Last summer, I led the third annual swim-run biathlon for the Barton Center for Diabetes Education, which hosts two Massachusetts camps for children with type 1-Camp Joslin for boys and Camp Clara Barton for girls. It was at Camp Joslin that I met a memorable eight-year-old boy who exemplifies what being a diabetes hero is all about. I'll call him "Adam.'
"If you weren't having this conversation with me, who, other than your wife, would you be having it with?" That question, in response to something I'd said about treating my nine-year-old daughter's diabetes, was posed to me over the phone by a friend I had made less than six months earlier. She has a daughter too, the same age as mine, who also has type 1. Their diagnosis came a couple of years before ours, so I respect her experience and opinion, and so does my wife, Franca.
The piece of cake sits there on the plate, daring you to eat it. The blood sugar meter rests on your nightstand, an obstacle formed of lancets and test strips. Life with diabetes is a parade of challenges, from diet temptations to healthcare hassles. You know--we all know --that the only way to say "no" to the cake and "yes" to the blood sugar check is through consistent self-motivation.
I am excited to have this opportunity to write a diabetes-focused blog for Diabetes Health about living and thriving with type 1 diabetes. First of all, I am extremely passionate about racing road and mountain bicycles, running 5K runs and sprint triathlons, and doing other activities that I find to compete in for Team Type 1. But before I start blogging, I would like to tell a little about myself.
Phil Southerland's autobiography is an inspirational coming-of-age memoir about a type 1 baby who wasn't supposed to live. But his doctor's dismal prediction didn't take into consideration his mother's indefatigable determination that her baby would thrive no matter what, and Phil's own fierce drive to conquer every single challenge he encountered, including his diabetes. It's an engrossing book, a sports adventure story with a medical subplot and a roster of dynamic characters, the most dynamic of whom is Phil himself. If we could harness his energy, our dependence on foreign oil would be a thing of the past.
Hispanics are almost twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have type 2 diabetes, and more than a third of working adult Hispanics do not have health insurance. For this audience, Jane Delgado, PhD, has written The Buena Salud Guide to Diabetes and Your Life. Available in both Spanish and English, it's a culturally sensitive and reassuring book that dispels myths and presents detailed science while gently guiding readers toward the right path in caring for their diabetes. The tone is conversational, as Dr. Delgado speaks to her readers like a family member who knows them well and has their best interests at heart.
Ellen Granberg is an obesity sociologist who studies the processes that people go through when they lose weight and keep it off. As she says, "If the problem were that we don't know what people should eat to lose weight, that would be one thing, but we don't have that problem. There are a hundred weight loss plans out there that are perfectly good. We understand all about the physiology of weight loss maintenance and the metabolic impacts, but nothing about the social and emotional impacts. People who sustain weight loss over time move through a lot of different challenges."
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