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Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well

Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well

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by Kerri Sparling

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When a person receives a diagnosis of diabetes, he or she starts a process of adjusting and making sense of the new normal living with a chronic disease. A large part of that adjustment is figuring out how to balance diabetes with all the intricacies of a life outside of diabetes care. In Balancing Diabetes, diabetes online community blogger Kerri Sparling


When a person receives a diagnosis of diabetes, he or she starts a process of adjusting and making sense of the new normal living with a chronic disease. A large part of that adjustment is figuring out how to balance diabetes with all the intricacies of a life outside of diabetes care. In Balancing Diabetes, diabetes online community blogger Kerri Sparling compiles strategies used by people with diabetes and their caregivers to bring that elusive balance into their lives. Whether adult or child, type 1 or type 2, spouse or caregiver, male or female, people in the diabetes world will find themselves in this book and be inspired by the commonality of that continuing search for balance.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From Kerri Sparling:

"Life with diabetes isn’t about the diabetes itself, but about the life it’s a part of. There is a life to be found after diagnosis, and it's a good one. Being able to take a blood sugar and remove the blame and guilt from that result, focusing only on the actions needed to correct that number or duplicate it? Viewing diabetes as something that doesn’t define you, but instead simply serves to explain why glucose tabs live in your glove compartment and there is a pile of used test strips on the floor by your bedside table? Being active and involved in a life that isn’t rule by insulin but is instead fueled by it? And realizing that diabetes isn’t something we can perfectly control, but we can do our best to manage it? That’s the balance I seek. I wanted to write book to shine a spotlight on that journey. This book is for the community of like-pancreased people who work hard to make diabetes a part of their bigger whole."

About Balancing Diabetes:

"This book is like participating in a diabetes patient support group and healthcare professional mastermind group at the same time. Kerri Sparling gives us honest, straight talk from people living with diabetes, the good and the bad, and excellent advice from medical professionals, all with the entertaining and humorous, even hilarious, style that only Kerri can deliver! I love it!"

Jay Hewitt, Type 1 diabetes since 1991, motivational speaker, attorney, father, Ironman triathlete and 3-time member of US National Team USA Long Distance Triathlon.

“There are many medical books on how to manage type 1, but there are precious few books on what is much more important – how to live a full, happy life with type 1 diabetes. With Balancing Diabetes, Kerri Sparling reaches out to the real experts – people living with type 1 diabetes – to bring perspective to the challenges of living well with type 1 diabetes. It is in the wisdom of these experts that we come to realize, as Kerri so eloquently reminds us, ‘Life with diabetes isn’t about the diabetes itself, but about the life of which it’s a part.’”

Jeff Hitchcock, Founder & President of Children with Diabetes

"In Balancing Diabetes Kerri Sparling really gets what it means to live well with diabetes. Kerri shares her own and others’ wonderful stories of adjusting again and again to the new normal with grace and enthusiasm. Starting with her childhood diagnosis through to getting her driver’s license, moving away to college, getting married and having her daughter, Kerri displays the beautiful adventure of life with a side of diabetes. This book is essential for anyone who experiences first-hand or through their connection with a loved one what it’s like to manage diabetes on top of living a wonderful and full life."

Sam Talbot, Chef, Author, and Top Chef Finalist

"You know, like I know, that balancing diabetes doesn’t come easy. It requires emotional work and physical work. Kerri and all her contributors communicate that of course living with this disease is a challenge every single day. But finding community, sharing tips, and being emotionally connected with a team is crucial to thriving. When I compete I couldn’t do it without my team backing me up- the same goes for anybody with diabetes, or their caretakers. “Balancing Diabetes” is all about the team that each person with diabetes needs to support them through the ups and downs of living a life with diabetes and without limits."

