Magical Meet Ups

It has been about three days since I dropped George off at the airport.  I have been thinking about how to write about it ever since.  You know what?  There is no way I can do the visit justice.  It is literally impossible to describe how great it was.

George and I have a weird/special connection that goes beyond blogging and diabetes.  It is more like twin brothers separated at birth.  For example, when we were visiting my dad, my kids noticed George’s watch and commented about how cool it is.  I looked at his watch, and it is a “Relic” brand watch.  Guess what brand of watch my wife just bought me a month ago…  That’s just one of a hundred similar “coincidences” between us.

George Simmons - Ninjabetic! We have many of the same habits, many of the same fears,
and the same situations that make me nervous and anxious also drive my brother G crazy.  I could go on and on.  I swear we could finish each others sentences most of the time.

So it was really great to have him as a guest in my house last weekend.  It felt like he was not an out of town guest, but a co-worker over for dinner after a week at work.   We had a lot of time to visit with my dad, sister, and my two nephews.  We also had a chance to hang out with my wife’s family and watch the Mayweather-Mosley fight on Saturday night.  I am so glad that he got to meet all the people that are close to me here.  He loved all of them, and they all loved him.  George is cool like that – he has a way of being comfortable and making everyone around him comfortable.  There was not a single awkward moment the whole weekend.

 There was LOTS of Diet Coke.  We even had to call in reinforcements.

We spent most of the weekend at the Mall of America.  It is a decent gathering place, and being a tourist destination, it was easy to find for our out of town guests!  Scott Strange and Chris Bishop drove all the way up from Kansas City!  It was incredible of them to drive all that way to hang out with us (thanks guys)!

Scott Strange, Diet Coke, and a Cow Train... Scott brought each of us an official cow from the Cow Parade!  George got an awesome  zen cow, and I got a train cow.  Thanks Scott!  People who see that cow on my desk will ask me what the hell it is all about, and I’ll say “Dr. Strange brought that for me”.

Dean!I’m so glad that my friend Dean from here at Diabetes Daily showed up.  For us that live in and near the metro area, we avoid the Mall of America like the plague.

Dean braved the madhouse that is the MOA so that he could come and hang out with us and meet George.  Dean is such an awesome guy, and is so down to earth.  He is funny and fun to hang out with.

Jim and his wife drove for about two and a half hours, which was super cool – but I didn’t get ANY pictures of them!  SHAME ON ME!!!  I’m sorry Jim – we’ll have to get together again and get pictures.

I was also glad that my buddy Dave came out too.  Dave’s a great guy with an awesome  sense of humor, and I knew that he would click with George and the crew right away. I think it is neat how diabetes brought people together that may have never met otherwise. George talked about how incredible Molly and Dixie are (and I totally agree – they rock). Molly (righteously) makes fun of us and our “fancy electronic CGM’s”, when her big black furry CGM (Dixie) is so much better than any CGM we could imagine.  Molly said that Dixie is never wrong, and has tightened her range such that her A1C’s average about 5.8.

David and MollyI know that many of us with pets feel that our pets know when we’re “a bit off”, and we’re probably right.  But that doesn’t do Dixie justice.  Dixie alerts Molly when she goes above 139 mg/dl.  She alerts Molly when she goes below mid 70’s, and also alerts when Molly is in range but rising or dropping rapidly.  At this point in their relationship (I think Molly has had Dixie about 4-5 years?), Dixie is never wrong.  Never.  Dixie is also trained to get help if needed.   What amazes me is that Dixie picks up on other PWD’s around her too!  It has happened at every single meet-up that Dixie has been to with me.

Chris posted a great round-up of the weekend activities over at his blog, but he forgot to post about his encounter with a shark…

We tried to save him, but he insisted that his producer needed some killer footage for his shark week documentary.

I swear that shark rattled the heck of of the shark cage Chris was in.  It made a LOT of noise, but the only other people in the Mall at that time of the morning were the mall walkers.  They seemed very used to grown up kids acting a fool in the shark cage.

On the roller coaster - literally!We spent more time chatting it up and watching weirdos up near the food court, then all of a sudden it was time for the Kansas City crew to head back home.  My family arrived at the mall shortly after that, and we did a few rides and had dinner.  George (and my daughter) convinced me to get on another roller coaster (I am NOT a “ride guy”).  We got a picture, but I totally saw the camera while riding and pulled a cheesy pose.  George’s face is priceless…  My daughter?  She’s the daredevil of the family, and is loving every second of it.

My son & George playing the board game "Scotland Yard"Scott with his new Mickey Ears!My family enjoyed hanging out with George even more than I did I think.
We had a great time all around!

George even brought me a new personalized set of Mickey ears!

Meeting up with people who share diabetes is almost always an incredible time.  If you have an opportunity to get together with friends you have made online, I really encourage you to do it (safely).  I love that I consider so many of you my friends, and I think it is really incredible to think that blogging has brought so many fantastic people into my life.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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