Friday, 9 December 2016

A Tale Of #DOC Friendship - September 2016

In early September I took a trip to see my friend Niki who lives on the outskirts of Oxford. We decided we wanted to go to the same T1 London Meetup event, so it made sense that we just made a trip of it. Niki kindly offered me to stay with her for a total of two nights and three days. I was having a really tough time with Diabetes from September right through until December, my longest Burnout period to date. I also had a tough time at home so staying with Niki was a much welcomed break.

Day One - Niki met me at the train station and we clicked instantaneously just as we had online. We got over the two minute awkward chat about getting on the correct train and tackling my travel anxieties and headed straight to Oxford. We chatted burnout, traffic and our plans for the next three days whilst on our merry way.
The Botanic Gardens
Here Niki's extraordinary tour guiding skills began, I had never been to Oxford prior to this trip but it was always on my to-do-list. We went straight to the Botanical Gardens. By this point I knew Niki was a very special person, and that her gratitude, funniness and likeability transferred in real life, too.
Niki and I synced BG numbers!!

Whilst strolling around the gardens a man approached us and said he had T1 and spotted us from the Libre sensors on our arms! We had met another Diabetic in the wild - we were both overjoyed that he was nice enough to approach us. He must have thought it was a blue moon!
The Bridge of Sighs in Oxford
Niki why are we wearing the same colour?! 

We ran into a local cafe just as it started raining and took refuge in the incredibly yummy food that they served! Over lunch we talked illness, family and helped one another carb count our meals. We both scanned our Libres post meal and found we had matching blood glucose levels - we found great satisfaction in that!

Niki showed me around Radcliffe Square and we visited The Bodleian Library/The Radcliffe Camera and the Bridge of Sighs which were both key filming locations for the movie 'The Golden Compass'. You couldn't see any modern buildings for miles it was absolutely beautiful, we spoke a lot about the architecture of the universities' buildings as this is a shared interest we have!

We packed a lot into day one, so much so if I were to tell you every detail we'd both be here all day. We carried on being tourists, chatted, laughed and I think we even pushed the boat out and had another coffee - reckless right? We decided it was time to head home so we could get in our pyjamas. Niki had warned me that she lived in a zoo previously, but I didn't take her seriously.. 1 dog and 3 cats. I was introduced to Rubstaaar (that's Niki's brown Staffordshire Bull Terrier if you didn't know) and it was love at first sight. So Ruby and I snuggled down for the evening, I'm not even sure we put the TV on or if N and I just chatted the entire night. We were up until 1am because we just couldn't stop talking!

Three T1D's in a cafe in central London,
what could go wrong??
Left - Claire
Middle - myself
Right - Nikstaaar
Day Two - We got up early as we needed to travel into London to meet our friend Claire and then head to the T1 London meetup at a pub by Hyde Park. Both Niki and I regretted staying up late but wouldn't have changed it for the world. Whilst travelling into London via Reading station, I lost count of how many hypos I had, having to sit in St Pancras station whilst N had to run off to buy me more hypo supplies as I'd ran out on the 55 minute train journey. Niki was my absolute saviour, I'd never hypoed as much as I did in those three days. In fact a lot of my memories are blurred from our time together. If I were with anyone else I would have turned around and gone back home but Niki kept my spirits high. She was just awesome.

At the T1 London Meet-up with 'Twitter friends'
We met our friend Claire and headed to a cafe to grab a small bite to eat before the meet-up. We had been chatting on a group Whatsapp for months before we all met so it was easy to chat and gossip. Once we'd talked kids, business ideas and carbs we found the pub and went straight in for the diabetic meetup. We stayed there for the majority of the day and spoke to people that we had interacted with on Twitter,  it was cool to see them in real life as opposed to behind a computer screen. We headed home and debriefed each other on the days happenings. Niki and I were absolutely exhausted, we'd had such a busy two days so far.
If you hadn't guessed by now, we were up until the early hours of the morning chatting, regretting not even a minute.

Day Three - For the entire three days I spent with Niki she literally waited on me hand and foot, I was so emotionally fragile with the hypos being the least of my worries. Typing this retrospectively has bought all of my emotions back, I was in such a vulnerable head-space and I am so lucky that Niki came into my life when she did.

On our final day Niki drove us to Portsmouth so we could meet up with our friend Laura, who also has T1D. We got chatting and settled on Southsea Common and chatted about a whole range of things such us; dating, hospitals, work and friends. We watched the sun set and our bodies get colder as we tried to chase the sun and our day drew to a close.

Niki and I came to my HQ and sat on the sofa, trying to drag out what we knew had to be a goodbye. I can't delve much deeper into that part of the day because it's still raw for me. I had the most wonderful time with Niki meeting such wonderful people and exploring Oxford, that I didn't want to return back to normal life, which at the time happened to be pretty crap.
'Home is where all your attempts to escape cease'

Meeting other T1's who you have spoken to online, in the real world is a feeling I could never do justice. I have never felt so safe and content than when I was with Niki so much so that I had a breakdown when she left. Within said breakdown I remember saying that I felt completely at home with Niki, and that was emotional stability that I was lacking elsewhere. I thoroughly enjoyed our three days even if they did fly-by!

"It's not a goodbye, just a see you later.."

1 comment:

  1. Great piece about special bonds we create in our own special diabetic world. No one gets it quite like another T1D