My Life as a Diabetic
by Celeste Barnard
Xlibris AU

"Diabetes kills more people each year than other fatal diseases, such as heart attacks and cancer."

Author Barnard was in the midst of a fulfilling life with her husband and children when, at the age of twenty-nine, she began having headaches, desperate thirst, and spells of violent nausea. Hospitalizations became unavoidable until, finally, she was told she had Type 2 diabetes. She coped as well as she could with pills and diet, but the temptations of sugary foods would overwhelm her at times, and she would wind up back in the hospital again. Meanwhile, the family was migrating, first from South Africa to a farm in Zimbabwe, and when that country fell into crisis, to Australia where they now reside. The stresses of these changes exacerbated Barnard’s symptoms. She was finally diagnosed with Type 1, insulin-dependent diabetes, leading to further major health crises with which she is still dealing. Her attitude is hopeful, though, and she has written her story to encourage others.

Barnard’s recollections will doubtless have a familiar ring to those who have her disease. Her sense of hope and humor is obvious from her repeated personal signal for yielding to temptation and heralding oncoming attacks of nausea: “BAM: CFS!!!!” (carbs, fats, sugars). On several occasions, just the appearance of her husband or a dear friend would lift her out of her physical and mental misery, but her greatest defense was her strong will, as she determinedly forced herself to take medications and make the needed changes in her lifestyle that her illness required. At the end of each chapter, she includes a short section, “What I Have Learnt,” offering medical and scientific information on such subjects as ketoacidosis and neuropathy. Barnard’s warm, honest writing style reaches out to a general readership, while the lessons of her personal struggles and the knowledge she has accrued will doubtless be useful to fellow diabetes sufferers.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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