sisterTALK Blogs

Welcome to the sisterTALK Blogs!

Are you new to diabetes? Did you recently find out you are expecting? Do you feel as though no one really understands what you go through on a daily basis? Are you terrified of doing something wrong? Would you like to hear about another woman’s struggles and triumphs with diabetes?

You can find exactly what you are looking for HERE at DiabetesSisters. Through our sisterTALK blogs, you will find an outstanding network of women who share their thoughts and feelings about the nuances of living with diabetes in weekly blogs. Whether you are experiencing Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, or pregnancy and diabetes, there is someone here who "speaks your language." Every woman is highlighted for 3-6 months to tell us about her diabetes journey in her own words. By rotating bloggers on a 3-6 month basis, our readers are allowed to read about many different perspectives on the disease. If you have something in common with our highlighted bloggers or have a thought to share, we invite you to post it below the blog. If you are interested in serving as one of our "highlighted bloggers", please email our Blog Team Manager at anna@diabetessisters.org.

Equal Parts Kale and Oreos: Finding Balance

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Growing up, our fridge was filled with organic produce, local and grassfed beef, and plenty of fresh fruit. My friends would look at my mom, with her waist-length hair and denim jackets, and quietly observe that she was “a real hippy!” Feel free to roll your eyes at this - it’s about as cookie-cutter organic as it sounds. My parents did a wonderful job of teaching my sister and I what a healthy diet means. Now, however, I’m a hormonal adult trying to do the best I can with the big stuff of adulthood, and my diet definitely falters.

Reconciling Blood Sugar Guilt with a Happy Heart

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Last night, I Googled “healthy eating diabetes” and the results were, to be honest, pretty boring. Toggling over to the “image” results gave me a bland array whole wheat bread loaves, low fat yogurt, and a cookie with a red circle and a line through it. I immediately had a flashback to my nutritionist handing me rubber flaps of “cereal.” I would tell her how many carbohydrates I thought the “cereal” had, my eyes glazing over while I picked a random number. I remember my 11-year old freshly diagnosed mind thinking, “This lady is crazy. She thinks I eat rubber! Get me out of here.”

Stress Busting Tips

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Hi Ladies! Stress is everywhere and affects everyone. So that means that we all need to be willing to deal with it in a healthy way. I love breathing exercises to help calm me down and relieve stress. It is definitely one of my go to skills. There are tutorials online such as youtube that will guide you through some breathing exercises, apps, books and more. Besides breathing exercises there are guided mediations that are also one of my faves. It takes me out of myself and present stuff that’s bothering me and transplants me into some calming and soothing place. Yoga is also a great option because it combines both breathing and small body movements that helps to relax muscles. Which I find is best done alone, not in a group since then it can be increasingly distracting and defeats the purpose of doing the exercises in the first place.
I know another skill that works well for a lot of people is something called mindfulness. Which is simply being totally present in the moment even with distractions. But bringing your mind back each time it wanders. Since we all get distracted then we all can use this skill in our daily lives. But again the key is to bring your mind back to what you're focusing on. It’s just like anything else in life. The more we practice it the better we will get at it. I will say I have tried this skill and haven’t really gotten the hang of it yet. But I know I definitely will since when I put my mind to something I totally accomplish it all the way. So an example of mindfulness is taking a walk outside, observing everything and everyone around you. Plus noticing how it feels outside. This is just one of hundreds of ways to use this skill in our daily lives.
In addition to the above skills there also is aroma therapy skills with essential oils. One of my go to oils for this is peppermint and spearmint essential oil. Now although those 2 oils purpose aren’t specifically for the above benefits. Since each oil has a specific purpose. But for me, those oils have the same benefit as lavender which is the “relaxation” oil. So just experiment with some oils if you choose and see what works for you. We all have to start somewhere and actually I’d say I’m a novice as well. Nevertheless I’m very interested in learning more.
Besides the previous skills, music therapy can also be quite effective in resting and steadying the mind. For the most part I basically live on music. I connect and relate to it like no other. Furthermore I like many different kinds of music. But I know that when I need something to calm me down it will usually be something very soft, lite and uplifting. Nothing to drag me down. So we all just need to know ourselves since there is no manual for each person. We are all very unique and different in our own ways.
Lastly I would like to say that their is nothing more therapeutic than reaching out to a good friend for support. We all need it. Whether it’s to talk and process something, need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen and validate our feelings. Take Care Everyone

Diabetic Stress

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Hi Ladies! What comes to mind when you hear the word “stress?” I know for myself and most people, stress is negative. I think stress definitely can be positive though. Without it, humanity wouldn’t be motivated to do just about anything. So thankfully we do have it. But it has gotten out of balance in an unhealthy way for people in general. When you stop and actually think how stress in the negative can be and then add diabetes in addition to the complicated nature of stress, it’s insane what we all deal with on a daily and/or weekly basis. It also is a testament to the resilient nature of the human spirit and heart and how we can overcome so much. When you actually think about how much we as diabetics have to deal with, it is an insane amount of stress as well. For example, on a daily basis alone, diabetics need to check our blood sugar multiple times a day, carb counting,medication(either pills or insulin) exercise, checking our feet etc. Then on a monthly basis, I check to make sure I have enough blood testing supplies and if not order some the pharmacy. There is also monthly stress of the financial burden of paying for supplies and meds. Which can be quite overwhelming especially at different times in our diabetes journey. Since we all are woman here let’s not forget the stress of adding our menstrual cycles to the mix. Then the stress of doctors appointments either every 3 or 6 months. Whichever you choose for you. In addition to doctor visits there are the dreaded lab work. Not only getting it done but waiting for the test results can be stressful. It’s a lot of pressure for someone to take on. Let’s not forget the affect our blood sugars have on our emotions. I know for me that when my blood sugar is high, my emotions are all over the place and very irritable. For example one minute I will be happy and then sad and crying all the span of a few minutes. On the contrary, when my blood sugar is low it affects my emotions but in a different way by being really happy almost an euphoric feeling. It’s good to be aware of how our blood sugars affect our stress level and emotions since every person with diabetes is different and has different emotional triggers. It’s also very stressful to have blood sugars that aren’t within range and given your personality you may internalize it or blow up! But either reaction is ok! Knowing your own body can help you take better of yourself. The day to day stresses of diabetes can also stress the individual’s support system, because even if they think they understand, they never will until they actually experience it. I wish the stress of this disease, or anything for that matter, would just be limited to the person with the disease. But life doesn’t work like that. I have a difficult time asking for help even though I have gotten a lot better at it out of necessity. In the next blog I will talk about stress busting tips to help get rid of all this unhealthy, emotional garbage. If stress and emotions aren’t dealt with in healthy ways, it can certainly do a number on your mind and body. I also think that we need to know our emotional limits and adhere to our own personal boundaries. Believe me, I know this can be really hard for some people but it does reap great health benefits. Personally, I know that because I always feel exhausted, I bite everyone’s heads off! Another stressor: feeling like I can’t catch up with life's demands!