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To Palooze.

to palooze: v. the act of people with malfunctioning pancrei and their caregivers coming together for cupcakes, support, and fun

In the last few weeks, I've had the pleasure of meeting some old friends for the first time.  (That may sound like a peculiar sentence, but anyone who is part of the diabetes community and has found themselves immersed in a deep discussion about the emotional impact of this disease with an otherwise complete stranger understands the connection between PWD.) 

A few weeks ago, in Boston, I had dinner with Harry Thompson.  (He's @harrythompson on Twitter.)  Our diabetes is about the same age, and our daughters are, too.  Our spouses are supportive and amazing, and our collective appreciation for a good pun is unparalleled.  We spent a few hours exploring Boston and the North End, and we drank cappuccinos made from an old-fashioned coffee robot.  (More on that some other time, because if I try to explain it here, I'm sure to become confused again.)  But it wasn't weird ... it was comfortable, despite the fact that we hadn't met in person until that night.  Harry is awesome, in every freaking way.  (No photo, though, which I'm regretting.  We just forgot!)

And over this past weekend, I trekked into New York City with Briley and Karen to meet up with Simon and a whole pile of other PWD for what's become this strange Simponpalooza phenomenon.  It's hard to explain how and why people with diabetes forge a friendship that's instant and lifelong, despite differences.  It's harder still to explain to people why a man would want to fly halfway around the world to meet a bunch of strangers. 

But when you see photos, and read people's posts, and see videos, and take into account how much love is found in a disease that hurts so much sometimes, it makes more sense. 

I love that he has, like, a LOGO.
The "tour book," which served kind of as a yearbook for Simon's trip to NYC

Kerri, Jeff, and Briley, and Jeff OWNS this shot.  Owns it.

MOST of the group (because Kelly came running in seconds after the shutter clicked)

Kerri and Simon.  Simon says, "Look happy!"
"Simon says ... be happy!"

Actually, it makes perfect sense.

Thanks for coming to spend time with us, Simon.  And thank you to everyone who writes about the friendships found in the diabetes community.  Diabetes isn't exactly known for "giving back," but the community of people who live with it are

(More photos on Flickr here.)


Love the pics. Thanks for sharing. Wish I could have been there (missed meeting you IRL :( for the first time), but was able to get together with Simon, Cara and Heidi on Friday for lunch. It was an amazing day!

There really are no suitable words to describe it are there? The bond we all share is just incredible! It was great getting to hang out with you again :)

i want jeff's t-shirt!

I thoroughly enjoyed paloozing with you in Boston (wait, my wife reads this blog...perhaps I should rephrase that), and I welcome our new coffee-dispensing overlords. And I promise to update my blog so that people don't think you had dinner with someone that died 9 months ago. :)

Great post Kerri, So hard to describe the connection we all have, I`ts just THERE... It was great meeting everyone Saturday, (only my 2nd "D" meetup)...:)))

Great post Kerri, So hard to describe the connection we all have, I`ts just THERE... It was great meeting everyone Saturday, (only my 2nd "D" meetup)...:)))

I'm so glad I finally got to meet you IRL! And that I have photographic evidence of said meeting. :) You are wonderful and Simonpalooza was AMAZING!

On the way home from a meetup last night, Scott told us the Simon story and about the gathering in Kansas City. What a great story!!!

So does this now mean that we will see an influx of the US DOC coming to visit Australia to palooze? It would be lovely to host you all - we're a pretty hospitable bunch!

Wait! Harry is alive?!?!! :-)

I see what you did there.

I see what you did there.

Must follow the DOC a little more because this sounds like an amazing opportunity! I heard a little bit about it from Steph @ the JDRF here on Long Island on Friday. Glad everyone had an amazing time!! :)

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