Sebastian Sasseville, Mt. Everest summiter, motivational speaker and a person with type 1 diabetes

"Just finished reading Kerri Morrone Sparling's first book, Balancing Diabetes---- it's like reading a personal letter from Kerri to you on the many aspects of life that are touched by diabetes. No matter how good or lousy you feel now about your d-Life, you'll feel better after you read it!"

Ginger Vieira, Diabetes Daily

"Balancing Diabetes explains the true complexity of the emotional toll diabetes takes whether you've had it for 1 month, 20 years, or not at all. The unique and relatable perspectives of Kerri and her friends makes you feel like you're sitting down chatting over a cup of coffee with everyone. After reading her trial and error tell-all, you don't even know you're informing yourself, you're just inspired to have hope and integrate her subtle helpful hints into your daily life!"

Jackie Singer, co-founder of the Diabetic Angels & member of the music group MJ2.

"I was surprised at how quickly I was engaged in this book and before I could put it down I had five chapters read! Being a mother of a person with diabetes, I am always looking to gain some insight into his perspective. This book brought in a variety of personalities and opinions that made it a perfect fit for everyone who has diabetes living somewhere in their lives. This is definitely a must read book."

Barbra Wagstaff, Founder of Diabetes Advocacy

"Balancing Diabetes covers the topics that a person with diabetes cares about that aren’t discussed the day you are diagnosed. From the family dynamics, to college life. From exercise with diabetes, to travel preparations. From romantic relationships, to parenting. This book touches on all of these topics and more with Kerri’s usual wit, sass, and approachable writing style. I haven’t read every book on diabetes there is, but the ones I have read tend to lean heavier on medical terms and formal language and phrasing. Balancing Diabetes reads more like a conversation among friends. We know what things are supposed to be called, and we have no problem using technical terms, but when this information is presented in a casual nature, it’s easier to read and easier to connect with.

Chris Snider, A Consequence of Hypoglycemia

"Reading Balancing Diabetes is equivalent to sitting in a coffee shop one afternoon and having the opportunity to listen in on a group of people with diabetes while they share all of the secrets, tips, and funny stories they have uncovered during their lifetime with diabetes! It is a must-read, particularly for young women with diabetes who are trying to find their way in the world! Kerri serves as a great role model and guide throughout the entire book and in her every day life. Great job, Kerri!"

Brandy Barnes, Founder & CEO, DiabetesSisters

"Balancing Diabetes is an insightful look into the lives of people affected by diabetes. Kerri provides readers with great commentary and information from the patient's point of view herself, while adding anecdotes from her friends and family who have lived alongside her diabetes. She brings together her personal story with those of others in the diabetes community to create one connected account of life with diabetes. The stories within Balancing Diabetes reaffirm that people with diabetes are not alone as well as providing inspiration to be successful, engaged and proactive with their healthcare and lifestyles!"

Charlie Kimball, IndyCar Series driver

“A must-read! This book is a superb blend of diabetes advice, stories, and insights from Kerri Sparling and her very smart friends. With empathy and skill, Sparling guides the reader through the complexities of this daunting but at-the-best-of-times most manageable condition. Sparling captures the nuances of a balanced life in diabetes, drawing upon her conversations with friends to share the vivid experiences, hard-earned lessons, and small triumphs that accompany this condition.”

Kelly Close, Editor in Chief, diaTribe.org

"It’s easy to fall in love with Kerri’s writing style; it’s full of truth and humor, and presented in a way that you can’t help but relate to. If you like what you find on her blog, Six Until Me, you’ll find that same entertaining style and character here. Kerri is a master at her craft–storytelling with emotion, humor, education, and hope–and it comes through brilliantly in her first book."

Scott Johnson, Scott's Diabetes.com

"In Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well, she recounts many of her own experiences and thoughts as they relate to a life with diabetes: early memories of her diagnosis; the cruel wrath of a grade school bully; dating and relationship; her pregnancy and delivery of her daughter, and then motherhood; fitting diabetes devices into daily life; travel; the list goes on. She didn't stop there, though. She includes the thoughts of around 40 other people affected by diabetes (disclosure: I am one of them) to round out each chapter, and I loved the conversational tone it created. It takes a lot of courage to be as vulnerable as Kerri has been in this book, and that vulnerability is exactly what allows us, as readers, to connect with her so deeply. I hope you'll order a copy or twelve - it's a wonderful read."

