Book Reviews

Blood Sugar’s Up and Down?-This Book Can Help

Stop the Rollercoaster by John Walsh, PA, CDE, Ruth Roberts, MA, and Lois Jovanovic, MD

207 pages, $21.95

To order contact Torrey Pines Press

(800) 988-4772

Leap, lurch, plunge and soar-this is great fun when you’re on an amusement park ride, but it all becomes pretty scary when it describes out-of-control blood sugars ruining your life. Now, a new book, Stop the Rollercoaster, offers the help you need.

Written by two diabetes specialists with diabetes and a medical writer, Stop the Rollercoaster addresses the 4.8 million people with diabetes in the U.S. who use insulin, and the families and health providers involved in their care.

Stop the Rollercoaster is filled with useful tips on how to count carbohydrates and how to balance carbs and exercise with insulin, enabling the reader to correct peaking and dropping blood sugars.

“It is a winner,” according to Bob Levine, who wrote to DIABETES HEALTH to express his enjoyment of the book. “These people have walked the walk.”

This book is for people who want to take charge of their blood sugars. June Biermann and Barbara Toohey, who have also written books on diabetes, put it this way: “If you’ve been flying your blood sugars by the seat of your pants, this book is like getting an advanced instrument system and radar to guide you!”

Honest Talk About a Tough Subject-Complications

Living with Diabetic Complications: a Survival Guide for Patients by a Patient by Judy Curtis

264 pages

To order send $14.95 to:

Outreach Enterprises

2309 SW 1st Ave., Suite 1842

Portland, OR 97201

Judy Curtis is no stranger to diabetes complications. From her own type I diabetes she has dealt with retinopathy and cataracts, kidney failure resulting in dialysis and eventual transplant, coronary disease leading to quadruple bypass surgery, and neuropathy which lead to the amputation of her right foot in 1990.

“I’ve often felt like an old car that’s always in the shop for repairs,” Curtis jokes in the preface of her book, Living with Diabetic Complications. Curtis, however, manages to lead a full and happy life despite all this. In this book she shares what she has learned. Her goal is to help others cope with-not prevent-diabetic complications.

The results of the DCCT let the diabetic community know that controlling blood glucose is the best way to avoid complications. But, as Curtis points out, complications can, and do, arise and must be dealt with. She looks past blame and toward moving on.

The first section of the book focuses on the physical aspects of complications. In writing the book, Curtis sent out hundreds of questionnaires to people with diabetic complications. If there is a complication Curtis hasn’t had, one of her respondents certainly has. This allows her to talk about kidney disease, skin and joint problems, and blindness from a perspective of someone who has been there. She describes how to detect warning signs when complications are coming on, and what the reality of physical ailments feels like.

In the second section, she discusses the emotional impact of having these ailments. The most important thing, Curtis says, is to keep a healthy outlook. People can live with complications-and live well.

The final section of the book deals with the social ramifications of having these ailments. Curtis is very aware that there is no way to keep complications from affecting loved ones. She also understands the complicated relationships with health care professionals and the kinds of problems that will arise. She shares her own ideas on health workers, and relays some of the complaints and comments from her questionnaire respondents.

In addition to the plethora of first-hand knowledge Curtis provides, she also supplies a resource guide. An appendix lists resources and phone numbers for finding help and information on complications arising from diabetes.

This is an important book for people with diabetes. It is uplifting and reassuring, letting people with diabetes complications know there are others out there who have survived and maintained a healthy outlook.

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