Books

Real Life Parenting of Kids with Diabetes by Virginia Nasmyth Loy 2001 Published by the American Diabetes Association. ISBN 1-58040-083-3. US$14.95.

Newly diagnosed parents often have a “deer in the headlights” reaction to their child’s diagnosis. The first days, weeks, and even months are an extraordinary challenge, as the family learns how to manage a child’s diabetes. This book, Real Life Parenting of Kids with Diabetes, is an excellent addition to the library of any newly diagnosed family.

In Real Life Parenting of Kids with Diabetes, one mom — Virginia Nasmyth Loy — shares her experiences with caring for two kids with diabetes. You’ll learn lots of valuable tips for dealing with kids from elementary school through high school and even into college, and no doubt see yourself as you read about what Virginia has done. That’s perhaps the book’s most important aspect, since parents often feel even more isolated than do their kids. (Note: Virgnia’s boys, Spike and Bo, both use injection therapy successfully, rather than a pump.)

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Real-Life Guide to Diabetes by Hope S. Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE, BC-ADM and Joy Pape, RN, BSN, WOCN, CFCN 2009 Published by the American Diabetes Association. 286 pages, paperback. ISBN 1-58-040314-X. US$19.95.

The Real-Life Guide to Diabetes by Hope Warshaw and Joy Pape is a simple-to-read, all encompassing guide to living with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. Included are an excellent explanation of sugar substitutes and oral medications (for type 2), a good description of ACE inhibitors and ARBs, and thorough clarifications of both micro-and macro-vascular complications. The book is filled with colorful photos and graphics which help explain each topic. Chapters begin with a summary of “What You’ll Learn,” giving you an introduction to what’s coming. And “Red Flag” sidebars highlight areas that may lead you astray. Highly Recommended.

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Raising Teens with Diabetes: A Survival Guide for Parents by Moira McCarthy 2010 Published by Spry Publishing, 2013. 286 pages, paperback. ISBN 1938170202. US$15.95.

Our most important job as parents is to help our kids grow up to be happy, healthy, adults. Diabetes can really complicate that process, especially during the teen years. In Raising Teens with Diabetes: A Survival Guide for Parents, Moira McCarthy, mom to Lauren, uses her family’s experiences as a point of reference and offers solid advice and guidance that will help your entire family to weather the turbulent teen years. With a gentle voice and wry wit, Moira covers teenage diabetes in detail — to pump or not (or both), sibling issues, peers, increasing independence, and much more. If you are a parent of a teen, or soon will be, Raising Teens with Diabetes: A Survival Guide for Parents should be on your “must read” list. Highly Recommended.

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Raising A Child With Diabetes by Linda Siminerio, RN, MS, CDE, and Jean Betschart, RN, MN, CDE 1995 Published by the American Diabetes Association. ISBN 0-945448-48-1. US$14.95 (nonmember) or US$11.95 (member) plus US$3.00 Shipping & Handling to US addresses when ordered from the ADA.

This 120 page book presents an overview of the many issues parents will face in raising a child with diabetes. Though it touches on a great variety of topics important to parents, such as the challenge of dealing with schools, I found it lacking in depth compared with other books in my diabetes library. I also found the many sidebars containing real life experiences to be somewhat contrived and simplistic. Parents of newly diagnosed kids might find this a useful introduction, but will quickly seek out a resource with more detail.

In addition, I was quite surprised to find mention of only the American Diabetes Association in the section entitled Resources. There was no mention of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or the many books for parents and kids with diabetes that aren’t published by the ADA. I found this to be a glaring omission.

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Putting Your Patients on the Pump by Karen M. Bolderman, RD, LD, CDE 2002 Pubished by the American Diabetes Association. Paperback, 91 pages. $18.95. ISBN 1-58040-148-1.

Health care professionals who are interested in learning how to oversee patients starting insulin pump therapy have a new resource: Putting Your Patients on the Pump by Karen M. Bolderman, RD, LD, CDE. This 91-page book from the ADA will “… help health care professionals with expertise in diabetes care successfully start and maintain diabetes patients on insulin pump therapy.” Bolderman, who herself has diabetes and uses an insulin pump, presents and excellent and easy-to-read “how to” guide on what pump therapy is all about, from the perspective of the diabetes team. Patients who are interested in pump therapy will also benefit from this guide, as it includes much of what your health care team may have been taught about putting patients on the pump. While not as detailed as John Walsh’s Pumping Insulin, Putting Your Patients on the Pump is up-to-date (includes NovoLog) and sufficient to help your diabetes team get you pumping. It is also an excellent tool for primary care providers who are interested in learning about the insulin pump. Highly recommended for anyone considering or using an insulin pump.

