Note: At the time of publication, all of our PODS Meetups are being held online due to the DiabetesSisters COVID Support Policy.
The PODS (Part Of DiabetesSisters) Meetup program is one of our signature programs and is built on the foundation that peer support is an important asset to diabetes management. Let’s take a deeper look at our PODS Meetups and the power of the peer support they provide.
PODS Meetups are led by women living with diabetes who volunteer their time and energy to connect and facilitate conversations between women like themselves living with any type of diabetes or pre-diabetes. For an in-depth look at our PODS Meetup program, check out The Evolution of PODS Meetups and Your PODS Meetup Questions Answered. It is also important to note what PODS Meetups aren't: they are not medical advice or professional counseling. They do not take the place of your doctor, diabetes educator, dietician, or other health care team members.
PODS Meetups are about women with diabetes sharing their experiences and supporting one another. Our members understand that some shared experiences may differ from their own, which is part of what makes our groups so wonderful. When information is shared in an open, non-judgmental environment, everyone can benefit from hearing different perspectives.
We think the best way to learn about peer support is to hear some real-world experiences. So we asked our Leaders and PODS members to tell us how peer support has made a difference in their diabetes lives. Here’s what they had to say:
- Theresa, pictured front left with the Denver Meetup group she used to lead, is working on starting a new PODS group after relocating to another state. "Peer support is the foundation of my current life with diabetes." She explains that having a community that understands allowed her to release some of her diabetes burdens. "I'm not the only one who doesn't change my lancet every time!" she says. "What began as a search for "me, too" became a deeper understanding of my health and what technology and therapies are available to me. Most importantly, my mental health has excelled. I used to go through frequent bouts of diabetes burnout, but I can honestly say that it hasn't happened since finding peer support. I wouldn't be where I am without DiabetesSisters and the peer support I found here!"
- Diane, who has been attending our Virtual PODS group since the first meeting in 2014 and has since started an in-person group in her area, shares, "I have a few sisters that are always available when I want to rant, complain or just vent. I always appreciate all of you."
- Nikki, another Virtual PODS member who has been attending regularly since 2016, says, "Diabetes can be a lonely disease state. It's so nice to be able to talk with women who really can appreciate the ups and downs of diabetes."
- Karen, who leads our Virtual PODS group, adds, "Before peer support, I didn't want anyone to know I live with diabetes. I went so far as to hide it from my friends and coworkers. As a result of trying to ignore diabetes, I was also a very uninformed patient. Meeting and becoming friends with other women who live with diabetes gave me the confidence to accept diabetes and helped me see how strong we are to manage our condition day in and day out. I have also learned so much about diabetes, and I now ask my healthcare team about new treatment options instead of waiting for them to start the discussion."
If you'd like information on joining one of our PODS Meetup groups, please fill out this form: https://diabetessisters.org/form/pods-part-diabetessisters-interest-form
For information on leading a PODS group, visit https://diabetessisters.org/form/become-pods-leader to learn more and apply!