Fellow diabetes blogger and advocate William "Lee" Dubois is at it again, creating another super-handy pocket guide for dealing with the Big D. This one, which debuts tomorrow, is called "Taming the Tiger: Your First Year with Diabetes." And it rocks! Er, roars, if you will...
It's a slim volume of just over 100 pages (less than 7,000 words) that aims to give newly diagnosed folks "the bare-bones information you need to get started" on the "lifelong journey that will be easier than you can possibly imagine today."
I wish I wrote this book (which I suppose is the ultimate compliment ;) ). It is frank and funny, and doesn't mess around; there's a whole section titled "take your damn meds."
As per usual, I went through it and marked some favorite passages:
"Can you have a pet tiger? Sure. So long as you feed it well, groom it, and never turn your back on it, you can coexist with a tiger in your living room. But if you neglect the tiger, starve it, turn your back on it—the tiger will pounce on you and tear you to shreds.
Diabetes is the tiger. Feed it right. Take care of it right. And the two of you will live just fine together."
"If you take care of your diabetes, you will actually be much healthier than the average American who does not have diabetes.
"So it's a gift of sorts. Diabetes is the carrot and the stick. The threat and the reward. Diabetes—the tiger—will eat you alive if you don't do the few basic things you need to do to feed it. But if you take care of it, it will, in a sense, take care of you, too."
"Having high levels of sugar in your blood is like having battery acid in your veins. Over time, it will destroy every single part of your body."
And how to combat that? Take care of your A,B,C's and 1,2,3's:
"Your Average blood sugar needs to be in control.
Your Blood pressure needs to be in control.
Your Cholesterol needs to be in control.
1. Take your damn meds.
2. Think about what you eat and how you move.
3. If you fall off the wagon, get back on.
As Wil says, this book is "just the basics," but done well, and with a great sense of humor. It's ideal for freshly diagnosed Type 2s who need a both a dose of empathy and a kick in the pants.
Wil is also a diabetes educator at a clinic in New Mexico, and he's sick and tired of seeing patients who already "are very sick people by the time they are diagnosed. They want to know more, but they are in no shape to digest much... These folks just need to know what to do to so that they can survive the year."
The book takes only about an hour to read. For many, possibly the best-spent hour of their lives.
btw, Wil's also considering writing a similar book for doctors about how to break the news, better understand patient behavior, and how to inspire change. He says he's not sure he has the courage for that one, but I say go for it, please!
Way to go, Wil!