Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Beads and the 'Beetus.

As much as I love interacting with the diabetes online community, I very much appreciate the offline opportunities I get to hang out, too. It's tough to beat the chance to be face-to-face; to wear our insulin pumps out in the open air; to compare glucose meters by some other way than holding them up to the ol' webcam.


Because diabetes gives you super powers, identities have been protected.
(Except that I'm the only non-Medtronic user in the bunch. Foiled!)


A few months back, I found a couple of ladies my age-ish who also have type 1 and live where I live. We met for dinner (it felt very much like a blind date, as we connected online first, and I brought them roses) (kidding, I didn't) and found that we clicked really well. We talked about a lot of things that night, and one sticking point was, "Why isn't there a support group here for adults with type 1?". (The local JDRF chapter has a kids group that has been going strong for several years, but the adults version never really took off, so they stopped.)

The conversation then transitioned to, "Well, we could always just start one..."

And so we did. We meet once a month, and we've grown our numbers a wee bit. Not everyone comes each month, and not everyone who RSVP's shows up, but that's okay. We're providing the resource we wished had been there for us, and it needs some time to grow. It's kind of like that Gandhi quote, if I may get all philosophical for a moment: "Be the change you want to see in the world". It might as well be us, right?

Last night we met at a bead store (not a bread store, much to Amanda's chagrin) and made some jewelry - some of us made medical IDs, and some of us made the normal stuff. We even got to do some advocacy, as the store owner had many questions for us about what type of diabetes we had, how insulin pumps work, and what we can or cannot eat. Boy, did she ask the right people...


I'm especially in love with the blue one I made, and plan to wear it at least every Friday. Thanks for a great time, as always, ladies! :)

16 comments:

  1. I am SO JEALOUS of your group. I've been looking for something like that forever. . .and it just doesn't exist.

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  2. I've always resisted so-called "Support Groups"... I feel like it implies that I've got a problem, and while I have diabetes (and it IS a pain), it's not a problem. I picture a support group as a somber meeting where someone cries over their challenges and someone else gives them a half-hearted "keep your chin up", before switching roles. Thanks for describing what it's REALLY like - it sounds like fun. I just wish the name were a little more inviting.

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  3. Scott - I have, too. And my mental picture was very similar. Ours is more of a networking/just hang out kind of thing, at least at this point. We have been meeting up at bars and restaurants, and went bowling once, too!

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  4. Local support is important and I'm glad you found a nice group to hand out with.

    Now, I love that blue bracelet! Give! :D

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  5. It's great you get this opportunity, and those bracelets ars so cute:)

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  6. I'm so jealous, but am thinking about starting up a support group in my town. "Be the change you want to see in the world". I like that.

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  7. I'm a little jealous too! Beading is such a fun idea that doesn't involve food:)

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  8. How fun... love the bracelets, so pretty!

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  9. i love hanging out with other PWDs locally! it's just nice to hang out with people who speak the language of diabetes.

    and as part of my bachelorette festivities, my friends and i went to a bead store. i still have and use the two medical id bracelets i made. it was super-fun! :)

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  10. I am so jealous! I desperately pine for something like this in my area!

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  11. I'm envious... Our Ping Support group has sort of dissolved since the rep was transferred.
    Pretty bracelets. I never thought of making one. Thanks for the idea!

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  12. Am also jealous! The Ping group in Portland, OR meets only on the west side. Would love to connect with a T1 (or T1s) on the east side!

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  13. Your bracelet came out great. Did you string it on thread or wire?

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  14. This is so great, Kim. In person D-Meetups are always even more awesome than just the online awesomeness, but the beads and growing "support group" concept makes it even more sweet. Thanks for sharing this.

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  15. yay for creating your own local support group! rock! also, those bracelets look rad!

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