A TuDiabetes Meetup in Münster, Germany

I had the wonderful privilege to spend the last week in Münster, Germany. It was a privilege not only because it is a beautiful town, but it is home to our own Holger (the TuD Geek of the year for 2009)! I had the chance to spend time with Holger and Franziska, his fiancée. They were wonderful hosts and made me feel at home right away by providing me a bike (you can’t be a local in Münster without a bike, as you can see by the site outside the train station), giving me a tour of the town, and welcoming me into their home.

This is the first time that I met any member of the TuDiabetes family. It was so exciting!!! The main feeling that I had was that we did not meet last week – we already knew each other! When we sat down the first evening, we started talking about our common friends and our lives with type 1 diabetes. It was like meeting up again with an old friend, which shows how strong the friendships in this community are.

I always say that what drew me to TuDiabetes is the feeling of knowing that I am not alone. There were many points in the time that we spent together that I was reminded that I was not alone. Here are just a few:
  • When we sat down in the café to order drinks, I ordered a water and Holger ordered a Coke light (diet Coke). He made a comment that these are really the only two things that we can order! In European cafés, it really is! I have commented on this many times to non-D friends and I noticed that they don't get why it is a big deal. With Holger, we just knew right away that these are our choices and we have the same choices.
  • Every time Holger tested his blood sugar, I did too. When we were together, we never tested alone!
  • Having dinner at the home of Holger and Franziska, I knew that I could request carb counts for anything. He was counting too!
  • We could talk excitedly about glucose tabs for hours!!! We even went and bought some together.
  • ...

The list could go on and on. I came to two conclusions after our meet up:
  1. I'm SO glad that I had the opportunity to meet Holger and Franziska!!
  2. Even if we can't meet up with friends on TuDiabetes, the bonds that we build are so special and should be cherished!
During our time together, I got to know more about the wonderful work that Holger has done with the online blood sugar log: GlucoSurfer.org. I learned that apart from a busy work schedule, Holger volunteers his time to manage and improve this tool for people living with diabetes. It is a free online log that makes it easy to enter data and upload data from various pumps, meters, and CGMS. The service can be used by mobile phones, even for those of us that don't have a smart phone. You just need a phone and phone plan that enables WAP. Given that I don't have a "smart phone" (iPhone, Blackberry, Google phone), I thought that I could not use online journals from my phone, but this is an affordable solution. Why am I advertising? Because during our meetup, I also learned a lot (we can always keep learning). Since I learned more about GlucoSurfer.org during the meetup, I figured that you all should learn more about it in my blog post about the meetup!

Many thanks to Holger and Franziska! :)

Isn’t it just wonderful? The pictures are all fantastic, too. It’s great you were able to fit the meetup into your schedule. I finally found a new member that lives very near me, and we are talking about meeting.

YAY!!! So cool to see you guys connecting back in Germany!

How wonderful!

Kristen, Holger and others …
Willing to come to the Netherlands , ha, ha …it looks like I will be attending my 50 th year college class reunion , being held on April 24 , close to A’dam ?
Wonderful pics to look at too …

Fabulous, fantastic, wonderful!

Sounds so fun. I laughed out loud about your excited comment “we even went and bought some (glucose tabs) together.” Now there’s a trinket not everyone picks up in Germany!

@Danny: to meet Kristin was really uplifting for me. My fiancée and I are looking forward to our next meeting in Budapest :wink:

Haha, I thought more of Las Vegas as an amazing place. But Münster has done many things right: thus we won the UN’s LivCon award 2004: most liveable city world-wide. The Runner’s World” magazine crowned Münster as “Germany’s No. 1 Running City” following its study in 2008. Germany’s most preeminent bicycling club, the ADFC, distinguished Münster with the title “Germany’s Bicycling Capital” in 2005 for the fourth time.

We have no bicycle traffic jams but the accident rate is due to the number of bikers much higher. Münster is also leading the German statistics in street criminality. But just because of the huge number of bikes being stolen. But most of them are only ‘borrowed’ by students who are to lazy or drunk to walk to the next beer tavern, LOL.

That sounds like so much fun!!

Great!!! Sounds like so much fun! And your right here we talk to each other and when we meat it’s like meeting an old friend!

so cool and amazing! bravo Europe DHF Ambassadors!!! I am jealous I admit! :wink:

Kristin, it’s such a nice story! And the photos! So great!