More Books and Resources

A lot of people are starting to ask what diabetes books I’d personally recommend. Honestly, I haven’t read that many, but what I have read was invaluable. The very first thing I did after coming up for air was order a copy of “Diabetes for Dummies,” of course (!) — an essential for understanding what’s actually happening to your body. I also enjoyed “The Diabetics Book” by June Biermann and Barbara Toohey. I believe the latter was the first Q&A-style book about living with diabetes. Nice to have some plain talk about what to actually do when you’re invited to dinner, starting an exercise plan, or just talking to your significant other. Keep in mind, these two biddies get a bit snippy (like lambasting their friends for not understanding the details of their extreme diet). But a great resource for beginners nonetheless.

I also heard from a good friend that Gretchen Becker’s “The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes” is truly helpful for newbies to Type 2.

If you’re going on insulin, there is no substitute for the checkbook-sized “Pocket Pancreas.” This little green $6 booklet explains insulin needs better than any doctor or CDE I’ve met yet! I keep it in my nPocketpancreasbk_1ight stand.

Nevertheless, I’m still baffled by the 1800/1500 and 500/450 Rules. I’ve developed the 1/100 Rule of Thumb for diabetes books: For every hundred new books on this topic, only one of them is probably going to offer you anything useful for dealing with this disease in your own daily life. My advice is to read a few intro books until you get the basics of what it means to have diabetes and what you need to do, and then STOP. Relax. Read a novel!

You’ll want to continue searching specific topics on the Internet, of course. So what about Web resources? Frankly, I’m still sorting them all out myself. I’m working on my own list of “D-Link” favorites (right-hand column). There are, naturally, a dizzying array of books and products being marketed to diabetics on the Net. This is big business, folks! To shop the lot, including food journals, exercise journals, tracking devices, carrying cases, food scales, foot care cream, etc., etc., try the Diabetes Mall or the Diabetic Drug Store, or even Amazon.com (!) under “Health & Personal Care,” select “Diabetes” from the left-hand column.

In any case, I’ve found that the very best resource is a real live diabetic with whom you have a lot in common. Initially, I networked around by asking friends and surfing the ADA Message Boards to find someone in my area in the same walk of life. We met for coffee, and I just riddled her with questions (thanks, Deborah!): What kind of carrying case does she use? Where does she keep her supplies? In the fridge? In the car? How often does she really check her BG? What about that special night out when you want a tiny little party purse, instead of that massive shoulder bag you usually need? One nugget I picked up was that could actually inject after eating! I was up to a dozen shots/day with lows in-between since I couldn’t seem to accurately predict how much I’d eat before meals.

They do it for kids, so why couldn’t I treat myself like a child diabetic and count the carbs of what I just ate for a more accurate dosing?

I learned more from the real-life encounter than from any book. Now I’m making a point of having a “diabetic coffee” at least every few months. Not many support groups, just caffeine therapy.

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8 Responses

  1. carol
    carol August 1, 2005 at 12:27 pm | | Reply

    My daughter (8) was diagnosed 2/05 and Sweet Kids by Betty Brackenridge and Richard Rubin remains the best book in the bunches I went through. The no- nonsense “live your life” approach fits mine and seems to parallel the endos. thanks for your site!

  2. Wendy
    Wendy August 3, 2005 at 10:43 am | | Reply

    I do the same – I’m an RN and T1 for 4 years. It’s never made any sense to me to inject before a meal – with rapid insulin. So I eat then pump.

  3. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor August 8, 2005 at 8:14 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy,
    No book has come close to the advice and support I’ve gotten from the Children with Diabetes website. http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com. As well, signing up for their mailing list has been a godsend. I can ask a question at any time of the day or night, and someone’s online!

    XoM

  4. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor August 8, 2005 at 8:14 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy,
    No book has come close to the advice and support I’ve gotten from the Children with Diabetes website. http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com. As well, signing up for their mailing list has been a godsend. I can ask a question at any time of the day or night, and someone’s online!

    XoM

  5. Martha O'Connor
    Martha O'Connor August 8, 2005 at 8:14 pm | | Reply

    Hi Amy,
    No book has come close to the advice and support I’ve gotten from the Children with Diabetes website. http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com. As well, signing up for their mailing list has been a godsend. I can ask a question at any time of the day or night, and someone’s online!

    XoM

  6. Steve Freed
    Steve Freed August 9, 2005 at 5:03 am | | Reply

    If you are looking for a book that tells it like it is, then check out Dr. Richard K. Bernsteins book, The Diabetes Solution and his 6 hour CD set.
    You can hear him as he educates his patients at http://www.diabetes911.net

  7. Eni
    Eni August 19, 2005 at 8:45 am | | Reply

    I just found your site and am crying the whole way through.
    I have been in denial of this disease in me for a couple of years (Type 2), wishing it would just go away by itself. I am now weighing 232 and sugars are out of control. I need help.

  8. AmyT
    AmyT August 19, 2005 at 3:46 pm | | Reply

    Hi Eni,
    I’m glad you stopped by! And I will tell you what I have told others in your predicament: I am not a professional CDE or psychiatrist or anything of the sort. Just a struggling patient myself. But I have learned to live quite well with this @#$%! disease, so I know it can be done.

    Please check out the Behavioral Diabetes Institute (www.behavioraldiabetes.org) for resources that could help you cope.

    My utmost well-wishes to you!
    - Amy

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