A few months ago I was asked to read and give my opinion on Gary Scheiner’s latest book. I have listened to Gary speak at Children with Diabetes Conferences. I have spoken to him on number of occasions. I have heard the praises of his book “Think Like A Pancreas” and continue to swear that I will read it soon, so I was really excited to get the chance to read Until There is a Cure. I had no idea of what I should expect of the book. I wasn’t sure who the target audience was and wondered who would benefit the most from its wisdom? I began the book eager to see what I would learn. I love to read. I love to learn. I love to find new ways to make my son’s life easier and more complete. Its not surprising then that by the end of chapter one I had many passages highlighted and marked to come back to later.
In the first chapter Gary aptly points out that it is unrealistic to expect your doctor or nurse to be the expert in your diabetes care. It is your job to do so. It is your job to learn and become educated. Until There is a Cure allows you to do just that. Gary wisely warns that you must strike a balance in your diabetes care and tells the reader…”If you put more time and energy into taking care of your diabetes than you put into your family, work, or social life, something needs to change.”
By the second chapter, we get a lesson in Diabetes 101. While most of it was review for those of us who have been playing this game for too many years already, there was still information to learn and understand. Information on dietary supplements, exercise, stress and depression help to make a demanding condition more understandable.
As the book moved on to discuss insulin and delivery, I was very intrigued. It was great to see the “Trend” boxes with short tips and bits of information. The box which highlighted my own personal belief that “The type of pump should be chosen by the person who will be using it, not his or her physician.” made my day. This was also a great section for those living with Type 1 as well as Type 2. In reading it, I realized quickly what type of therapy I would want if myself or a loved one were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
By chapter four we are over halfway through the book and get some great tips on the many glucometers available as well as some information on various Continuous Glucose Monitors. I was a bit surprised when I read that “meters themselves cost about the same as they did 20 years ago, and test strip costs have actually increased.” I see that meter pricing has not really changed although personally, we have been given a large number of monitors because of the large number of test strips that we use on a monthly basis. Again personally, I have seen a slight decrease in test strips. Perhaps this is a geographical difference and the drop is not overly significant but test strips which consistently cost at least $1 per strip, now cost me around 80 cents. Not a huge savings but I will take what I can!
The second to last chapter of this book deals with a subject that none of us want to look at. It is a chapter that those of us who have been in this game for a double digit number of years fear. This is the chapter on complications, but Gary doesn’t dwell on the negative. This chapter is titled “Advances in Fighting Complications” and addresses how we can be proactive in our care. Instead of leaving you with a feeling of inevitable despair there is hope offered here.
As I finished the book, I was exhausted to think of how complicated dealing with diabetes was. The reader is taken on a journey through the glycemic index, graphs on glucometers, insulins, vitamins, exercise, Alzheimer disease, depression, Diabulimia CGM technology, how to fight complications and finally where to find support . Despite the daunting content, the book was surprisingly light and easy to read. It is a great resource for the newly diagnosed Type 1 or Type 2 person living with diabetes. It also provides some great information for veterans and those who are diabetes information junkies.