My four-year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 12/27/2017. The first month after diagnosis was a complete blur of finger pokes, insulin injections, food weighing and carb counting…and crying and eating pie on the couch after my son fell asleep. Let’s just say I was not at my best. After about a month of tears in my eyes and head in a fog, I needed some semblance of control in a new world that felt completely overwhelming. How do you even start to manage type 1 diabetes?
Clearly, I didn’t have any answers. But, like everything in life Google usually gives me a starting point. Google pointed me to Facebook where I joined every T1D group possible and began to connect with other T1D mamas. I started reading post after post occasionally coming across a book recommendation. Soon after I began compiling a list of every recommended T1D read…and then ordered every single book.
The second the shipment of books arrived at my doorstep I started to read and read and read. Every morning I read through as many pages as humanly possible while my toddler happily watched Moana on my lap and my T1D kiddo was sound asleep. I poured through each book, highlighting relevant information and folding page corners for future reference. You see, my personality craves control and one of the hardest attributes of type 1 diabetes is that it can feel uncontrollable.
I’ll never forget the very first book I read and will be forever grateful. This book gave me practical, hands-on information for the basic steps to start understanding the correlation between blood sugar and food. Even more, it helped guide me through the process of making small adjustments to I:C (insulin to carb) and ISF (insulin sensitivity factor) ratios that can make a big difference. And if ever there was a book title that perfectly encapsulated the subject matter of the book, well let’s just say this title would win an award.
>>Dear readers, this is not medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your routine or ratios as related to your diabetes management.<<
Your Diabetes Science Experiment by Ginger Vieira
This book taught me many things, so let me share my biggest take-aways.
- It gave me confidence to try making small ratio adjustments based on blood sugar experiments. I went from a deer in the headlights at the hospital during diagnosis to having confidence to successfully adjust ratios on my own.
- This book gave me a general outline of how to record data points and connect the dots to know which changes worked or what to try next time. It is methodical and laid out in an easy-to-understand format.
- Even more important, this book gave me a beginning base of knowledge to draw upon when I happened upon my next favorite book type one book.
Sugar Surfing by Stephen W. Ponder, MD, FAAP, CDE
Let me count the ways that I love this book.
- First, it is written by a pediatric endocrinologist…who has type 1 diabetes! This doctor gets it because he lives with it…(insert mic drop emoji here).
- Second, this book lets you choose what lifestyle works for your family. There is zero judgement whether you prefer to go the low-carb route, the we-eat-every-carb route or some lifestyle in-between. He believes you choose the lifestyle and you can best manage your diabetes.
- Third, this book opens your mind to the possibility of dynamic diabetes management. Dynamic WHAT?! I had no idea what this was either. In a nutshell, it means managing your diabetes based on the present moment and recent trends instead of using a static (non-changing) ratio prescribed months ago.
- Fourth, this book provides various methods to manage blood sugar. Some of these methods are for beginners and some are more advanced, so it meets you where you are on your blood sugar journey and gives you room to improve when you are ready.
With this book, you can start BIG or start small depending on your comfort level. As the mom of a newly diagnosed four year old, let me tell you I started SLOW and SMALL. But I started nonetheless and I will always be grateful for Dr. Ponder’s approach to T1D management.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the last 90 days? Click here to claim your FREE copy of Sugar Surfing!!
Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE
This book is PACKED with knowledge and definitely make this your third read. It is heavy on the math and heavy on information. This is one of the books that you read and set down. You pick back up a few weeks later to read and digest again. You go back to the book for reference when something unexpected pops up along your blood sugar journey that you need to solve. It will be an entirely overwhelming read if you were diagnosed yesterday or last week or last month, so take your time and build your basic foundation of knowledge, so then you will be ready to think like a pancreas. This book is actually on my 2019 reading list…again…because it is time for me to revisit this book and digest…again. Will you join me and we can read along together?
These are my three favorite type 1 diabetes reads. Do you have any books that changed your management style or that you love in general? Drop me a comment because I would love to read your favorite T1D books too! Keep at it…hang in there…just breathe…you got this…