I never thought I would be traveling across the country to San Diego the weekend before my senior year of college began. This was a true once in a lifetime opportunity and when I saw that the College Diabetes Network was collaborating with Taking Control of Your Diabetes and Dexcom to create scholarships for the TCOYD One Retreat and Conference, I had to apply. After a couple of hours of filling out the application and the week or two waiting to hear back, I was anxious and excited – my blood sugars definitely showed it too! When I saw the email acknowledging that I would be able to go to the conference, I couldn’t stop smiling; I was about to go learn about the latest research, technology, and future of type 1 diabetes. I wanted August 16th to come sooner.
Once the day came and I arrived at the conference resort, I felt at home. I walked into the lobby to get my room keys and I already started hearing CGM and pumps going off. I turned around showed my peers my CGM and we instantly bonded. Everyone I met at this conference had something different or new to talk about and we always had something to connect over. I didn’t feel alone (even though I came from Ohio by myself, ha!).
The first night began with dinner and ice breakers as Dr. Steve Edelman, MD, spoke. After hearing a little about him and his team, we got to talk amongst ourselves at our table. About 10 of us began sharing our diagnosis stories, debating our favorite foods when we are low and even how we have used diabetes to our advantage in the past. We got to dance and talk the rest of the night. It was a home away from home – with a beautiful ocean view all across the island!
Saturday was by far the best day. In the morning, we got up early to participate in yoga, Tai Chi, or run/walking. It was a great opportunity to start my day off right with people who face the same struggles I do. Right after myself and the other attendees had our amazing breakfast, we went straight into watching the speakers. It started with what diabetes used to be, what it currently is and where it is headed. I have to say, I hate changing my Dexcom out but would hate peeing in a test tube to check my blood sugar like they used to.