This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women Conference in Raleigh, NC. Diabetes Sisters is an amazing organization that brings women of all ages with all types of Diabetes together. The focus of this weekend was to educate, empower, and energize women with diabetes.
As a relatively newly diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic (4 years this June), this conference was such a blessing. Since my diagnosis, I have not met any other women with diabetes (except for in the online community). Dealing with this disease is a daily struggle and feeling alone makes this struggle even harder. This weekend gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing women who are dealing with the same day to day issues as myself.
Lately I have been feeling lonely and isolated dealing with this disease. I have a great support system, but there is only so much my loved ones can do to understand this disease and the struggles I face. The sense of normalcy provided by being in a room with women who have diabetes was what I needed to get out of that slump and soothe that feeling of being alone.
During the conference, we had the opportunity to learn more about dealing with diabetes, complications and risk factors women with diabetes face, and empowering ourselves. There were talks about heart disease, thyroid disease, Celiac disease, sex, relationships, living with advanced duration diabetes, pregnancy, menopause, exercise and nutrition. Although some of these talks were too real and a little scary, they brought to light how important it is to take care of yourself, whether you are diabetic or not.
The most amazing experience for me was to see women who had lived up to 57 years with Type 1 diabetes. Women with no complications. Healthy, energetic, beautiful women. This was such an inspiration for me to maintain my health and a much needed reminder that I can live a long and healthy life with diabetes.
I also got a chance to meet some fellow bloggers, Allison and Sysy, (you can check out Sysy's coverage of the conference at the previous link, and see a video from Allison at Diabetes Mine). I consider myself lucky to also have met awesome women who are local to me! I look forward to building relationships with my fellow D-sisters!
There is nothing I can say to tell you how important support and love is when you are dealing with diabetes or any other disease. Knowing I have women who are there to support me, women who understand and can relate to my struggles, is priceless!