DiabetesSisters of Apex, NC

DiabetesSisters of Apex, NC

Often the transition process and stress of moving can be hard on people with diabetes. Similar things can happen with PODS Meetups - leaders move,  locations change, and it can take some time to get into a new groove. Fortunately wonderful new opportunities can also arise from moving to a new area, and new leaders can begin again where PODS Meetups have been inactive. Such is the case with PODS Meetups in Apex, NC: in April 2016 Donna Tucker joined with Cele Flanary to reactivate the local group and build connections with other women living with diabetes. When Cele needed to take a break from PODS leadership to care for family matters in late 2016, Donna stepped up to lead the group.

The Apex PODS Meetup gathers each month at a different local restaurant, usually with about 6 members attending. They spend time at the beginning listening to each member share about what's happening in their lives, as everything (family, work, exercise, eating, etc.) plays a role in diabetes management. Recent themes have included dealing with side effects of diabetes medications such as metformin, even for those who have taken it for many years; good recipes and tips for making eating choices easier; as well as the DiabetesSisters monthly discussion topic and activities. As PODS Leader Donna says, "We all love the support we get from our PODS and DiabetesSisters.  It is so comforting to know we have the understanding of highs and lows of living with diabetes. We have a "sister" connection."

 

Some new ideas for PODS Meetup activities and discussions recently have included attending a TCOYD conference held in Raleigh together and starting a diabetes book club. Five members attended the TCOYD conference, three in the Type 2 track and two in the Type 1 track. There they learned about current diabetes research, medications, and upcoming devices such as the Freestyle Libre Pro. The book club idea began with a thought about how important mindset is to living with a chronic disease such as diabetes, because there are no vacations or timeouts. PODS members had been discussing how "we know what we need to do to help manage our blood sugar, but sometimes all of us get stuck in a rut and it's hard to get back on track." DiabetesSisters offered some ideas for books to spur confident, empowered approaches for members, such as Diabetes Do's and How-To's by Riva Greenberg. Donna and the PODS members agreed - they plan to read a certain number of pages each month and discuss learnings and a-ha moments from the book at each Meetup.

 
When Donna was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 15 years ago, she felt isolated and alone - she didn't know anyone else with diabetes. Once she saw a story about DiabetesSisters on a local news station, she started volunteering and helping with events such as Weekend for Women conferences. She's also been active with her local ADA office. "Helping others with diabetes is a part of life. I wish more women would invest in their health and become a part of DiabetesSisters.  We all hear that people with a good support system do better with their diabetes.  DiabetesSisters has blessed me with lifelong friendships."
Donna & nephew Grayson, future endocrinologist, at TCOYD