Day in and day out, women with diabetes work hard. We try our best to manage our blood sugars. We count grams of carbohydrates and compare those numbers to blood sugar levels. We try to decipher serving sizes and discover hidden ingredients that vary blood sugar expectations. Throw in a little caffeine and some exercise and … well, if you are a woman with diabetes, you know how the story unfolds.
How do we solve the problem of diabetes? Here is where I want to break into song! Think of the words from the song in The Sound of Music: “How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?” The visual image of trying to catch a cloud and pin it down onto something concrete and stable is similar to what most of us feel when we try to “solve” diabetes alone. Picture Maria trying to make her difficult decisions alone and then picture Captain Von Trapp, his friend Max, and all of the children by her side. Don’t try to do diabetes alone! This is exactly why I am a PODS leader in Jacksonville, Florida and why I attended the recent 2017 Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women conference in Alexandria, Virginia.
At the conference we had Anna, Sarah, and Karen - our fearless DiabetesSisters leaders. We had corporate sponsors that provided financial support for attendees and for activities during the weekend. We had facilitators who were able to connect with us on many different issues such as mindful eating, glycemic index, exercise, and the “DIY” diabetes technology. As I attended the 2017 Weekend for Women last week, I felt strong. I felt happy. I felt motivated. And I felt powerful. Why? Because knowledge is power and there was information being shared by industry professionals at each session. Information was also constantly shared by women with each other between sessions and in the evenings. And these were just the beginnings of the relationships…I know that these bonds are long lasting.
As I left the Weekend for Women, I realized what I valued most. It is the strength of the sisterhood. It is the strength that will get me through the daily diabetes hard work and it is the strength that will help me try to catch that cloud and it pin down! Just remember, if you try this, make sure your strong sisters are there to help you!
~Diane Salem Bajalia, PODS Leader, DiabetesSisters of Jacksonville FL