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Book Review: Balancing Diabetes.


I see a lot of people have written about Kerri Sparling’s book, Balancing Diabetes. Of course, everything I’ve read so far has been from people who were also contributors to the book. So if you will, please allow this independent voice to tell you what I thought about this 200 page offering from Spry Publishing.

I’ve met Kerri Sparling, but I don’t think it’s fair for me to say I know Kerri. My limited exposure to her tells me that what you see is what you get. She’s friendly, helpful, direct, unafraid to take on a delicate subject, and articulate in a way that makes you feel you know exactly what she means. It’s why her book does not disappoint.

In Balancing Diabetes, she covers a number of subjects, including the transition of responsibility of a child’s diabetes from parent to daughter, living the college life, relationships (both platonic and romantic), parenting, exercise, and the various devices we wear.

Now, I have to be honest: There are a lot of subjects in the book I don’t know anything about. College life? I wasn’t able to finish (money), and never lived away from home while going to class. Having children? We always wanted kids, but could never make it happen (money again). But there are plenty of subjects that speak directly to me, in a way that only another person with diabetes can tell it.

There are plenty of people (heroes?) with diabetes that do tell their stories in the book. You’ve probably read or heard of most or all of them. Getting these special people to lend their voices to the project was a stroke of genius. So however you come to the diabetes conversation, there’s someone in there that speaks your language on your subject.

And just like she does on her blog at Six Until Me, Kerri weaves her literary magic throughout each chapter. I especially liked:

– Page 17 “And that’s it–that’s totally it for me” (Chapter One: Making Sense of the New Normal)

– The first paragraph of Chapter Nine (Walking the Blood Sugar Tightrope)

– Every word of Chapter Ten (Fitting Diabetes Devices into Daily Life) and Chapter Eleven (Bringing Your Diabetes to Work)

– Page 193 “Fear is not the best motivator for me” (Chapter Sixteen: Finding Balance and Moving Forward)

Who is this book’s target audience? It’s too easy to say everyone… But yeah, everyone. I think especially if you’re one or two years past diagnosis, this will help you get a handle on the “Okay, I’ve got the day-to-day down… What about the rest of my life?” feeling. Also, this is probably a good primer, a reference book, if you will, for people to look at every now and then when they need a one-of-a-kind perspective from someone who’s been there.

I also think this is a super resource for people in the orbit of someone living with diabetes. Parents, significant others, co-workers. I suspect they would all find this book eye opening and extremely informative.

So if you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, my answer is yes. Go get this book, via Amazon (or Kindle, of course), or wherever else you can locate it. You’ll enjoy reading it, and you’ll want to keep it on the shelf for years to come.

Move along… there is no disclosure to see here. I bought the book, I read it, and all opinions are entirely my own.

Book Review.

I guess there really is a first time for everything, so here it is… my first book review. This book has already been written about in multiple places. Here is my take.


When I attended the JDRF summit in Bethesda, Maryland a couple weeks back, I picked up Amy Ryan’s book Shot: Staying Alive with Diabetes.

Amy is a lawyer by trade, practicing in Washington, D.C. (why do they say practicing? Seems to me she’s working), specializing in the commercialization of new medical technologies. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 29.

The book details her diagnosis, getting through law school, carrying her daughter through to full term delivery, surviving a pretty serious infection, and everything in between.

A lot of Type 1s will identify right away with Amy’s descriptions of high and low BGs, MDI versus pump decisions, and the general idea of living a meaningful life with diabetes. Especially if you’re a woman living with Type 1. That’s not a knock; it’s the truth. Amy is a woman, and she brings a perspective to the story that the fellas can’t.

But I think the most value in this book is in Amy’s clear descriptions of things like hypoglycemia, diabetes burnout, how an insulin pump works, and more. For this reason, I think it’s a terrific book for a parent, a spouse, or a co-worker of a Person With Diabetes. She explains things in terms that someone not living with diabetes can understand.

So while I can endorse the book for PWDs, I can most definitely endorse the book for any non-PWD who wants to understand us better. I’m making The Great Spousal Unit and The Live-In Niece read this book. Then I think we’ll talk about it a bit. Maybe have a question and answer session.

More information on Shot: Staying Alive with Diabetes, including an excerpt from the book and information on where to purchase, is available at http://www.amyryanshot.com/.

Disclosure: I bought the book, I read it, and now I’m writing about it. Nothing deeper than that.

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