April 3, 2010

21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes

Blog, we have a special guest today, fellow Milwaukee area author and dear friend Cherie Burbach.  She's here to share with us about a subject dear to my heart:  diabetes.  That's another thing that she and I have in common!

I became an insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetic in my late 30s, while active and in excellent health.  It's a disease that can be really weird that way...it often doesn't make a lot of sense, even to those who have it.  And for those who don't, but are close to those who do, it can be even more mystifying.  That's why Cherie wrote her book, 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes. I've read it, and it's great!  So I asked her some questions about the book....

Q: Why did you feel that a book like this would be useful to a large portion of the population?

A: Over the past twenty years, I've been surprised at some of the things I've heard from people about the disease. Friends and even family members seemed to have big misconceptions about diabetes. They weren't trying to be careless or hurtful, they just didn't know. The things that surprised me the most were, in my opinion, some of the simplest points about the disease. So I wanted to offer up some tips on what to do and say, how to be supportive, and how to really understand, especially from the diabetic perspective. I felt that I gave people a short little book that was conversational in tone, it might encourage them to find out more.

Q: How does your book help the average person in regard to understanding this very common disease?

A: The average person doesn't want to read a big, thick, technical book on diabetes. Can you blame them? I wouldn't either. But 21 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Someone With Diabetes is a short and easy read. Best of all, it shows the more personal side of the disease, which is all too often overlooked today. We hear a lot about diet and exercise, but how much do we hear about what beverages to serve or what not to say? It's my hope that this book will give the average person that nudge that will allow them to understand their diabetic pal just a little bit better.

Q: Not to give away the entire contents of the book, but what one thing do you wish everyone knew about diabetes, and why would that be helpful to you and other diabetics?

A: The one thing I wish people knew about diabetes is that anyone can get it. Too often we believe diabetes is an older person's disease, or that someone needs to be unfit. I got it when I was in my early 20s, worked out a couple hours a day, and was in great shape. Gary Hall Jr. got it while he was in the best shape of his life. Anyone can get the disease, so if you don't have it, feel thankful, not smug.

Q: Please give an example of when you felt most misunderstood as a diabetic.

A: There have been a couple times when someone has commented on the food on my plate, and I thought it was so rude. Once, I worked with a woman who would scream at me if she saw me eat more than one piece of fruit a day. She said her niece had diabetes and she knew that I "was cheating" by eating an apple and then a banana. Are you kidding me? Talk about misunderstanding.

Q: And please tell us of a time when another person’s support regarding your diabetes really touched and helped you.

A: When I met my husband, he immediately wanted to find out about diabetes, and even how to give me shots. I never had anyone to give me shots, I had always done them myself. With his help I was able to do shots in my arm, and it gave the other injection sites a rest. He was so cool about me having diabetes. It was no big thing, and he just wanted to make sure he knew all about it so he could help me if ever I ever needed it. I never had that level of support before so it was great.

Q: Where and how can people get their own copy of your book?

A: Anywhere online where books are sold. Places like Amazon, Barnes and Noble and direct through the publisher. Most bookstores can also order the book, so ask your favorite store to place a order if you'd like to buy it there.

Thank you so much, Diana! I appreciate you being a part of my blog tour.

Thanks for the visit, Cherie!  And Blog, you can keep up with Cherie's book tour throughout April.


  1. Thanks for letting me stop by! I appreciate it.

  2. Very cool Cherie! It's such a good idea to give non-diabetics a glimpse inside a diabetic's life, and facilitate a better understanding. I bet people with all kinds of diseases wish they had you in their corner :)

  3. I meet diabetic people each week and I can see the toll it has taken on these people.