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Book Review: Your Diabetes Science Experiment March 6, 2014

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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A book title with ‘Science Experiment’ made me worried, as no science class in the past went superbly. But, experiment indicates I’ll be trying out things. Science indicates logic and reason behind these things I could try. Any area of diabetes that even has a chance of logic and reason is something I’ll spend time on.

Seemingly illogical stuff, like going high after intense exercise, has actual explanations. But those explanations often become so complicated, that the explanation only adds to the confusion.

That’s where Ginger comes in (oh, she’s the author). Ginger’s book is solid and full of information. And, refreshingly, I feel like this book focused on ME. A long time Type I diabetic who exercises frequently and with variety, and am struggling to best manage my diabetes but also the benefit from exercise itself. That is not to say that if you were diagnosed yesterday, you would not find this book helpful. You would. Or, if you exercise once a week. Or if you have Type 2 diabetes. That’s the beauty of this book – Ginger writes in a way that respectfully reaches all different groups. Ginger presented examples applicable to me (I’m also vegetarian). A LADA meat lover could say the same thing.

This book discussed topics such as insulin sensitivity, carbs, protein and hydration all related to exercise and diabetes. Plus, exercise itself related to diabetes. Many chapters include real-life examples that Ginger had the guts to put out there. The book includes worksheets and steps to help navigate your own solutions and to help make diabetes work into the life you currently live. Ginger also realizes that these steps are tough, and offers encouragement throughout the book. However, I think the book could have better addressed some of the mental challenges that are likely to come up when you begin to take a hard look at diabetes in your life – burnout, overwhelmingness and intimidation.

Overall this book is real, it is helpful, and will be helpful each time your life pattern takes a shift. My favorite quote from this book sums up the idea that diabetes requires huge amounts of effort. But, it is something you can always work on. It is something you might not get right at the first try, and that is alright:
“You are a work a progress.”

Title: Your Diabetes Science Experiment
Author: Ginger Vieira
Ideal Audience: Insulin dependent or insulin-using diabetics partaking in any kind of regular exercise. Curious folks interested in how exercise, insulin and timing can all work together.
Read when: You have a couple days to think about you and your exercising. Be able to keep your own exercise routine in the back of your head while reading. If the book topic sounds overwhelming, read it right away. That feeling fades by the third page.

Disclaimer: I met Ginger at a conference, and a long story short (plus sweet potato fries), I left with a copy of her book at no cost to me.  As with all entries here, my comments and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. I am not a medical professional. Contact your medical team regarding any health-related concerns, questions or changes.

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Day 13: The Far Pavilions November 13, 2012

Posted by laosita in NonD.
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Today’s #NHBPM topic: Book report. What’s your favorite book and how can you tie it to your health or life?

The Far Pavilions, by M.M. Kaye. I love this book. It was a Christmas present from my godfather in 1997 (I was 13). I’ve read it twice and will read it again. I remember loving the story. The descriptions of the geography, of the main characters. But I could not tell you what the book was about. Beyond the story line of two people traveling long distances of time and geography, with apparent romantic intention, the details are lost.

I have a bad habit of getting into a book, flying through the story and remembering nothing about it. You can read a book multiple times, but you live life once. You live the day you are living right now, once. You can try to repeat it tomorrow, but it will be different. Your health is important. All those meter readings, pump sites, CGM data, food decisions, exercise decisions – it is all crucial.

But so is taking a second to look up and notice individual leaves on a tree. Notice the story in a horse’s eye. Notice the sunset or the sunrise. Look at the details. They will be there tomorrow, but they will be different.

Book Review: Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring October 3, 2012

Posted by laosita in diabetes.
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ADA’s new educational-resource book trends with the times – insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). For real people – not trial situations or the nonexistent perfect diabetic. Me being a real person, CGM user and new to the pumping world, I figured I could pick up some tips.

The book is a quick read and addressed topics from basic pump functionality to an artificial pancreas. The last quarter of the book presented information that long-time diabetics or long-time pump users might find useful. Much of the first three-quarters is basic diabetes knowledge. Many chapters included easy-to-use tabular information such as a suggested percentage change for a bolus dose based on the CGM arrow direction; or what level of diabetes-responsibility parents might expect from their child with diabetes at what age. The book kept ideas simple, explaining scientific ideas without diving too deeply into the science. I recognize that is a difficult task to accomplish and the authors succeeded.

The book discussed events that actual people with diabetes encounter, a refreshing consideration for educational material. For example, consider where your waistband is before you place an infusion site in that proximity. Or suggestions for pump settings during sex (new book topic anybody?). I would have liked to see more real-life examples; including how to better use both a pump and CGM together.

As a technical writer I read rather critically of professionally published material, and was not impressed by the writing quality throughout the book. As a long-time diabetic I found many general statements that conflicted with my personal experiences, which disassociated me from the book. YDMV. However the authors showed no preference or opinion regarding specific insulin pump or CGM companies, or features which might infer a preferred brand.

Title: Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Author: Francine R. Kaufman, MD with Emily Westfall
Ideal Audience: Newly diagnosed patients and family regardless of their management system, people considering an insulin pump, educators (for example, school teachers) and general physicians
Read when: You have a spare rainy day or long travel periods.

Disclaimer: I responded to a post that offered this book at no cost to me, for review consideration but no compensation. As with all entries here, my comments and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. I am not a medical professional. Contact your medical team regarding any health-related concerns, questions or changes.