Diabetes Warrior: Be your own knight in shining armor: How to stay healthy and happy with diabetes
William “Sir Lee” Dubois
Red Blood Cell Books (2011)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (10/11)
Diabetes is a scary thing, and having been told that you have it probably made you feel like you are in for a tough fight. That’s why I can clearly understand where William “Sir Lee” Dubois found his funny and rather accurate description of diabetes as a dragon, and a person fighting it as a knight in shining armor. With a diagnosis as scary as this, humor is much appreciated, and bringing some levity to the situation even more so. Yes, diabetes is a dragon and yes, we can fight it, particularly when we arm ourselves with the correct weapons and a proper armor. Yes, there is a lot of information out there, and a lot of it is extremely confusing, or controversial, or way too technical for a regular person to understand. Therefore I greatly look forward to any book that puts the matter in proper perspective, and makes diabetes less scary and better understood. Information is definitely one of the best weapons in keeping such a dragon under control.
Having said that, I would be hard pressed to be particularly enthusiastic about “Diabetes Warrior: Be your own knight in shining armor.” While the truly cute illustrations and the parallels between knights fighting dragons and individuals fighting diabetes made me smile and chuckle often, I did not find a great deal of real information in the book, or at least not anything that has not been said before, and with more authority and better explanations. Yes, we have to test, it matters for sure what and how we eat, the doctor is your ally, moving your behind will keep you in better shape, diabetes is a complex disease, therefore we have to pay attention to all parts of our body – and even the mind; medication tends to be a necessary evil, don’t forget your eyes, feet and teeth… All of those facts are true, and they are certainly written in a very engaging and entertaining style, but I actually did not find a single piece of new information in this book, and I happen to think that Mr. Dubois’ approach is a bit too cookie-cutter for most people with diabetes. All of us should take blood pressure and cholesterol pills? I would like to think that this is an issue that should be decided between the patient and the doctor, and only after careful evaluation of pros and cons and after exhausting all other, less drastic options. Then there is a chapter on nutrition… If there is one thing that I have learned from this disease, it is that we are truly all different. What “triggers” a high glucose reading for some of us will hardly impact the others, and vice versa. Making blanket statements about proper serving sizes is a risky proposition at best, and forgetting to mention how often those portions should be eaten (as in the case of meat) does not do any favors to our hearts or other organs.
As much as I have enjoyed the cheerfulness of this little book, “Diabetes Warrior,” I would not recommend it to anybody who has been newly diagnosed with diabetes. The veterans amongst us might find it an amusing read for an afternoon, but I can hardly see anybody carrying it around to refer back to it on a daily basis, so I am also quite perplexed about its tiny size. A book this small is awkward to hold and difficult to read, and unless it is a carb counter, I simply fail to see why a more common and reading friendly format was not used for it.