A support group for women ages 18 to 35
The other night I met with a young woman, Katie, at a tea shop in lower Manhattan. She’s a social work student and has single-handedly put together a type 1 support group of young women, a rarity in New York City. They meet at the Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Hospital (317 E. 17th Street) every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 6-7:30 PM. If interested, you can contact Katie at: DiabetesNYC@gmail.com. I was meeting Katie because she was interested in my coming to speak to the group.
On the subway ride to the tea shop I thought of the several things I could talk about. I could talk about the principles in my book, The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes. About how if we focus on the good things in life like love and friendship, think back to how we’ve overcome obstacles in the past and call upon these same strengths dealing with our diabetes, and be kinder to ourselves as we try to manage this slippery slope of blood sugar numbers, that we will be more capable to manage our diabetes.
I thought about my book that will be on bookshelves this summer, 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It and that I could talk about the most common myths that even well educated patients believe, and clear up the confusion. Now that would be a lively discussion!
I arrived five minutes early to the little Greenwich Village outpost and after surveying the more than 50 varieties of tea took a seat at a small table in the front of the shop. Katie walked in right on time and fit her self-description: black coat, dark curly hair, red messenger bag. We greeted each other and after bringing back our pot of tea began to talk. When I asked Katie, “Is there anything in particular you’d like me to talk about?” She said, “Yes, could you talk about relationships?” Relationships? Me? And so I asked, “Relationships? Me?”
She said, “I read your article, Love and the Juvenile Diabetic and it really touched me, and our members being young women are really concerned about dating and boyfriends, like how do you tell someone you’re dating you have diabetes and when do you tell? Relationships is on the top of nearly everyone’s list.” Wow, I thought, being happily married for the past seven and a half years has wiped out my memory. For surely I felt that way in my 20s and 30s. I told Katie I could share my own experience, but I had no credentials to talk any more expertly about what her young women should or shouldn’t do, only common sense like, feel your way, trust your gut, tell your partner what he or she can do that would be of help to you and if they ignore your needs, run, run, run in the opposite direction.
Thinking about it on the train home I began warming to the topic more and more. When I told my husband what Katie wants me to talk about he said, “Maybe I should come too and represent the other half.” Well, we’ll see, we’re letting the women vote on that.
So maybe now I’ll be able to add a new line to my bio: the Carrie Bradshaw of diabetes relationships. In case you’ve forgotten, Carrie Bradshaw was Sarah Jessica Parker’s lovable relationships columnist on the HBO sitcom/drama “Sex and the City.”