A long time ago I told my agent in no uncertain terms that I would never write a book on raising a child with diabetes. Okay, well, my book on raising a child with diabetes remains a best seller five years later, and while I’ve not taken a cent from those sales (they go to JDRF), I’ve benefited in so many ways. At speaking engagements, moms and dads comes up to be with their dog-eared copies and say things like, “When I thought I was all alone in this, I found your book.” And: “Reading it was like you were right there in the room talking me through all this.” I cannot explain the joy that brings; knowing I was able to use my literature degree to help people like that (and take that lady that I waited on circa 1979 who told me I couldn’t do much with a lit degree!) When I meet the parent of a child with D who cannot afford a book, I buy them one (believe it or not, we authors don’t get many free copies!) It makes me happy to be able to do this. So even though I was hesitant at the idea of writing a book on diabetes, in the end, I’m very glad I did.
Which is why today is an awesome day, as I officially announce the upcoming publication of my new book, “Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Survival Guide for Parents.” (Subhead: Surviving a thriving with your teen with diabetes). To be published by Spry Publishing, which is building a pretty impressive base of medical writers, the book will hit shelves, both virtual and real, toward the end of June 2013.
(Side note: I wanted to use some kind of wicked-cool catchy title like “DiabeTeens” but book titles are all about weird things like Search Engine Optimizing and googleability and all kind of things I know nothing about. After some back and forth I settled into this title and it’s great. And I learned how to say SEO like I knew what I was talking about even if I did not. But I digress).
I’m so very excited about the book because to me, it seems like there is such a need for a book that honestly addresses the challenges and complications of the teen years with T1D on board. I’ve long said that this period of a person’s life with T1D is kind of the “lost years.” No one wants to touch it. Pedi endos struggle with adapting to the changes at that period of life; adult endos forge ahead to adult issues. Parents are left scratching their heads (or banging them against the wall) while hormones mess with blood glucose values, personal decisions and life in general.
So what will I bring to this book? A been-there, done-that perspective that will include mistakes, hindsight, great ideas and input. Since I’m not a “trained expert,” I am thrilled to have on board as my medical advisors the amazing Jake Kushner, MD, chief of pediatric diabetes and endocrinology at Texas Children’s Hospital and the incoming President of the Society for Pediatric Research. At our house, though, he will always be known as “Dr. Dude,” and “Dr. Jake,” Lauren’s very first and still much beloved endo. Jake and I worked hand in hand on my Everything Diabetes book to great success and I so look forward to his guidance and input again. Jake has a vested interest: he is passionate about making life better for teens with diabetes.
As if that’s not enough, I am thrilled to also have the amazing Barbara Anderson, Ph.D, professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College, as an advisor as well. Barbara is truly one of the world’s most wonderful and respected experts on teens and diabetes, and having her guide me is only going to make this better. I am humbled that she said yes, and so excited to put our minds together on this project.
I’m a huge believer in regular folks like me writing on such topics, but only with excellent guidance. I’ve surely got that on this project.
The book will also feature some “Cameo appearances” from some great names in the diabetes world (and from my daughter with diabetes, Lauren). Folks who truly well-known will be contributing sidebars on everything from their perspective of being a teen with diabetes with how to get through the years.
I’m busy writing now. As always, I face this topic with complete humility and am working hard to make sure I create something useful, important and meaningful. I’m so happy my awesome daughter and I survived and eventually thrived in those years. I’m hoping my honest and open book on how it can be done helps many.
Stay tuned and send coffee. I’ve got deadlines to meet.