Adventures at “Friends For Life”!

Friends For Life 2019: This year marked the 20th Anniversary of Children with Diabetes Friends For Life conference. It’s a week where we, the Type 1’s, gather to learn , to make lifelong connections, and to support each other. Companies come to woo us with their new technology (and give us great swag). But, for me, one of the greatest parts is to feel 100% normal in a sea of other Type 1’s. To be able to instantly discuss things without having to give a lesson first and have the other person get it. To go to the swimming pool and nobody is staring!! (Unless they want to ask how that new site position feels) (or they love your artistic overtaping). To go to the gym with a friend and spending each second between sets keeping each other’s blood sugars up and steady…and laughing the whole time. To wearing a gown with all our devices showing and complimenting the way we decorate them for the occasion. And one of my new favorite t-shirt sayings “Hi, it’s me from the internet”!! We love our Diabetes Online Community!! Love you all and see you next year!! Just a few highlight pictures, enjoy!! And now for the hashtags 😄

#FFLOrlando19. #omnipod. #DexcomWarriors #Dexcom MaceysBelievers #ChrisRuden #T1D

#Type1Diabetes #wearenotwaiting


Finding your tribe, wherever you are!!!

I love my job!! This particular trip, a RunDisney friend who works for another carrier and I were going to get together in London for a little sightseeing and dinner. But, she texted me early on the morning we left to tell me she had gotten tickets for the Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees in the first #LondonSeries and did I want to go?!?!? That was an easy one!!! We arrived just a little late in London, so I was able to get a quick 2 hour nap before we set off toward the Olympic Stadium. The first surprise came when we boarded the tube….we were talking with some Yankee fans from Orlando, when my friend looked at the lady and said “I know you”!! It turns out that she was an agent at my friend’s airline and at her city!! Small world!!

When we got to the stadium, we walked around looking at all the food offerings and looking for a merchandise tent that didn’t have a 2 hour line. We weren’t very successful. So, we grabbed burgers and beer and headed up ( and I mean way up) to our seats. Thankfully, we were under the overhang and in the shade the whole time. The views were great and I took tons of pictures of the pregame show. They had a flag show, a singer and a choir to sing the national anthems. It was the most beautiful version that I’ve heard in a very long time. One of the highlights for me was getting to see Prince Harry and some of the Invictus games participants there to throw out a ceremonial first ball. The first inning was hysterical, it took almost an hour and the bats were hot. When the first home run was hit, there was a special graphic on the Jumbotron that said first home run in London.

We were surrounded by fun people rooting for both sides and quite a few locals. Which leads me to the biggest surprise of the day. After the first inning (again, it was an hour long) the family to our left decided to go get food. We stood up to let them pass and all of the sudden, I hear the younger lady yell “Diabuddies”!!!!! She was a fellow Dexcom Warrior!!! For those of you reading that are not familiar, Dexcom is our continuous glucose monitor that has been , for many of us, the most life changing device in the Type 1 diabetes world. It shows us (for me on my Apple Watch) what my blood sugar is and , more importantly, if it is going up or down and how rapidly. To recognize another type 1 “in the wild” is a great feeling….one that non T1’s really don’t get. And very important for young people, who feel isolated and different a lot of the time. I was so happy to meet the young lady and hope she finds this blog!! Also, I wanted to share with her and her family the conference that I’m going to in just 2 weeks. It’s called “Children with Diabetes Friends For Life”. This year is the 20th Anniversary. It is an incredible event for Type1’s of all ages . You will learn more than you can imagine and truly make friends for life!!! Please google it. It is life changing.

So there you are……2 great examples of “Finding your Tribe, wherever you are”!!!

Btw, this was written on the bus on the way to Heathrow. I apologize for typos!

#DexcomWarrior #Dexcom #LondonSeries #CWDFFL #Friendsforlife #Diabuddies #Type1

Midnight musings

We had a long time to stay seated tonight, because of the bumps. So, my mind started to wander. I was thinking of last September’s vacation and the things I brought back with me. I’m 54 now and when I choose something to remember a trip by, it must be something that when I’m 80 will spark the memory. You think about things like that at this age. One of my favorites from the trip are the recipes from the cooking class I took in Rome. I bought ceramic swallows from each city in Portugal that I visited, and labeled the backs with those cities. They will eventually be mounted as a flock on my house….if it’s ever finished being painted. In Lourdes, I found little sachets of lavender for friends and religious trinkets for those that would appreciate them. For myself, I brought back hand towels with Great Pyrenees dogs embroidered on them (a favorite of my family). In Monaco, I found a very luxurious beach towel and in Rome a leather tote.

