Last night I got home from the first ever Diabetes UnConference in Las Vegas. During my trip home, I saw on social media that Stephen wrote a blog post about it and I thought to myself, wow he’s quick! But then I thought, he had the right idea. While it’s still fresh in my mind I wanted to share my thoughts.
The above photo is when we were on top of Las Vegas. We took a ride on the High Roller (an observation wheel that goes 550 feet up and gives the most amazing panoramic views of Vegas). It was incredible.
I’ve been to numerous diabetes conferences before. And I was always happy to attend them not only to learn from the experts or panelists but also to connect with others from the diabetes community. This was a little different. The goal of the first UnConference was to allow the attendees to create the agenda, using various methods for us all to share with and learn from each other as peers. I think it did that very well. Nothing was shared on social media and I won’t even share explicit details here. Just imagine being with about 90 other people with diabetes who get it, talking about what is important to all of us and I probably don’t even need to go into much detail. As wonderful and important as online connections are, in-real-life connections are that much more powerful. And stick with you forever.
Christel asked us to write down one word to describe how we were feeling at the end. (I hope I don’t get in trouble for sharing this part!) I was, and still am, feeling extremely thankful. Finding the diabetes online community about 8 1/2 years ago when I was getting my first insulin pump was the best thing that ever happened to me. And it has been extraordinary to watch it continue to grow over the years. I’ve learned more over that time period than I did the first 24 years as a person with T1. And I’m not exaggerating. I wish so much that my father would have had the same opportunity. I think it would have been so good for him and maybe things could have turned out differently. The diabetes community (both online and off) has had an immensely positive impact on my life and for that I will forever be thankful. I wish that every person with diabetes has this same opportunity and I will do whatever I can to reach those who may not have it yet.
This above photo is one of the amazing views from the sky during my flight home back to the East Coast. Looking through the (few) pictures I took during the weekend, I sensed a theme. We were on top of Vegas. I was on top of the sky. And what I was left feeling – on top of the world.
14 thoughts on “Top of The World.”
It was so nice to see you again, Stacey. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart, for always being so kind.
I truly did feel like we were on top of the world. Even those times when emotions were raw and we felt exposed we had each other to hold on to, both figuratively and literally. It was such a blessing to have met you (finally) in person.
I was so glad to meet you in person, Stacey:-) Someday I hope to spend more one-on-one time with you. Like you, I am still on top of the world.
It sounds like you had an amazing time! I miss the meetings due to school, but we should have a meet up soon! 🙂
I couldn’t have said it better! Finally able to hug all of the friends from inside my computer for REALS was the BEST!
Somehow the table where we really met was square not round. But I was happy to get to know you personally even though it was at the very end. Dankeschön.
Stacey, I don’t know that I could have described it better (BTW, thanks for the shout-out). I am so glad you were at the Unconference! As always, it was great sharing and hanging out. You have a unique voice and it should be heard more.
I know I’ve said it before but I am thankful myself that you have found this community and thankful you had the opportunity to be there. 🙂
Well said! It’s so difficult to put into words what this unconference was like but you did a great job. I’m glad we finally got to meet and hang out for a bit.
What a beautiful post, Stacey. I am so glad to have seen you there, and think this is something that anyone would have benefited from to help not feel so alone. And yes, I’m still feeling like we were on the top of the world… and now, I have that Tom Petty song in my head. Great post!
Yay – we met!
On top of the world! I think that’s perfect.
Thank you for making the weekend so great, Stacey. 🙂
Sounds like a fantastic experience! Would love to attend a diabetes conference one day.
Sounds like an amazing experience. Nice read.