Changing one life at a time, and then again a few more
Posted Jul 17 2009 10:51pm
This past Monday, July 13, was the release date for my new book. I was in San Francisco visiting a friend on my way to Medford, Oregon to give the motivational presentation I give to fellow patients.
My friend and I went to her local Barnes & Noble to see if they had the book in stock. Sure 'nough there it was sitting demurely on the shelf, just waiting. Let's say it was a quiet thrill. After spending last year writing it, I feel quite proud of the result: Great information, a true education in the compelling format of myths/truths, and actionable steps from 21 leading diabetes experts. Everything you need to know. Also, fellow patients' "lessons learned" and my own experiences from traveling to an ignorant patient to giving patient presentations. If you've read a little of this blog, you'll recognize the empathic voice which is the tone of the book. But, of course, for the scintillating back story, just click here.
On the plane on my way to Medford I sat next to a woman who shared with me that her husband had diabetes but then lost nearly 50 pounds and doesn't have the symptoms anymore. She too is looking to lose weight knowing her weight makes her a candidate for diabetes as well. She felt a little more inspired to manage her diet after talking when we deplaned in Portland.
The hotel van driver who picked me up at the airport in Medford told me everyone in his family has diabetes. I would guess his age at about 22, but I didn't have to guess that his chances of getting diabetes are huge, given he's significantly overweight and it runs in his family. I think I opened his eyes.
After my diabetes presentation, I sat in the diabetes center's office waiting for my ride back to the hotel. A young girl, about seven, and her parents walked in. I suspected she had type 1. I had to test my blood sugar as it often rises from the nervous stress of giving a presentation. While I don't feel nervous, it's almost always an automatic response. The little girl watched me intently check my blood sugar. Then I took out my syringe to give myself a small corrective dose. I caught her eyes again watching me and I said, "You do this too?" She smiled and nodded. I walked over to her and her mother and said, "You just take care of it and you'll be one of us, a real superhero." Then I showed her my bracelet and asked if she could read the words on it. She read aloud, "Diabetes Pride." I said, "those are good words to remember."
When I was younger I wanted to help people believe in themselves. I knew my talents were writing, illustrating and speaking and that somehow I would use those. I just never knew it would be about diabetes.