As I thought of those things, I wondered what other people bring back. What do they find meaning and memory in? And then, do they miss the days, like I do, when there was more local craftsmanship and unique items rather than mass produced junky stuff. We live in a time in which everything is accessible or can be ordered online and shipped overnight. This leaves only landscape and architecture as unique. This saddens me. The people , of course, are unique. But, I can’t bring them home.

My questions for you are what do you find unique and what do you bring home to remember your trips?

Being part of a team and being more….

Not every adventure is about someplace or something new. Sometimes, an adventure is being part of something bigger than you and doing it on a regular basis. For the past four years, I have been fortunate to run with Team JDRF during WDW Marathon weekend. Being part of a team that gets together once a year is something like going to camp. There are faces you see each year and new faces to get to know, there are some that come every year and some that only come once. As a team and individually, we fundraise all year long. We raise quite a bit of money each year to fund research with JDRF. But, this year, I learned that’s not all we do….. I never realized before that we are more… we are there representing the T1 community. Let me back up just a second and tell you some of what makes the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend so special. Disney races attract a lot of first time racers, a lot of people who have overcome something and I believe the reason isn’t just because of where the race is (who wouldn’t want to race the the Disney parks) , but because of the people who race and volunteer at the races. Nowhere is known for having more supportive and encouraging people. I , myself, got back into running at Disney because of the supportive people. Twice this past weekend, I am aware of people being carried over the finish line by friends sacrificing their on finish time. I love that. Now back to how I learned that Team JDRF doesn’t “just” fundraise at WDW Marathon weekend….. People come from all over the world to participate in the races. This year, a family came from Bermuda for the Dad to race the Dopey challenge (4races, 4days, 5k, 10k, half marathon and full Marathon). One of their children had been diagnosed with Type 1 just 3 weeks earlier. Those in the T1 community know just how overwhelming that first month can be. The Dad happened to see one of our team in his Team JDRF shirt and inquired about it. After listening, he went to the JDRF tent and asked how he could help. Our wonderful leaders invited this Dad to our banquet where I was lucky enough to meet the whole family. I invited to sit with me at a table and we were joined by another type 1 family. I have so many emotions about what happened next that I hope I can share them well enough. In the short amount of time it takes to have dinner 1) a little girl met someone just like herself and became a little more comfortable with her new normal, 2) a mom got to talk to another mom and share what it’s like to be a T1 mom, 3) a Dad got to see that things really are going to be ok and he got a few extra apps for his phone too. And, I made some new friends! These things might seem very simple, but in the grand scheme of things making connections is very important. Talking to someone who understands makes you feel normal and accepted. I really enjoyed meeting them and hope to see them again at Children With Diabetes Friends For Life this coming summer (told them all about it).

The next thing that happened was pure coincidence . The race that I run each year is the 10k, which happens on Friday. Then, for the Marathon on Sunday, I cheer for my teammates and friends. The past couple years, I’ve dressed up and handed out tissues (for runny noses which happens when you run in cold weather) in front of the hot dog restaurant on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. After the races, a lot of people post pictures on Facebook in their favorite running group pages. I also posted a picture of myself in my Mike hoodie holding my JDRF sign.

From the posted picture Right off the bat, I recruited someone else to run for the team. Then, a couple hours later a discussion was started by another Type 1 about how to fuel during the race.

So, this year, I wasn’t just a part of Team JDRF the fundraising team….. I was a facilitator for discussion about Type 1. This isn’t about tooting my own horn, except it is. It’s about never knowing when the opportunity to help someone is going to pop up and how good it feels!

There is a joke about runners wanting to talk about it all the time and nobody wanting to listen, so feel free to skip the next part, I understand 😄

The next passage is what I wrote on my Facebook page and kind of sums things up….

637 women in the 50-54 division. My place was 468. That might sound awful to you. To me, it feels the same as if I had won. Rising above Type 1 diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis is my goal. Showing young people that they too can thrive, makes my heart so full. Thank you all for your support!! #Winning

#Type1diabetes #Type1 #WDWMarathon #JDRF #Type1lookslikeme

The misadventures of Himself the Elf.

I was in a rush to get out the door today. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to leave and Himself was there! Already thrown out of this year’s assignment, he came to me for refuge. Knowing his ability to cause havoc, I had to bring him with me on my trip. All he had with him was a flight jacket and a small bag. Looks like we’ll be shopping in Paris again. Follow along on his misadventures in my blog. Here we are on the train to Miami.

In the past, I’ve brought him along with me on trips….. just to keep him out of trouble. He does tend to make a huge mess with the dogs if I leave him at the house. So, I thought I would chronicle our trip throughout the holiday season….thinking you might get a laugh out of his antics too. Enjoy.

