What does it mean to be a woman with diabetes? While we manage the needs of our families and contribute in the home and/or workplace, we also have to juggle the complex demands of a serious medical condition. Often we place caring for our diabetes lower on our list of priorities. Health care practitioners continually remind us that our life style choices play a large roll in our diabetes management. Yet it is difficult to make the changes necessary for good diabetes self-care. We are all so different and yet we share the fine nuances of this complicated disease.
At the Self-Care Retreats for women with diabetes, we focus on developing diabetes wisdom via a cutting edge knowledge base. each of our classes, topics, information handouts and blogs are organized by our model or Self-Care: Discover, Awareness, Respect and Empowerment. Not only is this a fabulous acronym (DARE) its a mantra as well.
Each of our presenters is dedicated to creating presentations, lectures and workshops that explore this model of self-care. This is what they have to say about the DARE Challenge:
Janet : There was nothing scarier than to be told I had Type 2 diabetes twelve years ago. I knew my family members with diabetes had gone through tremendous problems, including heart disease and amputations. All of them had passed away at a young age due to the complications of diabetes. Armed with a glucose monitor that I had no idea how to use and well meaning people telling me what to do and what to eat, I felt unprepared to navigate this illness. A chance meeting with two RN CDE's with T1 diabetes enabled me to discover a new way to live. They inspired me to learn new things in spite of the fear I felt. As I connected with my other diabetes sisters I became very aware I had so very much to learn from them as well as information and techniques to share. Our meeting of the minds and sharing of a CHUCKLE or two, was the beginning of the Self-Care Retreats for Women with Diabetes. Our model was born. I feel totally up to the Challenge!!!
Gita: I Dare to Self-Care! Diabetes has taken a toll on my family. Family history can count quite a bit when it comes to diabetes. Neither of my grandfathers had a chance to see me and my own father passed before seeing my daughter. All my siblings struggle with diabetes as I do. With such a long history of diabetes in my family I am fortunate to be one who understands the importance of self-care. Individuals with diabetes do not have complete control over all aspects of the diabetes but do have a strong say in choosing the foods we eat on a daily basis. I choose to feed my health as an important aspect of self-care. Naturally we need to nourish ourselves with food everyday and it can only benefit us in making food choices that are balanced, fresh, seasonal, local and yes, good for our diabetes management.
Judith: The condition of living with diabetes comes with a few ground rules. They form a triangle:FOOD, EXERCISE, MEDICATION. I like to draw a circle around the triangle. That circle represents ATTITUDE. It is a positive attitude towards diabetes that has empowered me and given me strength to surge forward in a healthy lifestyle to meet the challenges of living with T1D for fifty-five years and counting. As busy women it is important to for us to be aware of the diabetes triangle and respect the fact that by following it we are giving ourselves the gift of self-care.
Connie: To me Diabetes Self-DARE is about enhancing my diabetes self-care. I choose to DARE my self to discover ways be: dedicated and diligent, aware and activated, respectful and responsible, energized and empowered to take care of my self and my diabetes every day, at all times 24/7/365. Diabetes Self-DARE teaches me to love & nurture my diabetes and thus to love & nurture myself. I learn so much from the sisterhood wisdom circles of sharing mindfulness practices, food preparation, eating together, moving and dancing together, creating art, discovering the beautiful healing sanctity of nature, and most of all how each one of deals with her diabetes. This is meaningful self-care discovery that extends beyond what I have learned about living with diabetes from any of my medical providers. Living & thriving with T1D since 1962:
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