21 June 2016 Why Write One More Book About Diabetes?

I had a book brewing inside me for several years. And then it took me several more years to write it, edit it, and publish it. My goal was to share my philosophy and approach to living well with diabetes. I realize that there are thousands of books about diabetes out there, but I couldn’t find one with the positive perspective I wanted to deliver.

I believe that being positive about diabetes – in other words, taking it on and fitting it into life, instead of the other way around – is the most effective way to live well with diabetes. I felt that I needed to share that with those who are new to diabetes, and those who love someone with diabetes. I’d like to think there’s something in the book for everyone, but those are the two primary audiences.

I was very fortunate to have a mostly positive experience when I was diagnosed with diabetes. My parents received fabulous education and support, and so did I. In fact, when I was interviewing each of my family members while writing the book, my dad told me that our diabetes educator (Sheila) told my parents to raise me in a way that diabetes never got in the way of anything I wanted to do. And that’s exactly what they did.

Not everyone has a positive experience at diagnosis. There is often a lot of shame involved, as well as fear, and even confusion. Diabetes is a complex disease that requires a lot of thinking. When someone is diagnosed they may not be ready or even able to hear everything and apply everything right away. My book is a way to help people slow down, take a breath, and kind of reboot. I share all sorts of information about managing diabetes while staying positive and focused on living well.

Because most people have told me over the years that food is the hardest part of managing diabetes, I decided to make food the context of my book. I have not always had an easy time with food and my diabetes, and having a normal relationship with food is something I continue to strive for. Rather than getting bogged down in “shoulds” and “can’ts,” my message (and the title of my book) is that People with Diabetes can Eat Anything: it’s all about balance.

Another important message throughout the book is that managing diabetes is about making choices. As long as we own our choices, we don’t have to feel bad about them. If one choice didn’t work, we can move on and do it differently next time.

I wrote this book to help people with diabetes and their loved ones see that managing diabetes is not about being perfect or beating ourselves up; it’s about being positive, adjusting our attitude and focusing on life. Diabetes is not easy, but with knowledge and support, we can do this.

Jane K. Dickinson

RN, PhD, CDE

is a nurse and diabetes educator who has had type 1 diabetes for 41 years. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two teenage kids. Jane is the program director and faculty for the Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management Program at Teachers College Columbia University and the Certificate in Advanced Diabetes Topics (which are solely online). Jane also serves as the type 1 diabetes resource in her local community and blogs at www.janekdickinson.com. Jane has been passionate about starting a diabetes language movement for over two decades, and she began her research on the impact of diabetes-related language in 2015.

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