Finding the Good in 2020.

It’s been a year. I really should acknowledge my privilege as I write this post in my backyard in Western Australia, where life has been largely back to normal since June. I couldn’t wrap a year that I’ll never forget without looking back on some of the better things that came from it, both diabetes and otherwise.

Webinars and virtual conferences. In a year where I found it difficult to write and participate in the diabetes community, it was events like these and seeing familiar faces on screen that really reminded me of why I love being a part of the DOC.

I really enjoyed Ypsomed’s fortnightly webinar series T1 Connects earlier in the year, bringing together PWD and healthcare professionals sharing different perspectives on insulin pumping and broader diabetes management. These fortnightly Tuesday chats were definitely reminiscent of old OzDOC vibes.

It was also extremely humbling to connect with global advocates during these challenging times through Ascensia’s Diabetes Social Media Summits for some meaningful conversations. I also got a (very brief) taste of the famous Friends for Life conference hosted by US charity Children With Diabetes, even though it was at an extremely unsociable time here in Australia. Diabetes Australia also hosted heaps of Facebook lives to keep us all connected this year, and if I worked in front of a computer I’m sure I would have tuned into more of them.

World Diabetes Day was another highlight for me this year. I spent an unusually wet November morning on the side of the road offering passers by a diabetes risk assessment with my fellow Young Adult Diabetes Committee members. It was such an important thing to be involved in, given just how many people can go undiagnosed because their onset of symptoms may be much slower. I also realise that type 1s aren’t the only PWD in the world, and I absolutely want to participate in spaces which are inclusive of all PWD.

I also came to realise that I would happily continue to pay for my CGM if the government would only expand the subsidy to include the elderly. I had a really humbling conversation with an elderly gentleman who was a fellow t:slim user, with words of wisdom thrown in about diabetes and how far things have come from his wife.

The ABC’s daily Coronavirus live blog, as well as the Coronacast podcast are to blame for my newfound status as a Covid news junkie. I apologise if that has spilled into my blog this year. I can’t say how much I’ve appreciated having these sources of news to keep me informed throughout the year, without the bias of social media ‘experts.’

Receiving a Dexcom G6 in the mail to trial was another highlight of my year. It was hard to imagine anything being able to top G5, but this one definitely did. You can check out my review here. Thanks again to AMSL Diabetes for working with me.

I never imagined that I’d be spending the festive season and ending the year without my pump, but I absolutely needed this. I couldn’t be happier to be sticking needles through my shirts and into my thighs in-between festive eating and drinking.

I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated leaders as much as I have in 2020. In particular West Australian Premier Mark McGowan and our health teams have done an absolutely stellar job in keeping my state free of community transmission since April. I had a lot of uncertainty around restrictions easing earlier this year, however I feel we are in good hands with leaders who will act swiftly and decisively to keep us all safe going forward into 2021.

But I think the one thing I will take away from 2020 is the renewed affinity for home, the people around me and the simpler things in life. As 2020 comes to a close and the media harps on about state border closures, there is absolutely no place I’d rather be than home.

I think we all deserve a pat on the back just for making it to today.

Happy New Year. Here’s hoping that 2021 is only onwards and upwards from here.