Brandy Barnes and Sysy Morales gave a great presentation about how to use available online resources to stay connected to the diabetes community. Some networking sites like TuDiabetes and DSMA were mentioned, along with an in-depth conversation about Twitter.
There was an exhibit hall full of booths from vendors like Myabetic, OmniPod, Sanofi, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Cookie Lee Jewelry, and so many more. There was something there for every woman in attendance!
Dr. Nat Strand was the keynote speaker and was honored with the Inspiration Award. If you don't know Nat, she is an anesthesiologist from California, has lived with diabetes for over 20 years, and is the winner of the 17th season of The Amazing Race. She's also a fellow OmniPod-er. She and her team partner traveled 32,000 miles across the world in 32 days with just one little backpack! She spoke about how diabetes teaches you to roll with the punches. She associated every aspect of The Amazing Race with living with diabetes. And she nailed every single connection on the head. According to Nat, we need to thrive off moments of encouragement, and that is something that resonated with me. Her presentation was extremely uplifting. If you ever doubted that you could do anything because of diabetes, Nat proved otherwise.
There was a willpower dinner where we enjoyed a lovely dinner in orange ambiance. We heard a bit about finding humor in diabetes from Janis Roszler, the 2008 AADE Diabetes Educator of the Year. Each woman was recognized for their years of living with diabetes and given a memento from the conference. There was also some dancing, socializing, and a hula hoop contest!
The final morning began with the oragne:will walk. This was a one-mile walk along the streets of downtown Raleigh to provide diabetes awareness around the community. It was a beautiful morning for a walk.
Unfortunately, I missed the ending sessions due to the timing of my flight back to New York. However, I felt exhilarated when leaving. I got to connect with so many women and felt a sense of healing for my diabetes soul. This was my second year attending, and I have already marked my calendar for next year. This was one of those moments that will stick with me always.
Balsamic Chicken Breast Parmesan Herb Lamb Chops Southwestern Pork Stew Dish Ocean Spray® Cranberry Gorgonzola Appetizer Tart Slow-Cooked Turkey and Smoked Salmon Salmon Chowder Quick Chicken Creole Leek Strudels Sirloin with Sweet Caramelized Onions Garlic Green Beans with Manchego Cheese
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...