UPDATE: My new book is now available in both print and e-book editions. I highly recommend getting the electronic version for the best reading experience.
My newest book is a consumer version of the textbook on type 1 diabetes that I wrote for health care providers several years ago and is co-authored with Pediatric Endocrinology Jamie Wood, MD. Some of you may know from her service at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, she is now at the University Hospital Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Type 1 Diabetes Self-Care Manual: A Complete Guide to Type 1 Diabetes Across the Lifespan is a guide for all ages, from infants to 90 year olds. We talk about childhood and adult onset diabetes, transitioning youth, exercise and nutrition, technology, and new and improved treatments. There will be an accompanying website hosted by the American Diabetes Association that will be updated as the evidence and treatments change. The site will be launching soon in conjunction with the November start of Diabetes Awareness Month and a link will be posted as soon as the site is live.
Since Jamie and I learn so much about how to live with diabetes from our patients, we wanted to share their wisdom directly with our readers from those who inspired us to get better every day. I truly have the greatest patients a doctor could ever ask for. I am grateful to all who contributed; it was truly a labor of love.
Here is a sample of the stories that are dear to my heart that you will find in the book.
All the Things I Teach My Children Because I Have Type 1 Diabetes
1. It’s not an excuse for anything. I can do anything. Except the things I can’t do because I’m not 20 anymore - like a cartwheel.
2. My children know not to distract me in the morning when I take my insulin; otherwise, I might not remember later that I took my insulin, and then I might take it accidentally twice. That was a sucky day, and I couldn’t drink enough juice to catch up.
3. You really do use math when you grow up.
4. Exercise is really the best medicine - it treats everything!
5. Health insurance is a good perk of employment.
6. Be nice to the smart kids in school. They might cure diabetes when they grow up.
—Leslie Kraft, 47 is a physical therapist and mother of two.
I’m Not Diabetes!
After three years of going to camp and meeting others who don’t mind walking around with a pump connected to their waist and their site in their arm or leg, it has shown me that I don’t have to worry about what others possibly think.
Everyone with diabetes probably has something that they hate about it. Probably for me on of my biggest pet peeves is when someone comes up to me and says, “I feel so bad for you, since you have a DISEASE and have to give yourselves shots all the time.” I HATE getting defined that I have a disease! I’m not diabetes, I’m ME!
—Ayla Oceanna Kanow, 13 is a competitive soccer player who has had diabetes since age 9.
There Is No Way to Be “Perfect”
Running with type 1 diabetes is always a complicated challenge. Since every run is different, your blood sugar will never act exactly the same each time. The key is knowing you won’t get it right every time and to keep checking your blood sugar to stay on top of any changes. A continuous glucose monitor makes running so much easier I can’t imagine not running without one.
For me, there is always a strong desire to eliminate as many variables as possible: waking up at the same time every day, eating the same thing for breakfast, working out at the same intensity. And while it will make parts of type 1 diabetes less complicated, you’ll never be able to eliminate all the variables and because of that, you’ll never be able to eliminate all of the high and low blood sugars. Once I realized that there was no way to be “perfect,” it let me stop feeling like that was something I had to strive towards. I could live my life the way I wanted to live it without letting type 1 diabetes dictate what I did or didn’t do.
—Craig Stubing, 30 is the founder of Type One Run