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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ronald N. Cohen, MD (University of Chicago Medical Center)
Description: The primary author describes this book best: "This book is about living with dignity while simultaneously dealing with diabetes."
Purpose: The purpose is to provide information and ideas to people with diabetes and give them a "healthy perspective on living with diabetes, balancing hope with realism." This is a very worthy objective, and the author is very successful in doing this.
Audience: People living with diabetes are the target audience, although the book clearly would be helpful to friends and family members as well. It is an empowering book, written for people who want to take an active role in their care, and points out how each person can take charge. Ms. Crowe is herself a diabetic, and she shares her experience and wisdom as a patient and a person.
Features: She starts with the idea of developing one's own personal mission statement. She then discusses important medical facts about diabetes and its complications. The chapter, "Make Your Doctor Work for You," helps patients find the right physician and to work with that physician as a partner. There are also excellent discussions concerning relationships and emotions. The book ends with a call for action. As a clinician, I think one of the best things about this book is that readers will come away from it as active participants in the doctor-patient relationship. Any weaknesses are minor. I might change a bit on the descriptions of medications, but that does not detract from the real strengths of the book.
Assessment: This is an excellent book for people with diabetes, their families, and their friends. It does a great job of helping people become active managers of their own health care. The introduction includes Ms. Crowe's "manifesto," based on her 37 years of living with diabetes. In a sense, it summarizes the entire book. As she says, "I will do my best to manage what is in my control and will try to tolerate the fact that much is not . . . I will fight ignorance and attempt to educate people when I would rather fly into a rage . . . I will not sacrifice my life to diabetes. It is just a disease, after all."