(writing about) Diabetes Alert Dogs

My current projects right now range from researching/interviewing and writing about: the favelas of Brazil (Pedro Lobo), service dogs for diabetics and women with depression. I’m all over the place and I love it! I’m learning about the ability of trained dogs to pick up the scent of low blood sugars and to alert their owners. The science and research to fully understand how all this works is scanty, and kennels (some good some not so good) are popping up every day as the demand from desperate parents grow, and after talking to a several owners, I’m convinced that these dogs can be a powerful tool for people with diabetes.

Some words of caution: this is not for everyone and requires a lot of work…..

Check out the tudiabetes page and I’ll post a link to my article in Diabetes Health when it is published.

Chapter 3! Of the Smart Women’s Guide to Diabetes (working title)

Starting to write questions for Chapter 3, Eating, Body Image, Disordered Eating…this is going to be a big chapter and I need to figure out how to structure it! I remember one of my first questions when I was diagnosed was, “does this mean I can’t drink Cherry Coke?” I was 14 years old and Cherry Coke was a new flavor in 1985. Diet Cherry Coke didn’t come on the market for another year and the only people I knew who drank diet sodas were women on diets, not other 14 year olds. I loved the raspberry color of the Cherry Coke can, the way it fit into my hands, the taste that was dark and sweet and perfect after field hockey practice. I remember that not being able to drink my favorite soda felt like another small stab of cruelty, of punishment, another way of keeping me from having as much fun as everyone else. After I was diagnosed, Cherry Coke became so much more than a soda…..

I can’t wait to read the stories from my women with diabetes friends and find out which foods or drinks became symbols for everything they had to say no to.

Chapter 1 interviews

I was really unprepared for my reaction to reading all the stories from women with diabetes that have been coming through my email. I am not an emotional person (for many reasons I won’t go into now…), but needless to say, tears have come to my eyes many times throughout these last two weeks as I’ve read the diagnosis stories I’m collecting for my book: Women with Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating to Motherhood. I love that so many women are eager to participate and share their personal stories so that other women will benefit and feel less alone! That is my hope anyway. Some of these women include Rachel Garlinghouse (check out her blog at: http://sugarspiceandmorethingsnice.blogspot.com/), Cheryl Alkon, and Kelly Love Johnson….among so many wonderful others! I am still looking for teenagers, I definitely don’t have enough stories from young women so if anyone knows of a teenage girl with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, send her my way!

Spreading the word…

Thanks to Amy Tenderich for mentioning my book-in-progress in her post, “What I’m Reading…“on her website: Diabetes Mine. I’ll be interviewing Amy tomorrow about her personal experiences with diabetes for my book and I look forward to hearing her story. She has done amazing things for diabetes in a short amount of time, so I’m glad to have her participate in this project!