Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review: Balancing Diabetes.

Oh wow, I thought. She was diagnosed the same year I was, at the same age - what are the odds?

I very clearly remember the first time I clicked over to Kerri's blog in 2009. It was this post that hooked me, and the realization that I wasn't the only one who was making mistakes and chiding themselves for not planning ahead, for sometimes dosing blindly and hoping for the best, for just wanting to live their life without the constant worry of "Did I bring...?" or "What if....?" looming overhead. She was talking about the real life side of diabetes; a side I had been keeping to myself. I hadn't realized until I stumbled across her that I longed to find someone to whom I could relate - how I felt, what I feared, what I celebrated, all of it. (And here she was!) Her words and admissions and analysis of this real life began to help heal some wounds I hadn't even realized were there. She was the gateway drug that led me to find the diabetes online community I love so much and depend upon.

So, you'll have to forgive me: I'm a wee bit biased when it comes to Kerri Sparling. 

Is this an objective review? It is not. She's my friend, and I'm a fan of what she does and who she is. I could say 10,000 good things about her and I'm sure I still would miss something.

What I do want to tell you is this: if you're already a fan of the wit, wisdom and wordsmithing magic that Kerri is known for, Balancing Diabetes will not disappoint you one bit. If you're looking for a variety of viewpoints on a variety of topics surrounding that real life with diabetes I mentioned - you will find all of that here. And if you or someone you love has diabetes but you've never heard of Kerri Sparling before, you need to fix that. Right now. I'll wait.

One of the things I admire about Kerri, and I've watched her do it time and again in a number of different situations, is that when the (well-deserved) spotlight shines to her, she grabs it and turns it to those around her. She walks the talk when it comes to altruism and the importance of a variety of voices being heard.

In Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well, she recounts many of her own experiences and thoughts as they relate to a life with diabetes: early memories of her diagnosis; the cruel wrath of a grade school bully; dating and relationship; her pregnancy and delivery of her daughter, and then motherhood; fitting diabetes devices into daily life; travel; the list goes on. She didn't stop there, though. She includes the thoughts of around 40 other people affected by diabetes (disclosure: I am one of them) to round out each chapter, and I loved the conversational tone it created. 

It takes a lot of courage to be as vulnerable as Kerri has been in this book, and that vulnerability is exactly what allows us, as readers, to connect with her so deeply. I hope you'll order a copy or twelve - it's a wonderful read.

You'll find Kerri's book, Balancing Diabetes: Conversations About Finding Happiness and Living Well, on Amazon, as well as the Barnes and Noble website. It also has a Facebook page you can like. I'm sure she wouldn't say so herself, and will possibly be embarrassed that I'm just flat-out asking for your help here, but I imagine it would be helpful if you'd leave a review on Amazon or maybe on the Barnes and Noble site, too, after you've read the book. Nudge nudge.

More on that disclosure: I was provided (free) with both a digital and physical copy of the book, and I am a contributor. I was not paid to write a review (or to contribute to the book, for that matter), but I consider it some karmic payback for all of the ways in which Kerri has helped me over the years, whether she realized it or not. 


  1. Thank you so much for this, Kim. xo

  2. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has diabetes, loves someone with diabetes, or needs to learn that while we make balancing on the diabetes high wire look easy some days, there is a needed safety net of people who understand.