The First Year: Type 2 Diabetes

The Information You Need When You Need It


The First Year:
Type 2 Diabetes


About Gretchen

Cranhill Editorial

Cranberry Hill Farm

Halifax Hat Co.

Useful links
about diabetes


Type 2 Diabetes


Getting a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is a shock. I know. I was diagnosed in 1996. A trip to the doctor, and suddenly your whole world has changed.

You're in an emotional turmoil, but at the same time you need to learn about this disease. That's because type 2 diabetes really needs to be managed by the patient. Everything you do affects your blood sugar level: what you eat, what you don't eat, when you eat, how you exercise, how long you exercise, how much stress you have—and more.

Your doctors and other educators can lead you, but they can't be with you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to make sure you do what you need to do. You have to take charge.

Taking charge means understanding this disease. But this disease is very complex. What to do?

Because I understand what it's like to get a diagnosis of diabetes, I wrote the book I wish I'd had when I was diagnosed. I organized it like a newspaper article, with the really important stuff first and the details later.

It's organized by days and weeks, but of course you can read it all at your own pace. I start out by telling you what you really need to know in those difficult first days and weeks.

Half of each chapter is devoted to the emotional challenges you'll face as you come to terms with this disease. The other half is devoted to explaining the science of the disease.

Later in the book I revisit some of the same topics—but in more detail. In fact, this book provides in-depth information about diabetes and blood sugar testing that you're not likely to find in most other basic diabetes books. Some of the information took me a long time to ferret out, and I wish I'd had it all available when I was diagnosed.

"She makes it all seem possible and not so scary."

–Jean Vignes, patient

"Your wonderful book sustained me through those first few really terrible weeks and helped me begin to get a handle on the problem."

–a patient

But because of the way the book is organized, you're not apt to get bogged down in a detailed explanation of a particular lab test before you've read the more essential stuff. I've written the book with the intelligent, inquisitive reader in mind, and the number of people who have written to say they enjoyed the book encourages me to believe that many Americans really want in-depth information about diabetes instead of the "dumbed-down" stuff they get from one-size-fits-all pamphlets written for the newly diagnosed.

If you have diabetes—and you probably wouldn't be reading this page if you didn't---I hope this book helps you maintain good control of this disease. With good control, your chances of getting some of the painful complications of the disease, including blindness, limb amputations, and kidney disease, are much, much lower. It's definitely worth the best efforts you can make.

If you'd like to see a few excerpts from the book before you buy, the online bookstore has some sample pages at their site.

If, after reading this book, you still have questions about your diabetes, feel free to contact me.

Note: I'm not a doctor, and I can't give medical advice. But I might be able to answer some of your questions about this very complex disease.

Gretchen Becker
Photo of
the author
by Elizabeth Smith