Kim Vlasnik, Texting My Pancreas

"When I reached Kerri’s final chapter, I found myself a little bummed — that the book-reading experience was coming to a close. She “Wow’d” me in these last pages, talking about the delicate balance between scare tactics and a reasonable dose of healthy fear, and how those play into diabetes management. And she ends with a reassertion that this is all a journey, and community perspective and support is one of the most valuable things. And so, IMH(DOC)O, Kerri’s book is totally worth a buy."

Mike Hoskins, Diabetes Mine

Product Details

Spry Publishing LLC
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Barnes & Noble
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573 KB

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Meet the Author

Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes for more than 26 years. She believes: “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.” Kerri is the creator of www.SixUntilMe.com, started in May 2005. She has contributed to many health-related publications and is a passionate advocate for diabetes awareness. Focusing on the psychosocial side of diabetes and how peer-to-peer connections can impact diabetes management, Kerri presents regularly at conferences and currently works full-time as a writer and consultant.

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Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disclosure up front: Kerri is my friend, and I am quoted in this book. Kerri has such a gift when it comes to writing: she is relatable, witty to no end, and keeps a conversational tone that you can instantly connect with. She has weaved together the stories, experiences, and advice from around 40 other people in the diabetes community, alongside her own thoughts and insight. This book is a delight to read. Everyone who is newly diagnosed should be handed a copy of it. Signed, Kim Vlasnik
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has been the perfect book to read with my T1D daughter. My daughter was diagnosed at 6 with type 1 and is now 18. She's going to college in the fall. She's taken care of herself for years without much help from her mom or me. But still college is all new.  We've been reading up on success strategies for transferring to an environment with more stress, alcohol, food temptations and less help. My daughter has read Kerri's blog for years and asked us to get her this book. I bought it and we read it on our Nooks together. y daughter was diagnosed at 6 with type 1 and is now 18. She's going to college in the fall. She's taken care of herself for years without much help from her mom or me. I was surprised to find that the entire book is full of stories, encouragement, and tips for all parts of a life with type 1 diabetes. There are sections on having children, choosing a partner, and traveling, for example. I want my daughter to be able to do all those things w/o T1d holding her back. She wants that too. This book is inspiring and helpful and will be reread by my daughter, my wife, and I for years to come, I am sure of it.  - Greg Kissel
Margo_H More than 1 year ago
As a PWD who doesn't spend a ton of time online, I'd never really read Kerri's blog until recently. I got her book on the recommendation of a close friend, and absolutely fell in love with her easy, conversational style, honesty, and realness. She paints a realistic portrait of life with diabetes, but it's a life that's full of hope and support, all while not coming across as sugary-sweet optimistic.  I love what she says near the end: "Instead of viewing diabetes as my arch nemesis, I need to view it as my partner. (Or perhaps a business associate with whom I'm forced to work on a lifelong presentation?) Diabetes can't be changed, and even if I exercise violently every day and eat a raw food/paleo/ice cubes and biscuits diet for the rest of my life, my islet cells won't ever be reignited." YES KERRI!! Diabetes cannot be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but it can be dealt with in ways that allow a PWD to still live a full, happy life, which Kerri seems to have. The testimony and advice from people in her own circles, from family members to college buddies to diabetes professionals, is so relateable, and she really has created a needed resource for anyone with diabetes.  It's not a how-to manual, or a "Look, I have it all figured out!" declaration, but a helpful book full of great writing, funny stories, and spirit. I started reading Six Until Me (her blog) after reading the book, and it's similar, though a little less tightly written. Glad to have all her best work in a book that I can continue to reread!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago