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.
Join us at the 2017 DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women Conference to gain support, learn about new diabetes management strategies and tech, and perhaps decide to start a PODS Meetup in your community.
Since 2010, the PODS (Part Of DiabetesSisters) Meetup Program has offered monthly support to women living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, providing a safe and non-judgmental place to discuss the successes and challenges of living with diabetes. Led by women living with diabetes, the groups offer true peer support focused on women and diabetes. The PODS Meetup Program reaches more than 1,300 women annually in person (in 18 states) and online (members meet via computer cameras from the comfort of their own home). Women age 18 and older, living with any type of diabetes or prediabetes, are invited to attend PODS Meetups. If you would like more information on local PODS Meetups near you, or starting a group in your community, please complete the PODS Meetup inquiry form –we look forward to hearing from you!
DiabetesSisters would like to express appreciation to the Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation and the Boehringer-Ingelheim-Lilly Alliance as the 2017 sponsors of our signature PODS Meetup program.