Finding your Tribe/Finding your T1 Tribe

In this  adventure called life, we thrive when we find our tribe. “Finding your tribe” is finding that group or niche where you feel you belong….people that “get” you and help you along the way, bumps and all. When I went to college (University of Georgia- Go Dawgs!), joining a sorority was the thing to do. I arrived not knowing anyone other than a friend (who became my best friend) that I met during orientation. Going through rush was a crazy experience, but when I got to the house that I would eventually pledge, I just knew it was the right place for me. I felt I belonged. It was not the house where I was a legacy. I’m thankful to this day that I made the choice that I did. I am still friends with my sisters after 30 years. In fact, each year, we meet up on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia for 4 days of fun and reminiscing. Some years, it’s a time of healing. We have cried  through divorces, deaths of family members, and changes in jobs. We have celebrated accomplishments, births, and marriages of children.. We were there for each other, through thick and thin. And that’s what Finding your Tribe is all about. It’s about finding that group of people that you can be real with. Being together grounds me and reminds me of a time of my life when everything was good, or seemed that way.

Along the way, you find that you don’t just belong to one tribe. This past summer, I attended “Children with Diabetes, Friends for Life” conference in Orlando for the first time. And, for the third time in my life, I found my tribe (the second was getting hired by American Airlines). At Friends for Life, I was surrounded by people of all ages that knew what it was like living with Type 1 diabetes. Everyone “GOT” it. The eye opener for me was the day everyone ended up at the pool and almost everyone there had a DEXCOM mounted  on them. I FELT NORMAL for the first time in a long time. Nobody was staring or pointing or looking at me like I had cooties. It was freeing and exhilarating. For that reason alone, I will return to FFL every year. But, just so you. know, I learned a lot too. I highly recommend it for any Type 1 and their family.

So, my take away for you today is this……Find your tribe. Find that group where you feel good, where you’re supported and where you can be you.

Wishing you an awesome adventure!

#ADPi #Type1 #Type1Diabetes #FriendsforLife #ChildrenWithDiabetes #DiabetesAwarenessMonth #MakeDiabetesVisible #BeyondType1

For the fourth time, I will be running with Team JDRF at the Walt Disney World Marathon, raising money to fund the necessary research to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. If you would like to help me in my fundraising, here is the link to my donation page with JDRF….      just enter the name Julia Buckley for the “participant’, Thank you !!

Getting lost at V&A and waiting out an over correction.

Working to London after vacation always excites me. It’s been my second home for almost 25 of my 32 years flying. I haven’t lived anywhere that long in my whole life. So yes, London is like home. When I walk into the lobby of my hotel and their signature scent (available for sale at the counter of course) hits me, I just feel home.

So, after a much too brief two hour nap, I set out for today’s adventure. Prior to my nap, I had eaten a bagel with cream cheese…my first mistake. Bagels are the physical representation of satan for a Tyoe 1. They are just plain evil. Nevertheless, I did it. So when I woke up I was stratosphere high! I knew I would be walking a lot, so I subtracted 1 unit from the correction……thought that would be enough.

I walked enjoying the fall day. Not too cool, not too hot and the clouds had cleared revealing a nice sunny day. My destination was the Victoria and Albert museum. A great place to, quite literally, get lost exploring. They even sell keychains proclaiming “get lost at V&A”. I love it there. You can see everything from Italian religious sculpture to micromosaics to very fancy sterling silver and wrought iron. There is always an interesting new exhibit or two and in the center courtyard a lovely pond and cafe. Top it off with an award winning gift shop and you’ve got the perfect afternoon! I was lucky and found a couple wonderful stocking stuffers.

Towards the end of my visit, I noticed my blood sugar taking a dive on my Dexcom. And forgot, for what must have 10-15 minutes. Long enough that it was really sinking. So, I paid for my purchases in the gift shop and walked slowly outside and plopped myself on the steps. By this time Dex was reading 45. I downed a bottle of glucose liquid and then ate an entire bag of skittles. And I waited. It didn’t take long to come up and in the meantime I did some great people watching. It was stupid of me to not notice it was dropping that quickly. I hate that I don’t feel it dropping, but that’s why I have the Dexcom. I hope soon they will fix the app, so that the alarms will override the iPhone silent mode. Nothing bad happened, but it could have. Stop and treat. Stop and treat.

Next stop was the grocery store for dinner. Because I’d been away for two months, curry was what I was after. Specifically, chicken korma, my comfort food. Took my purchases back to the hotel and had a very relaxing night. Taking it easy the first trip back from vacation is always a good idea.

So, that was my little adventure for this week. Next trip, I’m thinking with the Portrait gallery or Museum if Natural history. What do you think?