The 2012 Diabetes Sisters Conference is taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina this May 18-20.
I wrote about my experience last year. But that post can’t do it justice because in the past year since the conference, I’ve kept in touch with a handful of the women I met and have been SO thankful for the friendships that have resulted. I would not know these women if it weren’t for this conference and I’ve been so pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to bond with women whose struggle is similar to my own.
This year I’m excited to make this a bit of a family affair. My husband, Alex has been helping Brandy’s husband Chris (along with Diabetes Daily’s David Edelman) to plan the first ever, Partner’s Perspective Program. And Alex will definitely be attending the program. It should be great. I mean, we know our partners deal with a lot and perhaps aren’t too comfortable with telling us for fear of making us feel bad so I think it’s wonderful that there will be a place for them to meet, relate, and discuss the unique aspects of being with someone who has diabetes and all the issues that arise as a result. I hope these partners also gain some insight into what we would like from them in certain situations. I also think it will be a great opportunity for all us women to give our partners a big collective, “thank you!”
I happen to literally have a diabetes sister, my type 1 sister Ana, who will also be attending the conference this year. She used to be a lot more involved with diabetes stuff, even attending the Children’s Congress in Washington D.C. as a Delegate the same year Diabetes Mine’s, Allison Nimlos went. (Allison and her husband will be at the conference, by the way.) Ana also loved her Diabetes Camp experiences as a younger kid and I’m so excited she’ll get to experience this event.
Something I really like about this conference is women with any type of diabetes are welcome. So though I can obviously relate more to someone who has type 1 when it comes to certain things, I find it really wonderful to learn from a woman with type 2 about what it’s like for her. I always end up realizing that we are all really in the same boat. We struggle day to day with making a multitude of choices, choices which impact our health and our lives. We all have to worry about food and pay a little too much attention to it. We all check our blood sugar. We all feel the threat of diabetes complications and we all want to live the best life possible with our diabetes.
That brings me to another awesome benefit of the conference. The learning experience. There are a wide range of speakers on an array of relevant topics to women with diabetes. The speakers are really professional and invested in the topics at hand. I appreciated getting away from my children long enough to take notes about things like heart disease last year and sit and think long and hard about why I take care of myself instead of worry about it in fleeting bits while chasing my kids around the living room.
That’s the other thing. It’s a safe environment. You can laugh, cry, and check your blood sugar without feeling out of place. Brandy Barnes calling her organization “Diabetes Sisters” is right on the mark. It’s rather self-explanatory now that I think of it. If you want to attend, please register quick before it’s too late.
I SO hope I see you there!