May 11, 2013

Book Review: My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes and Successful Men with Diabetes

This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. These book reviews (Women) and (Men) also appear on and the books can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check out these books and consider a purchase.

Wow! If you or a loved one has diabetes or you are a healthcare provider who works with people with diabetes, the twin compendiums, My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes and My Sweet Life: Successful Men with Diabetes, should be on your list of must reads!

These two books are the brainchild of Beverly Adler, a person who herself has had type 1 diabetes for 38 years. Dr. Adler, (AKA Dr. Bev), is also a psychologist (PhD) and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). See the Dialoging about Diabetes: PWD offer Ways to Improve Communication and Care #7 Dr. Beverly Adler.  

In both My Sweet Life books, each about 250 pages, Beverly has compiled stories from people who have had diabetes for a number of years. Collectively these books represent hundreds of years of wisdom around living with this VERY challenging disease. Most of the women and men who Dr. Bev lends the pages of her books to share their stories have type 1 or LADA – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (more closely resembles type 1 than type 2). There are sprinklings of stories from people with type 2 diabetes, but not enough in my mind as this represents about 95% of diabetes in the U.S. Maybe Dr. Bev is saving their stories for volume 3?

Many of the people who recount their years with diabetes have lived with it using, relatively speaking, much more rudimentary tools than we have available today (yes, boiling glass syringes, NPH and Regular insulin, urine testing, etc.)…and they’re still relatively rudimentary, but in many respects, light years better. 

In My Sweet Life: Successful Men with Diabetes, you’ll hear from a sports star, Jay Hewitt, two diabetes educator stars Keith Campbell, a pharmacist, and Gary Scheiner, an exercise physiologist; a chef, Chris Smith, and a race car driver, Charlie Kimball. Plus several men we’ve gotten to know in and around the Diabetes Online Community as diabetes advocates, George Simmons and Scott Johnson…and many others.

In My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes, you’ll hear from a professional dancer, Zippora Karz and Mari Ruddy, who is an athlete and creator of Team WILD. Amy Tenderich, one of the early and successful diabetes bloggers ( and a few women who double as PWD and diabetes educators, Claire Blum and Connie Hanham-Cain. And yes the Diabetes Online Community is well represented with stories from key advocates, Riva Greenberg, Kelly Kunik and Kerri Morrone Sparling…and many others.

Each and every one of these PWD shares the intimate details of their diabetes diagnosis along with the ups and downs, ins and outs of managing their diabetes and their lives (yes, therein lies a big and continuous challenge) through the years. Yes, you’ll read about the challenges and triumphs of managing pregnancies, the trials and tribulations of developing and dealing with diabetes complications – from eye problems to kidney problems and more.

The contributors to My Sweet Life – both the men and the women -- don’t mince their words. There’s no holding back. They put the good, the bad and the ugly out on the pages. What’s interesting and particularly valuable is that by the end of reading most peoples’ stories you realize that they believe their lives, overall, have been enriched by diabetes.Yes, it’s true! In essence, as I say, they’ve made lemonade out of a lemon in life. Kudos to them all!

I believe that these two compendiums should be required reading for healthcare providers who work with people with diabetes. Reading these from the heart stories can help sensitize us to the significant emotional challenges of managing diabetes along with real life. No easy task!

As a diabetes educator I would think, but don’t claim to know for sure, that these books would be of value to people with diabetes and possibly their loved ones and/or care givers at various times during the course of their life with diabetes. But, only when they’re ready.

Yes, I believe they are valuable reads! Thanks to Dr. Bev for having the vision and fortitude to bring these books, filled with heart-warming stories, to us.