The members of our monthly support group live hundreds and thousands of miles apart. We always live in different time zones, and we look different, but yet, we can all support and encourage each other, because we still share similarities too; encouraging others to take control of their diabetes, and exploring new ways to handle our own diabetes. In the recent September support group, this truly was the essence in the air that is shared around the world. Motivation, support, encouragement, self-esteem, and a friendly atmosphere was felt as the support group went along.
The support group on September 29th (U.S.) and September 30th (India) took place over ooVoo video call, and was attended by Jack, Alex, Hannah, Dr. Santosh Gupta, guest Diana, and the group in the Haridwar, Inida. After some introductions, the kicked off with some great news to set the tone of the wonderful meeting. A special announcement was made congratulating Dr. Gupta on her extraordinary achievement of being honored as a World Diabetes Day Hero for her spectacular works in India and throughout her career! Dr. Gupta is going to continue to inspire people around the world because of her hard-work and dedication toward helping people with diabetes. Congrats, Dr. Gupta, you truly deserve such an amazing honor! Continuing on that note of good news, Jack and Alex discussed how they were handling living away at college! Jack even told us how he is totally independent with his diabetes care now! The members of Pen Pals United are accomplishing great things, even while helping with and/or managing their own diabetes!
Next, a young boy, Krishna, serenaded the audience with his beautiful love song that he wrote and performed! It was a great song, and Krishna had an amazing talent! Then, two children from Haridwar asked Jack, Alex, Dr. Gupta, and I questions about handling diabetes and keeping a normal, healthy, happy life with it. The first answer discussed how you need to stay positive and optimistic when handling diabetes, and that it is ok to feel angry that you have it sometimes, but that with the help of friends, family, and doctors, a type one diabetic can still have a happy lifestyle! The second question led to a conversation about eating what you want, as long as you stay healthy, eat in moderation, and administer the correct dosing of insulin to account for the amount of carbohydrates eaten. I told everyone that my friends and I sometimes play a game where we guess the amount of carbs in food or guess my blood sugar and whoever is closest wins! This helps to make managing diabetes something fun, and includes friends in the process.
Following the question and answer session, I shared an inspirational quote with the group. I used the saying "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain." to display that you must make the best out of an undesirable situation, such as diabetes, and try to live the best life you can while dealing with it. Then, Jack made a powerful presentation where he told everyone attending the support group to promise that they would stay positive with diabetes. Staying positive can help your blood sugars, and improve one's self-esteem. Jack instructed everyone to think of two positive things about themselves or in their lives that they must say to themselves every morning when they wake up, with the intention to start the day out happy, and to keep everyone optimistic. We all thought of our two motivations, then, after a few closures, said farewell and signed off until next time.
The support group went so well! With everyone participating, perfect internet and sound connection, and a great sense of encouragement, I felt great after the conclusion! I, and I can safely assume Jack, Alex, Dr. Gupta, Diana, and everyone who attended the meeting in Haridwar, felt the same way; that there are people who understood how you feel, and that there all around the world, there are people just like you.
Hello everyone! I'm Hannah! I'm 16 years old and have been living a normal life with type 1 diabetes for 10 years! I'm so excited to share the journey of Penpals United with you through our blog!