As we welcome the month of August, I'm happy to share we are finalizing our paper on the research conducted via DiabetesSistersVoices, the online community geared toward learning more about women's perspectives as it relates to diabetes research. We hope to share that with you next month.
I am currently in Indianapolis, representing DiabetesSisters at the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) annual meeting. This year, we are presenting on diabetes and menopause, a topic many of us are interested in, as well as sitting on a panel to discuss how healthcare providers can engage with patients online to learn more about patient needs.
This month's newsletter continues to provide information and tips, including a section on healthy coping (thanks to our partners at AADE). We are also highlighting our fabulous bloggers and expert contributors - be sure to check out their musings and writings in the right column.
Please check out our speaker highlight on Kerri Sparling, who will be sharing her experiences on managing a busy life while living with diabetes. Her session, made possible by Tandem Diabetes Care, encourages storytelling and plenty of peer support. We hope you will register today
and join us in Alexandria, VA, the weekend of October 13th
.. While you're there, learn more about the conference, apply for a scholarship, and register. We would love to see you there.
Finally, I am changing my signature below to reflect that I have now been living with diabetes for 24 YEARS. I recently celebrated my diaversary and spent time reflecting on what diabetes has brought me over the years. I'm so proud that it's brought me DiabetesSisters and I'm thankful for each of you who participates and supports our programs so we can all live the best lives we can.
Until next month,
Anna Norton, MS
24 Triumphant (NOT Perfect!) Years THRIVING with Diabetes
2017 WEEKEND FOR WOMEN SPOTLIGHT:
KERRI SPARLING, BALANCING LIFE AND DIABETES
Presented by , the 2017 Weekend for Women Conference follows in the steps of previous conferences, providing education and support for women living with all types of diabetes, as well as their caregivers.
Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, diagnosed at the age of seven. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra "Diabetes doesn't define me, but it helps explain me."
Kerri is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients and caregivers. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of "real life." Kerri has lived with diabetes for 30 years. She has experienced a full childhood, the teen years, the college experience, and now pregnancy and parenting, with diabetes along for the ride. Kerri aims to spread a message of hope versus fear through the power of social media, advocacy, and storytelling.
Kerri's participation is part of Tandem Diabetes Care's Live Life in Full Color speaker series.
Register today, meet Kerri and attend her session - Balancing and Active Life and Diabetes - where she will share stories on balancing career, marriage and parenthood, all while living successfully with diabetes. We encourage audience participation in this session, so please come with stories to share.
This year, the Weekend for Women Conference Series returns to Alexandria, VA, the weekend of October 13-15, 2017. Partnering with The Diabetes Collective, we have developed a conference agenda that meets your needs, offering education, peer support, and networking. More information is available here.
For more information on the conference, including hotel information (our room block is filling up quickly, please reserve your rooms!), click here.
DiabetesSisters is grateful for the financial support of industry partners, including Presenting Sponsor Dexcom, Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim, Insulet, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novo Nordisk and Roche.
A CONVERSATION WITH GINGER:
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with esteemed DiabetesSisters' faculty member, Ginger Vieira, to chat about her recent pregnancy while living with diabetes. Ginger, along with CDE Jennifer Smith, has recently released a book, Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes, which is available for purchase here
Q: What challenges do you think surprises women the most during the journey?
Ginger: Specifically for women with type 1 diabetes, I think the biggest surprises are just how tightly you can manage your blood sugars with the inspiration of a bun in the oven! And secondly, just how much insulin you need in the last trimester!
But I also think diabetes magnifies some of the challenges that surprise most women (even non-diabetics) during pregnancy. For instance, you can be extremely healthy prior to pregnancy but still experience complications during pregnancy like pre-eclampsia or the slew of bizarre challenges that can occur during pregnancy! And the same goes for how your baby is born into the world: you have no control over that beyond doing the best you can to manage your diabetes well, but so many other things can happen that change the way your child is born.
Q: Ginger, what surprised you the most during your own pregnancies?
Ginger: During my first pregnancy, I was definitely surprised at just how inconsistent the timing is of when you need to increase your insulin doses in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Some weeks you make no changes and other weeks you might have to increase your background insulin by 2 units merely 3 days after having just increased it. During my second pregnancy, I was expecting this so I was much quicker about making those dose changes which made blood sugar goals easier because I didn't spend as many days thinking, "Geez, what am I doing wrong?" Instead, I knew it was simply time to increase my background insulin dose again.
