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I have been reading posts on here by Type 1's who were diagnosed as children as well as those, like me, who were diagnosed later in life. I also started a Type 1 Women's Group which I attended for a year before I moved. That group had women ranging in age from teens to 70s and in length of diagnosis from a few months to 50 years. So it's not as if I haven't been exposed to people diagnosed younger, and I've always had an enormous respect for the complexity of dealing with Type 1 at the same time as growing up, puberty, marriage, college, etc. But I never felt I could really understand what that had been like since I hadn't experienced it.

The other day I was browsing in the health section at my library and came across a book called Sweet Invisible Body by Lisa Roney. I actually almost put the book back on the shelf because it was published in 1999. I tend to not read anything written before 2000 because the world has changed so much. (Especially diabetes!). But then I realized it was a memoir, so decided to read it.

I loved this book! It told me so much about what it is like to be diagnosed young (in this case age 12). Though I know everyone is different and her experience will differ in some ways from others diagnosed around the same age, I feel there are commonalities that I now feel much more understanding of. Also she was diagnosed in 1972 so it gave me an idea of what D treatment was like back then. I think anyone whether having "been there" or not, like me, will gain a lot from this book. In addition to a better understanding of the experience of Type 1's diagnosed young there were some universal feelings that I related to as well, and that she expresses very eloquently. There were things I didn't like about the book and its author, but many more I loved. I definitely recommend it.

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So you were very close in age and time to the woman who wrote the book, Doris. She talks too, about trying to hide her Diabetes so she can be seen as "normal".

There is definitely a lot more information about Diabetes out there today; it seems every other minute I hear the word on TV. But because my generation, the baby boomers are now middle aged and so many are diagnosed with Type 2, it seems like all the info is geared to that. I'm not sure whether that helps us Type 1's or hurts us.

But I can only imagine how isolating it must have felt to be diagnosed before the DOC and probably not know anyone else in the same boat. I believe the first other Type 1 the author of the book meets is a guidance counselor in the disabled students office at her college where she goes because she heard they offered some scholarship money for medical expenses. The woman is also a Type 1 who is now completely blind due to complications. Because she is older, she certainly came from a time when good control was elusive. It depressed and frightened the author.

What is the DOC please?

"Diabetes Online Community" :)

Thanks Kate

Hi Zoe. Could young T1s benefit from reading this book? Is it something one could keep in a classroom library for say teens/preteens with or without diabetes?

Probably not, Peetie. The writing is fairly sophisticated and she also focuses a lot on her sexual (though in a meaningful way to show how her diabetes influenced her intimate relationships). Other than the early parts about her diagnosis, most of it would appeal more, I would think to older teens and college aged. Also, as she was diagnosed in the very early 70s, a lot of it is dated, both in terms of the diabetes treatment (though she updates that to her present - 1999), but more so culturally. The parts about her college years which are a huge chunk of the book actually resonated more for me as a later version of my 60s experience, than it would to today's youth.

Kick ass!




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