To be honest, (or as my 16 year- old would say: “TBH”), when I first heard about Diabetes Sisters, I thought it was a support group for black women with diabetes. Really. When have you ever heard white women (or any other ethnic group) refer to themselves as “sisters”? Unless they were related by blood kind of sisters--like the Lennon Sisters (yeah, I’m that old). Black women refer to themselves as sisters rather regularly, hence, my initial confusion.
After being invited to a Diabetes Sisters meeting by a Jewish woman, I realized that DS is a support network for all women with diabetes. TBH, upon learning that, I almost decided not to attend a meeting, believing that it would be very difficult for a non-black woman to understand my struggles about anything.
Well call me wrong. Diabetes is an equal opportunity disease. It sucks for everybody who has it. Pre-diabetic, Type I, Type II. At my DS meetings, we talk about it all. I learn more about the struggles of the Type I & Type II people, while they hear about my challenges to fight off the condition as my glucose numbers venture dangerously close to the magic number 126.
But what I also realized is that a DS meeting is a rare happening in this country. A group of women of all races, socio economic backgrounds, cultures, religious backgrounds and ages sitting around a table talking about something that we all know very intimately. We don’t struggle to find common ground. We don’t converse about Kim Kardashian or Beyonce. We don’t discuss politics or sports. There’s no talk of television programs or movies. We don’t mention Ferguson, Missouri or the police. Dang, we don’t even talk about the weather. The D-Sisters have a topic and focus and we are committed to helping each other manage our disease a little bit better each month.
In this blog I will talk about some of the issues that I have confronted coming from a family ravaged by diabetes. You will hear my stories from my perspective--that of a fifty-something African American woman with a husband and 2 kids, a job, 50 pounds to lose, a mortgage to pay, who is obsessed with quilting and wishes she had a cleaning person. Like everything I do, I will incorporate historical and cultural knowledge and tell the truth as I see it. I don’t speak for black women. I don’t speak for all women. My ideas are solely my own. You may not always agree (or understand) everything I write, but I hope that you will find it entertaining and, I daresay, a little bit useful on occasion.
Nice to meet you. See you later.