Whether you're a Type 1 or a Type 2, whether you've had diabetes for two years or 20, if you're someone who's had that "aha" moment where you realize you've been "slipping" and it's time to get back on track with your diabetes, this is the little book for you!
"The Born Again Diabetic" is just off the presses from our long-time D-blogging buddy Wil Dubois, author of Life After Dx. Wil is also something of a local hero as far as I'm concerned, as he is a hard-working Diabetes Coordinator at a nonprofit medical center in New Mexico, where he "pours his heart and soul and brain into improving diabetes care for over 400 people with diabetes in his community." But even that wasn't enough for him. He is passionate about the lack of support for so many patients on the day-to-day realities of this disease. Amen! So he poured his heart and soul and brain into this little volume.
Among the many diabetes titles out there, two things stand out about this book:
1) It's the only book I know of aimed at this particular audience — not the newly diagnosed, but those of us who've been floating around with this disease for a while, and need a kick in the pants, and/or that extra plain-spoken bit of education that will open our eyes to "doing diabetes better," as it were.
2) The no-holds-barred style. Reading this book is like having a heart-to-heart talk with a fellow patient who has definitely been there and done that. Expect the cold, hard truth, and even a little profanity here and there, in a good way. You will never doubt that Wil is laying it all on the line.
On glucose meters, Wil says: "The meters sport a dazzling array of features that you'll never use. What is the very best meter on the market? The one you can get strips for."
On neuropathy, he muses bitterly: "Right. That whole you can-lose-feeling-in-your-feet-step-on-a-nail-not-know-it-develop-an-infection-then-an-abcess-then-gangrene-then-we-cut-your-foot-off thing. Basic rule for D-folks that we all ignore: never go barefoot. My real life solution? Just check your damn feet every night."
On testing, he presents The Ten Commandments of Glucose Meters:
1) Thou shalt set the time and date of thy meter to the time zone and era in which thou livest.
2) Thou shalt calibrate thy meter.
3) Thou shalt test often.
4) Thou shalt test at various times of the day and night.
5) Thou shalt not be a wimp and thou shalt test on thy fingertips at all times.
6) Thou shalt think about thy numbers.
7) Thou shalt not take any number personally.
8 ) Thou shalt not allow thyself to go too high or too low.
9) Thou shalt replace thy meter every three years.
10) Thou shalt carry thy meter with thee always.
If I haven't illustrated it clearly enough yet, my take is that this book is as entertaining as it is extremely useful. Unlike other D-titles, it's not something to share with your friends and loved ones. It is for YOU, the person with diabetes, to have a helpful and helluvan honest D-Friend in your pocket when you need one. What more could you ask for?
[Red Blood Cells Books, Feb. 2009, $19.95 on Amazon;
Editor's Note: See also, Scott J's review of the book. Not surprisingly, he loves Wil, too!]