One of the first books I ever read that made type 1 diabetes part of the character, instead of the focus, was Ann M. Martin’s The Truth About Stacey from The Baby-Sitter’s Club® series. At the time, the book series was what every kid in my school was reading, and it was a new twist to have my somewhat-invisible condition highlighted in popular culture. “I have what Stacey has,” became my answer to “What is diabetes?”
It wasn’t until I was a little older that I stumbled upon a book called Sweet, Invisible Body: Reflections on a Life with Diabetes by Lisa Roney, a biographical account of the author’s experiences and emotions as related to her life with type 1 diabetes. This book was battered and dog-eared by the time I graduated college, my go-to reading material back when the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) didn’t exist in full and connecting with my PWD peers “in real life” was challenging. Lisa Roney’s book made me feel connected to and aware of the sweeping scope of influence that diabetes had on my life.
Now, with books available via library, bookstore, Internet shopping and digital outlets like e-readers, a vast collection of titles centered around diabetes is available. Here are a few recent releases that I think you may find useful for your own diabetes journey.
A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes: A Path to Wellness by Brandy Barnes and Natalie Strand (December 2014) – Written by two women who live with type 1 diabetes, this book addresses many questions that some women may feel uneasy bringing up with their healthcare team, making it a terrific resource and a source of empowerment for women with diabetes and their loved ones.
The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life by Susan Weiner, RDN, MS, CDE*, CDN, and Leslie Josel (September 2013) – Picture your diabetes supplies scattered in your bathroom cabinet. Picture your medication and appointment lists. Picture your kitchen pantry. And now picture these parts of your diabetes life organized and structured for your optimal health.
Raising Teens with Diabetes: A Survival Guide by Moira McCarthy (June 2013) – The teen years can be challenging on their own, and adding diabetes to the mix can really trip things up. D-Mom (and The DX contributor) Moira McCarthy offers advice and anecdotes about navigating these troubled waters interwoven with perspectives from the diabetes community.
Diabetes Do’s & How To’s: Small yet powerful steps to take charge, eat right, get fit and stay positive by Riva Greenberg (January 2013) – Looking for clear, simple answers to the questions faced by people with diabetes on a daily basis? Riva, who has 50+ years of experience with type 1 diabetes under her belt, may be able to help. (Riva has also contributed to The DX.)
Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Realities by Nicole Johnson, DrPH, MPH, MA (May 2014) – The former Miss America (1999) takes tough topics to task in this no-holds-barred look at transitioning through the teenage years with diabetes. (Learn more about Nicole Johnson.)
A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe by Joe Solowiejczyk (September 2014) – It’s not a literal page turner, as this “book” is a digital resource for people with diabetes, but it is one of the first to integrate the psychological and emotional aspects of dealing with diabetes into the core of its approach.
The Baby-Sitters Club: The Truth About Stacey by Ann M. Martin, graphic novel adaptation by Raina Telgemeier (November 2006) – If you’d like an updated spin on an old favorite, this graphic novel (think sophisticated comic strip) version of Stacey’s life with type 1 diabetes is a page-turner for old and young alike.
Dealing with Diabetes Burnout: How to Recharge and Get Back on Track When You Feel Frustrated and Overwhelmed Living with Diabetes by Ginger Vieira (May 2014) – The to-do list of diabetes may be overwhelming at times, but this book offers tips on managing the daily duties of blood sugar monitoring without giving in to burnout.
The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen Editors (March 2014) – Gluten issues are not uncommon in the diabetes community, and this book offers several legitimately tasty and gluten-free versions of favorites like sandwich bread, pie crust and fried chicken.
Diabetes and Me: An Essential Guide for Kids and Parents by Kim Chaloner with illustrations by Nick Bertozzi (November 2013) – Adding another visually appealing resource to the mix, Kim takes readers on an illustrated journey through the basics of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, empowering kids and adults alike to become better informed and take control.
Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well by Kerri Sparling (March 2014) – There’s life after diagnosis, and it’s still a good one. This book highlights real-life strategies used by people with diabetes and their caregivers on their journey in pursuit of empowerment and balance. (Yes, I’m pretty biased about this book – don’t tell anyone.)
Kerri Morrone Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, and is the creator of one of the first diabetes patient blogs SixUntilMe. She is a freelance writer, global public speaker and lends her voice to many diabetes-related publications, conferences and causes. She is constantly inspired by the diabetes community. Kerri lives in Rhode Island with her husband and their daughter. Sparling is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
*“Certified Diabetes Educator” and “CDE” are certification marks owned and registered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE is not affiliated in any way with Sanofi US. NCBDE does not sponsor or endorse any diabetes-related products or services.
© 2014 The DX: The Diabetes Experience