It's always refreshing to read educational books about diabetes that are written by people with diabetes. Somehow, the combination of thoroughly researched information coupled with a realistic perspective is key in making diabetes education tolerable. And we can't think of a better researched guide to the nuanced life of a woman with diabetes than Amy Stockwell Mercer's new book The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes — which we previewed in Amy's guest post here at the 'Mine not long ago. Now we've had a chance to look the book over ourselves...
With 25 years of diabetes life experience herself, Amy has penned a comprehensive guide to the various unique aspects of living with diabetes as a woman. She touches on everything from dealing with emotions at diagnosis, to eating and exercise, to dating, sex and motherhood. Amy included personal stories from over 20 women with diabetes, including our own Amy Tenderich. But it's not just a compilation of personal anecdotes. The author also includes Q&As with endocrinologist Dr. Liz Stephens, a type 1 PWD herself and Dr. Sheri Colberg, exercise expert and type 1 PWD, plus expert advice from many other professionals, including Dr. Lois Jovanovic (on pregnancy) and Dr. Ann Goebl-Fabbri (on eating disorders).
The anecdotes from all the women are really heartfelt, and I appreciate the honesty these women bring to the table. The chapters on diet and body image are quite insightful, because so many women naturally have a challenging relationship with food and their own bodies, and diabetes makes it all doubly difficult.
As an actual guidebook on managing the illness, some chapters don't go into as much detail as a woman might need (for instance, a woman planning a pregnancy would probably want to pick up a copy of Cheryl Alkon's Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes). But the chapter on diagnosis is something I can see a lot of newly diagnosed adults really benefiting from, with an emphasis on the fact that the emotions we women feel are perfectly normal and that you are not alone.
One of my favorite lines from the book is from Charla, who was diagnosed with type 1 as a teen and suffered with an eating disorder as she got older. She writes, "I'm still a stubborn person and I still fight, but now it's fighting to take care of myself to win against diabetes. All the energy I used to put into hating my diabetes, now I use to take care of myself. My life has changed enormously."
And along the same lines, type 1 PWD Rachel Garlinghouse reflected on how her diabetes affects her ability to be a mother, which as a newly married woman is something I'm currently thinking about myself. She says: "I know that if I do not put my health first, everyone in my family will suffer. Diabetes or not, how I treat myself is likely how my daughters will learn to treat themselves."
In other words, the book is full of really simple but powerful sentiments that any woman with diabetes will appreciate!
I also think this book would be an excellent gift to any type 3s in your life. Whether it's your husband, a new guy in your life, or maybe your parents if you were diagnosed as an adult. The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes highlights all of the challenges of diabetes and shows great examples of strong women who have overcome the obstacles.
The DMBooks Giveaway
We love sharing our book finds with our readers, so we're giving you the chance to win a free copy of The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes.
Entering for your chance to win is as easy as leaving a comment!
Here's what to do:
1. Post your comment below and include the codeword "DMBooks" somewhere in the comment (beginning, end, in parenthesis, in bold, whatever). That will let us know that you would like to be entered in the giveaway. You can still leave a comment without entering, but if you want to be considered to win the book, please remember to include "DMBooks."
2. This week, you have until Friday, August 19, at noon PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.
3. The winner will be chosen using Random.org.
The contest is open to anyone, anywhere. Good luck!