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Run, Don't Walk, to Pick up the Little Diabetes Book YOU Need To Read!

Published: 10/31/07
11 readers recommend

We strongly encourage you to go pick up The Little Diabetes Book YOU Need to Read. This quick-reading, constructive book will serve you well in devising or refining your diabetes game plan.

The authors are a fabulous team - Martha M. Funnel, a well-known diabetes educator at the University of Michigan, and Michael A. Weiss, a type 1 businessman who has been a past chair of the ADA. They are clearly friends and by the end of the book, you will feel like they're your friends too. Throughout the volume, little, gray boxes feature "Marti speaks" and "Mike speaks," offering personal highlights from the two. You look forward to these as they help refine your care. The authors' personal experiences with diabetes are vast, and I found their insights constructive in helping refine my own plan.

The book's core is the authors' top four life steps for living with diabetes - a highly condensed, but still helpful, blueprint.

  1. Learn all you can about diabetes and yourself. That means learn not just the facts, but also learn more about yourself and what you can take on, your feelings, desires, needs, what will make you feel more in control, and what you can manage.

  2. Identify the three guiding principles: role, flexibility, and targets. We loved reading about the role of the patient from the authors' perspectives - they are all about self-management and they urge patients to consider the extent to which they want to manage their diabetes. Knowing this is possible is terrific. Also, we loved seeing flexibility and targets in one sentence - we learn that targets are critical, but that they are a starting point and that we as patients can gain even more flexibility in exchange for a little more work. The authors talked about targets in terms of not just diabetes but also blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight • lest we forget!

  3. Formulate your self-management plan. They go through the "how" of self-management and demonstrate how to develop a solid game plan - I wish I had read this 20 years ago!

  4. Experiment with and evaluate your plan. This is more about flexibility and about working toward targets creatively - it was terrific from our perspective to see the experts urge this. Mike's words in particular really resonated - he learned through "trial and error - mostly error!"

Our favorite part of the book was the last chapter, titled Staying the Course - it's all about the realities of diabetes - reading this made me feel quite motivated about what I could do to improve my care - thanks so much to these authors.

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