CWD, because they are 13. The first time they ever met they were 8. And where did the time go? They pick up as BFFs do, right where they left off. They don't miss a beat these two. There is no warming up to each other. They just dive right in.

We see the iLet in person from the fantastically smart Dr. Ed Damiano of Beta Bionics and we almost cry. We want it NOW. I want to raise my hand and volunteer Grace for the hook-up and the clinical trial. I do not. He doesn't ask for volunteers. But oh, if given the chance, sign her up. Grace and I talk on the car ride home about it. "I don't know Mom, it has tubes." she says. My girl, so accustomed to being tubeless with her OmniPod. She would forego the iLet because it has tubes. I nod and say 'Well, that will be your decision when the time comes." Cause it really will be. And I mean it when I say it. I've learned it's hers.

There are sessions about social media use (shout out to the DOC! shout out to Kerri and baby Sparling!), hypoglycemia presentation by Gary Scheiner, and advocacy through DPAC. Lily's mom and I are snarky during some of it, somber at times, and thinking, "Oh dear sweet heavenly Lord, don't complain one more time, please hear us sweet baby Jesus." We knowingly smile at each other throughout the days.

We eat. We bolus. Grace wears both her Pod and Dexcom with flair. She never cares who sees it, what they think, and especially here at CWD, it's just part of the package. There are boluses flying left and right, people of all ages testing at tables, in the lobby, on the floor of the conference site. The green bracelets gather. The orange bracelets - the Type 3s as Gracie refers to us as - gather. The food is carb counted. Most people still guess. It's hard to break old habits.


It's a weekend of laughing, laughing and laughing some more. I believe at one point I may have peed my pants a little. It is what it is. Diabetes is there, but it's not the only thing. She is among her peeps. The laughter comes easy. Diabetes, for one weekend, comes easy.

Friends for Life. Yes indeed.