Keeping a sense of humor and laughing about diabetes has been one of the biggest saving graces I've learned to embrace during the past decade of living with diabetes.
Sure, there's a whole lot of serious, not-so-funny stuff that comes with the Big D. But if I were to look at it all in strictly serious terms all the time, I'd probably drive myself crazy.
So, it's with laughter in mind that I was eager to pick up a copy of a brand new diabetes book called Too Sweet: The Not-So-Serious Side to Diabetes. It's written by fellow type 1 Laura Kronen, who lives in Atlanta, GA, and was diagnosed during her sophomore year of college in 1992. Her background's in marketing and public relations, and she's now a mom with two kids who works professionally as a life coach with a business called Be You Only Better (she also writes about diabetes on her blog on that site).
You can tell from reading her book that she's in love with all things fashion and design, especially shoes. Her connections in that area helped her get her 175-pager self-published, along with a successful crowd-funding campaign early in the year. She finished the book in May and the "soft launch" was on August 28, and now Laura's working to spread word about her new book amongst the Diabetes Community.
I really enjoyed reading this book. Words and phrases that sum up how I'd describe it: humble, witty, candid, entertaining AND educational, and overall just fun to read!
From the start, Laura tells us: "The purpose of this book is to entertain, not to change the way you, or anyone you know, does business with diabetes." And then a page or two later, she adds that her book "is not enterely based on fact. It is merely a collage of my personal experiences and the experiences of other diabetic people around me. It is a combination of anecdotes and comedic situations, crazy theories, modern-day references, pancreas jokes, and real-life diabetes all rolled into one."
She had me from the start.
But while she isn't promising you a diabetes education, don't think you won't learn anything at all. I found that this book presents a lot of the basics in a fun way, something I think more medical texts should strive to do. Laura begins by going through the basics on the different types of diabetes and various treatments and devices, weaving her personality into all of it to make it real. Nothing boo-boo serious here -- but rather the facts you need to know, presented with a sense of humor.
For me, one of the best parts is a series of lists scattered throughout the book -- of various jokes and D-Lingo, her loves and hates about D -- and her use of humor to battle diabetes myths and misconceptions that permeate the world.
Example: "I hate getting a bad low at the worst possible moment. That's the story of my life. Even worse, I hate sounding like a babbling idiot when I have that bad low." And then in a later chapter dubbed How Low You Can Go?, Laura expands on that with some specific examples of places she's experienced hypos -- from wandering the streets of New York City at Christmas time and only being able to find a Godiva chocolate shop (it's dubbed "The Godiva Incident"), to an incident while giving a marketing presentation and experiencing "The Master Disaster" forcing her to leave the stage to grab some candy from her purse, and then have to go back out to explain what happened.
As scary as those situations were, Laura quips that hypos can be "the diabetic person's equivalent of being naked in front of a crowd." Yep, I found my head nodding while reading that; the danger is often compounded by humiliation. Laura even makes a list of different types of lows, ranging from The Underwater Dream World Low to the Hypo Hangover Low to the Full But Still Have To Eat Low... again, I can so relate!
I really like how Laura isn't pitching this book as a guide or anything like that. But there's a lot of good content here, unassumingly giving people tips and tricks on talking with the general public about diabetes, dealing with carb-counting when out to eat, and just looking at different options for treatments. This is one of those books that I think would go a long way if handed out to newly diagnosed teens or adults, or event to parents trying to find honest info as they get rolling with a new D-Life.
A DMBooks Giveaway
Interested in winning your own free copy of Too Sweet: The Not-So-Serious Side of Diabetes personally signed by author Laura Kronen? Entering this giveaway is as easy as leaving a comment:
1. Post your comment below and include the codeword "DMBooks" somewhere in the the text so we know you'd like to enter the giveaway.
2. You have until Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 at 5pm 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 all. Good luck, Sweeties!
This contest is now closed. Congrats to Melia, who was chosen as winner for this giveaway!