contributed by Leigh Fickling, CWD Mom
What is a Fiffle?
Won't You Be my Fiffle?
It’s been almost seven years since my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Seven years of finger sticks and pump site changes. Seven years of glucose monitoring. Seven years of juice boxes. Seven years of experiencing the highs and lows of diabetes but never really knowing what a high or a low feels like, myself, because I don’t have diabetes.
During these seven years, I’ve experienced caregiver fatigue. I’ve had my own versions of highs and lows. I’ve silently cried in the shower and wished like crazy that it would have been me ... why couldn’t I be diagnosed with diabetes and not my tiny three year old that had her whole life ahead of her?
In those moments, there’s one thing that I can always count on to help pull me through to the other side. My Fiffles. My Friends for Life. My lifeline. The people that are awake at night serving juice boxes and using headlamps to poke fingers of sleeping kids. The people that are the first to comment on my social media posts when I’m celebrating a victory or reeling from defeat. The village that helps to raise my kids ... not just the one with diabetes, but also the sibling that sometimes wishes that he had diabetes, too, so that he could get some extra attention from his tired mom and dad.
When we attended our first Friends for Life conference five years ago, I could never have anticipated that I would walk away with true Friends for Life. I thought that FFL was just the name of a diabetes conference and had no idea that those three words would change my life forever.
You see, the Fiffles aren’t just for the kids. They aren’t just for the green bands. They are for the orange bands, too. Fiffles are for the grandparents. Fiffles are for the first timers and the old timers. Fiffles are in the retinal screening room and in the hallways. Fiffles are at the pool and on the busses to the parks.
Fiffles don’t just stop at the conference, though.
Fiffles are with me as I watch my daughter play softball. Fiffles are with me when my son does something amazing in the classroom despite his learning disabilities. Fiffles helped me to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary. Fiffles have truly become my family and the experience of finding true friendship at a diabetes conference goes far beyond a diagnosis of diabetes.
Without my friends for life, I know that our outlook on diabetes would be very different. I’m counting the days until we can be reunited in Orlando and I can’t wait to add more people to my list of friends that has become family. Won’t you be my Fiffle?
contributed by CWD Mom and Forever Fiffle Leigh Fickling
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