Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stepping Stones . . . . .

Over the weekend I finally attended my first Diabetes Sisters conference.  Over the past few years I’ve been hoping to go, but each year something would pop up and I’d have to take it off my calendar.  Luckily this year was the year, and I’m so glad I finally attended.  I think I may be a Diabetes Conference Junkie, but honestly these events are so important for kick starting me and getting my butt back in the game.

There are some great posts already shared about the weekend. Stacey gave a wonderful recap of the conference as a whole.  Rachel shared fantastic thoughts about the need for us to judge less and stand together more.  And Kelley captured the whole feel of the conference for a first timer (like me).

The theme this year was Stepping Stones and I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means to me.  The journey with diabetes is a long one, and quite frankly there isn’t a finish line.  Treatments may change over the years, but the path still goes on and I often lose my way.  So for me, Stepping Stones are the small changes I can make to get back to where I need to be.  I came home and decided this week I’ll work on making healthy food choices.  I’ve worked hard to figure out how to bolus for almost anything without completely wreaking my blood sugar.  Deep down inside I feel I’ve earned the right to eat anything I want, because I did my time during my teenage years on the highly restrictive exchange diet.  But both the “Diabetes from Head to Toe” and the “Body Wars” sessions were a big wakeup call that eating healthy foods is more important than feeling entitled to eat junk if I can keep my blood sugar in range.  My Stepping Stone this week has been to make the choice to eat nutritious foods and log what I’m eating.  Because I’m less likely to scarf down half of my Easter basket if I have to see all that chocolate staring back at me from my LoseIt app.  One dessert after dinner is fine for the day’s indulgence, thank you very much.  (You can find descriptions of the sessions here.)

DiabetesSistersI think my favorite part of the conference was the dinner on Saturday night.  One by one we walked on stage to celebrate our years living with diabetes and to accept a small gift.  I admit to getting a bit teary eyed when we applauded collectively living with diabetes for 923 years and 3 months.  We each received a small stone inscribed with one of several words.  It was perfect that my stone says “Inspire” because that is what I needed and what Diabetes Sisters Weekend for Women did for me.

The other thing I really needed, and am thankful to have gotten, was to connect with my friends, old and new.  I spend a lot of time alone and feel more and more disconnected and isolated and lonely with each passing day.  I’m so grateful for the on-line support of the DOC but haven’t been making those social media connections the priority I should lately.  I needed that weekend spent together, off-line and in real life, even more than I realized.

DiabetesSistersBreakfast2
Thank you, Stacey, for letting me use your picture!!
These ladies, quite simply, inspire me more than they know.

4 comments:

  1. I really needed a weekend away that didn't involve Wisconsin but that did involve inspiring friends! (Yes, that includes you, one of the women at the conference who has lived with diabetes the longest.)

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  2. How wonderful that you finally got to attend! It looks and sounds as if it was a very worthwhile conference. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Maybe one of these days I can make it to one as well!

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  3. Love that photo! Glad you got to attend, and that the conference was so great for you. Personally, I'm really glad we got to hang out for a short time. As always, any time you're feeling isolated, let me know and I'll move heaven and earth to help you feel connected again.

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  4. I agree, I loved how they included us all in the event/dinner on Saturday night! What a great way to highlight how strong we are! And I think the "inspire" stone was perfect for you! You are an inspiration :) Glad I got to meet you!

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