Another year brings a brand new batch of diabetes books that we’re excited to review here at the ‘Mine.
These aren’t any of the plentiful “Reverse Your Diabetes” or “This is What You Should Eat” books, mind you… The D-books that stand out for us are those that not only have a broader (and sometimes grittier) message about managing your health with diabetes, but also share real stories of life with D that create a sense of community and understanding.
So in no particular order, here’s a snapshot of some of the top titles we have on tap for 2014:
The Road to Kidneyville
We heard a few weeks back from Jesse Crain in Windsor, Missouri, who recently wrote her first book called The Road to Kidneyville – A Journey Through Diabetes, Dialysis, and Transplant. Jesse isn’t a PWD herself, but her late husband Larry had lived with type 1 for almost 60 years before his death a few years ago. Here’s how Jesse describes her book:
“The book might best be described as a medical memoir. My late husband Larry was diagnosed with diabetes at five years old. That was in 1954 and the doctors told his parents he’d likely not see 18. Well, he made it to 62! Along the way he faced a lot of medical challenges, and beat the odds many times. We began the book when he was in the hospital two years ago, having just received a kidney transplant. Our goal was to help others who might be going through similar medical issues by telling his story. Unfortunately, Larry also contracted an infection that was undetected until he was already in the septic shock phase, and 24 hours later he was gone. In order to be able to tell the after-story, I interviewed several people who’d had more successful outcomes, and included those in a final chapter.”
The book’s available on Amazon in paperback for $8. 99 and Kindle for $3.99, and Jesse tells us there’s an audiobook in the works, too. She’s also created this two-minute video book trailer:
Written and edited by Ben McClelland, Livesaving Labradors: Stories from Families with Diabetic Alert Dogs is a smattering of stories about those cuddly and potentially live-saving canines many have in the D-Community. A description of what’s to be found in its 268 pages states:
“Diabetes is hell!” says Capri Smith, struggling with the debilitating disease that struck her daughter Ciara at age nine. Angie Simonton felt that a monster attacked her family when Lily succumbed before she was two years old. An equestrian in college, Devon Wright feared stigma and tried to shield her disease from public view. Animal EMT Megan DeHaven and Manhattan businessman Tom Arsenault worried that they would die in their sleep. Tom came to know borough EMTs by name, because he blacked out so frequently. Sharon Stinson, married and in her twenties, thought she would die like Shelby in Steel Magnolias. Sharon and her husband made many 911 calls and visited the local ER so frequently that they felt they had practically paid for the hospital.
Sweet Ciara, little Lily, and the rest of the people in this book are all type 1 diabetics. Like three million other Americans, they suffer from an incurable autoimmune disease that destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas… All of the parents in this group, the around-the-clock caregivers for their children, have frantically administered Glucagon shots or force fed sugar drinks in desperate attempts to steady erratic blood sugar events. Like Capri Smith, all of them have gone on daredevil car rides to the ER, frantic to save their daughters’ lives.
Desperate, each one sought a diabetic alert dog from Wildrose Kennels. Known as DADs, these British Labradors use their keen sense of smell to notify the diabetic or the caregiver of low and high blood sugar levels, thereby allowing prompt corrections to avert the episode or lessen its severity. Each one of these diabetics has experienced attacks that led to seizure, or coma, dangerously close to death. Each one attests that the dog is a true lifesaver — daily. Lifesaving Labradors explains how the dogs do it, and how they are used to change and save lives.
We’ve met some great rescue pups ourselves through the years, including PWD Tarra Robinson’s D-Alert Dog Duchess just last summer during the Friends For Life conference in Orlando. And it’s been exciting to keep up on the latest research on what these dogs do, which provides important scientific evidence of the life-saving role they can play. And now it’s great to have a book that attests to the huge life impact for owners of these D-Dogs.
Available March 20, this book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon in paperback form for $14.75.
Can I Tell You About D?
With an expected release on March 21, Can I Tell You About Diabetes (Type 1)? is written from the perspective of a CWD (child with diabetes) by author Julie Edge, who’s a UK-based consultant in pediatric endocrinology. Here’s how she describes her 64-page book:
“Meet Debbie — a young girl with diabetes type 1. Debbie invites readers to learn about this type of diabetes from her perspective, describing how it feels to have high and low blood sugar levels. She explains how she can monitor her blood sugar and controls it with medication. Debbie also talks about the challenges of having diabetes and lets readers know how she can be helped and supported. This illustrated book is ideal for young people aged 7 and up, as well as parents, friends, teachers and nurses. It is also an excellent starting point for family and classroom discussions.”
We don’t see too many diabetes books that are written from the child’s POV, since most are written for parents by other D-parents or with more medical terms and advice weaved into the pages. But this one seems like it has the potential to make its way into both homes and school libraries and homes, in order to help ALL kids better understand a new diagnosis or even help others better understand or explain their type 1. Can’t. Wait. To See.
On Amazon, the book is listed for pre-order at $10.64.
And From New DOC Authors…
During the big AADE conference last August, we got wind that Brandy Barnes of Diabetes Sisters and Kelly Close of Close Concerns are working on a new diabetes kids’ book of their own, taking on the tricky topic of sleepovers with type 1 diabetes. Kelly tells us it’s still in the works, but she can probably share a potential publication timeline by the end of January. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
Meanwhile, there’s lots of buzz around the new book coming out by D-Advocate Kerri Sparling, best known for her popular diabetes blog Six Until Me. Kerri’s blog is a happy place, and her new book follows suit:
The book is called Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well. If you’ve ever read her blog, you know that Kerri’s a wonderful writer; she’s real and funny and genuinely engaging in a way that most writers can only dream about. It’s great to see her bringing this unique talent to the pages of a full-length book — which includes chapters on connecting and sharing with the community, understanding a diagnosis, parenting and transitioning to your own care (with tidbits from her own mom), siblings and friends, pregnancy, diabetes at work, exercise, travel, defining D-Advocacy and sharing of many other stories from people across our community.
We can’t wait to get a closer look at Kerri’s 204-page work that comes out in less than two months. In reading an excerpt, this quote really spoke to me about her message on finding a healthy balance between focusing on your diabetes and having a life:
Instinctively, you’d think there isn’t a shred of balance to be found in focusing anything at all on a disease. Shouldn’t a person living with a chronic illness ignore it all costs, save for the necessary medical management required to stay alive? Doesn’t focusing on it too much make it overwhelming — a dominating factor? What grace and balance can be achieved from bringing diabetes into the “other” parts of your life — hobbies, your job, or even the friendships you forge?
You’d be surprised. I am constantly surprised.
Couldn’t agree more, Kerri… there’s a lot to be said about ”digging in” to what diabetes makes us feel, and sharing both the good and the bad, in order to find that balance. That’s what Life With D is all about, after all.
Kerri’s book will be released March 4, and is available for pre-order on Amazon for $11.02.
So that’s just a small sampling of what the D-Community can look forward to on their reading lists this year. We can’t wait to flip through these pages and have a chance to publish full reviews, where we’ll share the love by offering free copies to our readers in our DMBooks Giveaway series as well. Stay tuned!