I realize today is “Wordless Wednesday” and I should just be showcasing a picture something diabetes related and leave it at that. However, today I do not feel so wordless. It has been a week since I have posted anything. Hell it has been even longer since I actually wrote something. Life has been busy. I have been busy, so I am today is a Ketchup and Mustard sorta day. (Ketchup = Catch up and Mustard = Mustard)
Last week, people were talking about the Lily Bloggers event that they all went to, without me (jerks). No, but seriously. I loved reading their blog posts, seeing some of their tweeted comments and the like about the conference. I think it was good, more so I do like to see that Lily/Disney on some level are trying to make diabetes awareness more well out there. Very great idea and putting the muscle of certain companies behind an idea can make all of the difference to helping a cause.
So I was reading Lorraine’s blog post about the books and a comment she made kinda made me laugh but realize if I was a parent, I might be having those same thoughts. “The struggles featured for these characters were more emotional as opposed to physical. For tweens that may indeed be the priority at first…… found myself anticipating an out-of-range blood sugar at one of the many times the characters responsibly checked their bg. It might be better to say I was actually rooting for an out-of-range blood sugar to see how the story would address it because so many other things were being portrayed well. Those opportunities were few.”
Dealing with hypo’s in a kids book could be freaky on some level to young kids, even though we know they will face them. This comment along with some other comments got me thinking, which is a very bad thing at times about life in general and books I have read about characters or people with type one diabetes. I can count on one finger the amount of books I have read about this. Sad?!? I don’t know. I was/am a nerd. When I was younger I read a million books a year, now I am slowing down and reading only about half a million a year. I never knew or thought about books like this. Looking for the character, the “role model” so to speak who has type one diabetes. I have found real life role models. Nothing really in writing.
Three?!? or so years ago I stumbled upon this book. I think the title or suggestion came up in a conversation over on Juvenation. I could be so wrong on this. My memory is not what it once was. Anyway, the book called This Side of Normal by Eric Devine suddenly came into my life. Here’s the
biography of the author.
“I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at age twelve. I remember every detail: my mother’s face, the solemnity of the hospital, the absolute confusion. Those images will never leave me and have worked their way into This Side of Normal. This book is not my story. It is Ed’s. The details of such, however, were hard-won. Life with type one diabetes is not easy. Every day is different from the last. That is the essence of a chronic illness. Life becomes a paradox: success one day, and then failure the next, without having altered the treatment. It is a humbling experience. I believe I have captured what it is like to be an adolescent today, searching for identity while struggling not to be overpowered by one’s own body. It is a unique dynamic, but one that reflects a more universal dilemma: accepting one’s vulnerability and entrusting others with our weaknesses. Adults and adolescents—with or without diabetes—can relate. We have all been Ed at one time or another”
So anyway, I decided what they hey, let’s order this bad boy. The book came and I can remember myself becoming instantly engrossed in the tale. I mean it was an amazing tale. I actually do remember sending an e-mail off to Eric at that time thanking him for the book.
Anyway, back to my own rambling and musings. After reading the various comments about the Lily books, I thought to myself. “Brian you should reread this book and see what you can get out of it now.” I responded with the obvious response of “Brian, you don’t have this book anymore you gave it to someone else to read and they never returned it. (This is why I don’t like lending my stuff out to people anymore.)” I was pretty bummed, but I went to Amazon anyway just out of curiosity to see if I could find another copy of the book for cheap. There it was $2.99, Kindle edition. Hell, I could do that. That is one less Iced Coffee for the week and well worth it.
So I downloaded the book, (I apologize as I write this I am giving you all way to much insight into how my mind thinks and how it writes… eep!!). I loved it again. The thing is with this book the character is someone we have all seen in ourselves on some level. Let me start out by saying that this book is definitely PG more like PG-13 for some of the language, not bad language but crude at times and the use of the word “Piss” in the first chapter alone as the character is struggling pre-diagnosis about how often he has to pee can be seen as strongly used.
The thing is the book is well written, it does give us the reader a look into the thought processes of a newly diagnosed young man, but more so the after events. Dealing with the diagnosis, the lows, the highs, the frustrations, mixing alcohol into everything, but also the loss of a friend due to the “disease”. It is truly a great book.
The second time through reading this more ideas and thoughts came to mind. How on so many levels I was able to relate to Ed and the processes he went through. How my best friend and I went our separate ways post diagnosis and truly until recently it never clicked to me, that maybe it was because of this that all of a sudden we had stopped hanging out. It really made me think.
Anyway, I am just writing this and offering a suggestion about an interesting read. I wish there was more to the story or book two. However, that does not seem to be in the works.
*** Disclaimer – I Brian have chosen on my own to write a small review of this book. I am in no way shape or form benefiting from this review. I have not been asked, contacted, begged, or pleaded with with by the author, publisher, or seller to write this review to help generate sales income. I did this on my own. However, my stamp of approval does still stand. ***