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Pumping Insulin by John Walsh, P.A., C.D.E., and Ruth Roberts, M.A. 2006 Published by Torrey Pines Press. ISBN 1-884804-86-1. 330 pages, paperback. US$23.95.

Newly updated for the latest smart pumps, Pumping Insulin remains the definitive work for getting the most out of insulin pump therapy. The Fourth Edition will help you get the most from the latest “smart” pumps by teaching you how to use various kinds of boluses, check insulin on board to prevent over corrections, how to determine corrections and insulin sensitivity factors, and how to ensure that your basal rates are correctly set. There’s even a discussion of how to use Symlin and Byetta if you pump. If you use an insulin pump and want to get the most from it, you need this book. Highly recommended for anyone considering or using an insulin pump.

Torrey Pines Press
1030 West Upas Street
San Diego, CA 92103-3821
1-800-988-4772 (US)
1-619-497-0900

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Practical Psychology for Diabetes Clinicians, 2nd Edition by Barbara J. Anderson, PhD, and Richard R. Rubin, PhD., CDE 2002 Published by the American Diabetes Association. Paperback, 256 pages. $29.95. ISBN 1-58040-140-6.

“The reality of diabetes care is that more than 98% of the care is provided by the patient….” That statement, in chapter one of Practical Psychology for Diabetes Clinicians, 2nd Edition, sets the tone for the entire book. While patients look to their diabetes team for guidance and counsel, where do members of your diabetes team look? Well, this book could be one place, and therefore it should be of interest to parents and adults looking for tools to help them get the best possible diabetes care. The 23 chapters cover everything from type 1 in children and adolescents to dealing with both professional and patient burnout. While aimed at health care professional, the book is very easy to read and understand and will certainly help anyone looking to improve their diabetes care. Highly recommended.

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Playing the Numbers: How to Make Sense of Your Blood Sugar Levels by Laurinda Poirier-Solomon, MPH, RN, CDE 2003 Published by the American Diabetes Association. ISBN 1-58040-181-3. 61 pages, US$7.95.

If you or someone you know is having a hard time figuring out how to adjust their insulin dosage, Playing the Numbers would be a great addition to a diabetes library. This small format book (4.25″ x 5.5″) is all about finding patterns in blood glucose values and figuring out how to make adjustments to food, exercise, and medications to improve diabetes management. Playing the Numbers is easy to read and can help if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, as it covers both insulin and oral medications.

Outsmarting Diabetes: A Dynamic Approach for Reducing the Effects of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes by Richard S. Beaser, M.D. with the staff at the Joslin Diabetes Center 1994 Published by Chronimed. ISBN 1-56561-051-2. US$14.95.

Outsmarting Diabetes is all about intensive management of Type 1 diabetes. Its 247 pages are packed with clearly written, detailed explanations of why intensive management is important (it reduces the risk of complications) and how to tailor an intensive management program to your specific situation. Chapters cover multiple daily injections, insulin pumps, pregnancy, exercise, psychological concerns, and an excellent discussion of “when things go awry.” Appendices discuss how to implement an Ultralente/Regular insulin regimen (though you could use Humalog instead of Regular) or pump therapy. If you have Type 1 diabetes and want a reference to help you manage your diabetes, Outsmarting Diabetes is an excellent resource.

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Needles: A Memoir of Growing Up With Diabetes by Andie Dominick 1998 Published by Scribner. ISBN 0-684-84232-7. US$22.00.

Needles: A Memoir of Growing up with Diabetes is an outstanding autobiography of a young woman diagnosed with diabetes at age 9. Andie Dominick recalls her diagnosis, done by her older sister and mentor, Denise, who’d been diagnosed in 1962, and her parents. She details her rebellious teen years, when she skipped her shots to lose weight, and subsequent consequences, how she reacted to the early death of her beloved sister, and her development of retinopathy. Ms. Dominick also describes her agonizing decision about not having children in light of the potential complications childbirth could cause. This very moving story is highly recommended for everyone with diabetes and parents of children with diabetes. This book contains some graphic descriptions of the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and may not be suitable for the squeamish.

— Brenda Hitchcock

Parents of children with diabetes often wonder how their children view life with diabetes. As parents, we struggle with caring for our children and their diabetes, but we can never experience diabetes as they do. I was quite moved by Needles and am grateful to Andie Dominick for putting into words her experiences and feelings, for in doing so, she has opened the door of wisdom and insight for all parents of children with diabetes. Highly recommended.

— Jeff Hitchcock

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