RESOURCE GUIDE: HEALTHY COPING WITH DIABETES
Life is filled with stress. There's the daily kind (traffic!), and there are also more serious issues such as divorce or money problems. Add in the challenges of managing diabetes, and stress sometimes can feel overwhelming. It's important to find healthy ways to cope. Having a lot of stress can increase your blood sugar levels, make you feel more negative and may lead to bad decisions.
The good news is there are many healthy ways to cope with stress. A diabetes educator will help you find healthy ways to cope that work with your lifestyle, including:
- Seeking support: It's really important to have a network of people you can turn to. Build healthy relationships with your spouse, loved ones or friends. Talk to them when you are upset so they can help you. Seek chances to meet other people with diabetes so you can remind yourself that you aren't alone.
- Moving your body: When you are sad or worried about something, go for a walk or bike ride. Research shows when you are active, your brain releases chemicals that make you feel better.
- Thinking positive: It may sound too simple, but having a positive attitude really helps. Think about and celebrate the successes you've had managing diabetes (even small ones). Think about the people and activities in your life that make it enjoyable. Recalling the good stuff will help you get through the tough times.
- Being good to yourself: It's important to feel good about your successes. But it's also important not to beat yourself up if you fall short of a goal. Maybe you're expecting too much. Maybe you're trying to change things that really are beyond your control. Do the best you can, look at what worked and what didn't and then move on. Do something that you enjoy every day.
Source: American Association of Diabetes Educators
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SHOP FROM THIS LINK
Several years ago, when DiabetesSisters leaders started thinking about how to reach and support women with diabetes in areas that didn't have a local PODS (Part of DiabetesSisters) Meetup, an online PODS Meetup seemed like common sense. There was no question of who could lead such a PODS Meetup: Karen Graffeo was a perfect fit.
The first DiabetesSisters of the Virtual/Online Space PODS Meetup was held in September 2014, with both Karen and #DOC (diabetes online community) leader Cherise Shockley co-leading the meeting. After the initial meeting, Karen became an official PODS Leader - and the Virtual PODS has become a rousing success.
|PEER SUPPORT IS ONLY AS FAR AWAY AS YOUR COMPUTER
"Being a PODS Leader allows me an opportunity to provide support and be supported in return. That support keeps me going on days when diabetes is tough and I'm feeling tired of all of it. I'm grateful that Virtual PODS has connected me to such wonderful friends, and really value the close friendships DiabetesSisters has brought into my life." - Karen Graffeo, VIRTUAL PODS Leader
DiabetesSisters helps to connect women living with diabetes through peer support, education, and advocacy that improves their health and quality of life. Since 2008, your dollars have allowed us to grow our programs and services, serving thousands of women each year.
Visit Our Educational Library
Now with resources in Spanish!
Click HERE to visit our growing library where you can download, print, and share this information.
The creation of many of these educational pieces were a result of the generous support of our Advisory Council and industry partners including AstraZeneca, BI, Center for Hope of the Sierras, Dexcom, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Lilly, Merck, MicroMass Communications, Novo Nordisk, and Regeneron.
August 3, 6:30pm
August 4, 7pm
Indianapolis, IN August 5, 11am
Rochester, NY (Westside)
August 7, 6pm
August 10, 6:30pm
Greater Cleveland, NC
Ventura County/San Fernando Valley, CA
August 15, 6pm
Rochester, NY (Eastside)
August 16, 7pm
August 17, 6:30pm
August 17, 8pm EST
August 22, 6:30pm
August 23, 7pm
August 24, 7pm
Citrus Heights, CA
August 24, 6:30pm
Want to attend an in-person or Virtual PODS Meetup? Interested in starting a local PODS Meetup?
2017 SELF-CARE RETREAT
Under the September Stars
Join the Wise Women of Diabetes at their annual retreat
September 1-3, 2017
Designed by a woman living with diabetes, FreeToGo offers clothing, jewelry and accessories for people living with diabetes.
FreeToGo has committed a portion of their sales to DiabetesSisters. Visit them at www.freetogostyle.com
Diabetes can make it harder for our immune systems to fight infections.
Getting vaccinated is an important way for people with diabetes to stay healthy.