Two Very Different Diabetes Books By Those Who Live With It

Two Very Different Diabetes Books By Those Who Live With It
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Like my previous post, Pregnancy With Type 1 Diabetes, today I have a short review of two diabetes books also written by people with type 1 diabetes. And, all three, reflect my personal stance - that people with diabetes can indeed flourish in their lives not despite but because of diabetes.

Also available as a name-your-own-price PDF download ($0+) here. All proceeds from sales benefit the diaTribe Foundation.

Book and author

Book and author

Photos courtesy of Adam Brown
Says Adam, “Eating fewer carbs is the single most important decision I’ve made for keeping my blood glucose in a tight range, taking insulin safely, reducing my diabetes burden and stress, and improving my quality of life and overall health. Hallelujah say I!

Adam writes a wonderful column on diaTribe, where he is senior editor. For all his 28 years, he is compassionate and wise and there is always something to learn – often from his self-styled experiments on how various things affect his blood sugar. He is a tracker’s tracker.

In his new book, Bright Spots & Landmines, Adam brings his same friendly personality (we’ve met often at diabetes conferences) to this guide - and you will learn a ton. The book is about what works (Bright Spots) and what doesn’t (Landmines), and being compassionate with ourselves when we step on those landmines. Adam has astutely evaluated his fifteen years with diabetes and shares his experiential learning in his smart, wry and studied way.

This is a very generous tips book. It’s also deeper. Adam’s small and large experiments of how food, mindset, exercise and sleep affect blood sugar are followed by his self-reflection - and worksheets for you.

The abundance of information in this book can feel overwhelming. My advice: take it in small bites. Realize also that this is Adam’s diabetes. While there will be much general and enlightened learning, his experiments are clinical evidence ‘N of 1,’ and as they say, YDMV – your diabetes may vary. That said, books written by people living with diabetes are treasure troves of valuable real-life experience.

Bright Spots and Landmines contains lots of photos, questions to ask yourself to reflect on your own management and experiments, and it’s packed with Mr. Brown’s achievements and challenges, that we who live with diabetes, live through every day. Recommended for people with any form of diabetes, pre-diabetes, partners, caregivers and health professionals.

Oren and wife Cassie in Cambodia

Oren and wife Cassie in Cambodia

Photos courtesy of Oren Liebermann
Whether you're diagnosed on an ordinary day or climbing in the Himalayas, Liebermann conveys the shock and disappointment of hearing those words, "You have diabetes."

Let me first say this is not a tips, advice or medical book. This is the real-life experience of CNN journalist Oren Liebermann, when on a year’s adventure trip around the world between jobs, he discovered he had type 1 diabetes.

I often say, "I live my life and diabetes just comes along for the ride." In Liebermann's case, 31 years old, strong and fit, his diabetes accompanied him for months on his trip from Italy to China to Laos and beyond, until his body broke down while climbing the Himalayas in Nepal. His diagnosis in a small remote local village in Nepal, is followed by a horrendous hospital stay in the capital city, which sends him back home to the U.S. to recover.

Much of the book is not about living with diabetes. The first two-thirds is a reporter’s travelogue as Liebermann and his new wife, Cassie, backpack from continent to continent on the cheap. After righting himself under a doctor’s care, Liebermann and his wife head straight back to Southeast Asia determined to finish their trip - now with diabetes in the mix.

I met Oren before the book was published. He had reached out to me about it and when we discovered he was living in Jerusalem and I was going to be there shortly, we had dinner together. I got a real snapshot of the author, now a family man with his wife and little girl.

Liebermann is like his book: calm and determined, with an ample dose of self-confidence. And it serves him. His work is schooling him in the world’s “hot spots” and living with diabetes is teaching him a deeper self-reflection. Above all, his ability to take things in stride, just as he did on his travels, is a strength - and diabetes just comes along for his most adventurous life.

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