Life with diabetes isn’t about the diabetes itself, but about the life it’s a part of.  There is a life to be found after diagnosis, and it’s a good one.  Being able to take a blood sugar and remove the blame and guilt from that result, focusing only on the actions needed to correct that number or duplicate it?  Viewing diabetes as something that doesn’t define you, but instead simply serves to explain why glucose tabs live in your glove compartment and there is a pile of used test strips on the floor by your bedside table?  Being active and involved in a life that isn’t ruled by insulin but is instead fueled by it?  And realizing that diabetes isn’t something we can perfectly control, but we can do our best to manage it?

That’s the balance I seek.  Daily.

Last year, the team at Spry Publishing approached me about developing an idea, and from that discussion came Balancing Diabetes.  At first, I laughed (and cringed) at the title because I didn’t (and don’t) have diabetes balanced …

“I like the title, but it is a little tongue-in-cheek because I think I’m always searching for some semblance of balance.  Let’s make it about the journey that is the pursuit of balance, and not the achievement of said balance because I can’t pretend to have accomplished that.  Cool?”

And it was cool.

So I spent many months fleshing out ideas, interviewing friends and family who are touched by diabetes, and tried to write a book that wasn’t a “how to” (because I cannot write a how-to … still figuring out the self-how’ing) but more a “how we do.”

I wanted to write book to shine a spotlight on that journey.  This book is for the community of like-pancreased people who work hard to make diabetes a part of their bigger whole.

But I didn’t do it alone.

I owe several people a huge debt of gratitude for their contributions, patience, and trust as I worked through the writing process, weaving my words with theirs and trying to share our diabetes stories as a collective.  Several of these people have known me for ages, like my much-loved parents, siblings, and friends I grew up with, and many other voices are from the diabetes community, but every voice is one I’m proud to include. I wanted to make sure that, as proud as I am to have authored a book, I’m even more proud of the people I had the honor of working with.

Here are links to the online “homes” of so many of the contributors (this is not a full list of contributors – just those with online hubs):

Abby Bayer                   Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell
Adam Brown                     Karen Graffeo
Blair Ryan                          Karen Hoffman
Briley Boisvert                  Kim Vlasnik
Chloe Vance                      Lindsay Rhoades
Christel Aprigliano          Lindsay Swanson
Christopher Angell          Manny Hernandez
Christopher Snider          Melissa Baland Lee
Dana Lewis                        Ryan Noonan
George Simmons              Sara Nicastro
Ginger Vieira                     Scott Johnson
Harry Thompson             Dr. Sean Oser
Jackie Singer                     Dr. Shara Bialo
Jacquie Wojcik 

I’m so grateful for their contributions, because there isn’t just “one voice” that represents people with diabetes.  Every voice matters.  I hope that Balancing Diabetes becomes a resource for people who want confirmation that they aren’t alone, and to hear from the personal experiences of others.

The paperback book is now available for order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and digital (e-book) versions are available, too.  In efforts to not annoy the hell out of people who don’t want updates about the book, I’ll be updating the Balancing Diabetes page here at Six Until Me and the Balancing Diabetes Facebook page with links to reviews, news, and other awkward things.

The support from all of you has been tremendous, and so appreciated.  I’m really grateful to have a community like ours to share these moments with.  Thanks so much, and I hope you enjoy the book!