Pssst!… 50 Secrets of the Longest Living PWDs

Dr. Sheri Colberg of diabetes exercise science fame and Dr. Steven Edelman of TCOYD have come out with a new book with a quite intriguing title. Everybody loves a secret, right? Well they’ve got dozens of ‘em for you, in 50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes (Marlowe Diabetes Library, 2007).

50_secrets_book It’s encouraging, informative, and easy to read… definitely my kind of diabetes book! If nothing else, you’ll be delighted to discover how many of the “secrets” you’ve already mastered.

What they’ve done is essentially strung together a series of over 50 interviews with Type 1 and Type 2 patients who’ve lived with the disease for 19 to more than 83 years (!) Nearly 40% of their interviewees have had diabetes for 50 years or longer, so we’re talkin’ veterans of treatment change over the years. More than half of them are currently insulin pumpers. The authors “sifted out the gems” from the interviews, relying on a host of supporting materials for substantiation.

The “secrets” are divided into eight irresistible categories:

  • Emotional Secrets
  • Knowledge Secrets
  • Dietary Secrets
  • Control Secrets
  • Exercise Secrets
  • Medication and Technology Secrets
  • Support Secrets
  • Other Life Secrets

Now doesn’t that just sound like a list you want to sink your teeth into? Of course, I can’t give it all away here (they’re secrets after all), but I can share a few of my own favorite gems from the book:

Fave patient quote: “Live first, and be a diabetic second” (on the very first page)

Fave author anecdote: Dr. Edelman’s “pissing contests” at summer camp prior to diagnosis (see page 37)

Fave myth-buster: The lowdown on OJ, “the least effective rapid treatment for hypoglycemia” (p. 87)

Fave diet tips: Fibersure (p. 106); “lots of small meals” (p. 135); and the “tootbrush trick” to put a lid on stuffing yourself (p. 127)

Fave take on exercise: use it to “erase your mistakes” (p. 147)

Fave peek at Dr. Bernstein: “His goal is to have no more spikes in his BG than a non-diabetic person.” (p. 161)

Fave tech tip: “A pump is only as good as the person in charge of it” (p. 180)

Famous last words: “Have kids if you want to” (p. 223); “Always listen to your body” (p. 239); and “Practice moderation in all things, diabetes included” (p. 251).

Obviously, I found a lot here to sink my teeth into.

Thinking it over, there are probably a few too many books with “list titles” out there — “50 Tips…, Seven Habits…, Ten Steps…,” etc., etc. But to my mind, for anyone living with diabetes, this one’s definitely worth a read. Enjoy.

** UPDATE: Consider this a book (P)Review, as it appears this title is not physically available till November. Good things take time, no?**


6 Responses

  1. Rob
    Rob August 2, 2007 at 8:40 am | | Reply

    I’m guessing that “be lucky” wasn’t one of the Top 50. I know the DCCT showed a reduction in complication incidence and all that, but I’m under the impression that genetics & luck play a big part of it as well – especially for the +50 year crowd.

  2. MeadowLark
    MeadowLark August 2, 2007 at 10:46 am | | Reply

    Hi:) thanks for the heads up on this book! I found it for about $10.00 US. Have a great day!

  3. Dave
    Dave August 2, 2007 at 11:06 am | | Reply

    I wish this book was going to be out before October 27th!!!

  4. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell August 2, 2007 at 2:36 pm | | Reply


    This looks like a great read. Pity I have to wait so long to get hold of it. Are they looking for any reviewers? I normally review technical books, but I’d be prepared to make exception in this case. :-)

  5. Rosalind Joffe
    Rosalind Joffe August 2, 2007 at 4:41 pm | | Reply

    Love the cover. We need the stories — whatever the disease – to keep us going. Rosalind

  6. Lauren
    Lauren August 6, 2007 at 11:15 am | | Reply

    Hmm, somehow I think it’s hard to practice “diabetes in moderation” when you need to check blood glucose up to 10-15 times a day, inject for meals, snacks, and post-meal/snack corrections, carefully plan times for exercise, etc., etc., etc. My intense monitoring has allowed me to achieve an A1c of 5.5., but it means I NEVER forget to consider my diabetes. If I took a looser approach and checked whenever I felt like it, I would sacrifice tight control and be one of the shortest-lived people with diabetes. In my experience, there’s nothing “moderate” about the vigilance necessary when you’re insulin-dependent.

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