Diabetes is not an “en vogue” disease.

“Diabetes is not an “en vogue” disease.

It is not the kind of disease that gets a huge product campaign like breast cancer, nor is it portrayed as tragic and other worldly diseases like the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The public perception of diabetes is the polar opposite of the causes the media likes to promote. Instead of being seen as victims of illness, those millions living with diabetes are often seen as being lazy and unwilling to control their disease with a “simple” diet and exercise regimen. Paul Cathcart’s memoir stands to change that.

In writing “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes,” Cathcart opens the door a crack to shed some light on what it means to live with the disease. Beginning in the present, Cathcart starts at the end of his story, after years of testing, quick fixes, health scares, and doctor’s visits failed to manage his illness. But more than managing his illness, Cathcart seeks to the make others understand what it means to live with diabetes and see that it is a “state-of-being” as much as it is a physical problem, something those of us not conflicted with the illness fail to see.

With a quick wit and a sharp tongue, Cathcart weaves in and out of time to create a portrait of a young man trying to make it through life with the threat of his poor health looming in the background. He describes his childhood in Glasgow, Scotland growing up in a working class family with a single mom, who creates the picture that diabetes can and does happen to “normal,” everyday people. People that you went to school with, the first boy you kissed, or that friend with the great taste in music. The author has such a clear ear for dialogue and language that the reader can almost hear the words coming off of the page particularly when he describes his condition as “dying faster than I’m living.”

Throughout the memoir, Cathcart italicizes food items and restaurants such as “Rolo Ice Cream” and “Starbucks,” a technique used to signal the reader of how pervasive and accessible junk food is in Western culture. Seeing so many italicized words on the page is a frequent reminder to the reader of how hard it must be to be constantly reminded of everything you aren’t supposed to have as a healthy, fit person. For those of us not living with diabetes, it’s easy to take indulging in junk food for granted but it’s not life and death serious as it can be for a diabetic.

With the descriptions of his health scares and their adverse affect on his life, it would be easy to take Cathcart’s memoir as a sob story. But in-between the all too real descriptions of his illness, Cathcart keeps his humor and welcomes readers, both diabetic and non-diabetic, with the understanding that you don’t have to face life’s struggles alone. This book makes for an especially good read for those struggling with the sickness but it also serves as a good educational piece for those without.”

Tiffany Ezuma, Pacific Book Review, 27 November 2013

Diabetes: What If?

We bleed through this disease in more ways than one, but what if? And I’m not proposing some miracle cure, some hogwash alternative remedy beyond the honest diet and exercise. What I am proposing is purely theoretical – a fantasy or nightmare – what would you give up to stop the bleeding? Could you lose time to make time? And this is where it gets rather outlandish; her is the proposal; one year only (12 months, 365 non leap days) in a medically induced coma; where you lay there, sugar levels constantly monitored; fed and medicated through a drip; nothing fancy, nothing technical, just lots and lots of sleep to be caught up as you lay there oblivious to the world and your family pop in to visit – even the press have popped in to take a few snaps, you are flavour of the month.

It’s nice not to worry about money isn’t it? Your better half holds your hand, every day, playing the songs you love and whispering how they love you. Phoebe has had a baby! Your cousin Joey turned 21 today; he will be in a prison cell before he makes 22. Aunt Monica had a heart bypass; uncle Chandler, he’s got that angina.

Orderlies’ stretch and work your muscles; your colostomy bag is pure as the driven snow. That job you hated, they got taken over, under new management, said they had to let you go. Something in your contract: seems your days off in absenteeism have made your productivity terminally ill.

And your eyes are healing nicely. Your Dr. said you couldn’t do it but you did; all those little vessels retracting and BMI back to perfect. Twinkle toes the Nurses’ call you, but no one is around to hear them. Your life partner, the one you love, the one you drove crazy with the fluctuating blood sugar emotions, now makes your best friend very happy. It was hard to look at you, watch you sleeping; they had to take comfort in someone.

Hey, uncle Chandler and his angina. I’m sorry. What? We are forgetting, you didn’t even know he was ill when you went under.

Well that’s you then, time to get up, wakey-wakey-eggs-and-bacey, an ice cube in your mouth and peace of mind. A healing rest untouched by stress in a tidy, empty room.

And on a good day, diabetes is not such a bad disease to have.

By Paul Cathcart, Author of, ‘Persona Non Grata with Diabetes.’

www.pngwd.com

Click here to purchase “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” on Amazon (US).

Click here to purchase “Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” on Amazon (UK).

Diabetes: diabetics make this disease what it is

I spend an awful lot of time reading the posts of fellow diabetics here on Facebook. To share how we feel intimately, then stand back and view from a global level; well things have been frantic this week as always; parents with their T1 children in hospital (the parents in my mind always suffer the worst); the divorces, there is only so much stress the diabetic mind can take; the loss of medical insurance, the DKA, the throwing a can of Coke on your husband (‪#‎brilliant‬), the group meeting and the HR departments unwilling to understand. BUT I SWEAR TO YOU – from the perspective of living with diabetes on a global level, we are doing okay. In terms of fighting the fight and living an optimistic life, we are winning. We hurt, we heal, we learn and we love. We always push on.

I had to leave the cinema half way through Transformers 4 because I kept having to push past everyone to get to the toilet so many times; I gave up in the end because I didn’t want to interrupt their film in the end. I only wanted to jump out of a window once, but I came on here and near complete strangers, who often feel the same way, talked me over it. I had a sugar of 19 (UK) and had to walk up a hill for half an hour with my eyes half shut, to pull me out of it. I had you there all along, even if you didn’t always agree.

So for the Air Hostesses, the engineers, the dads, the good guys and the bad: yeah we swore a few times and it’s often hard to understand when we are not face-to-face. But diabetes damn you; I tell you; on a good day it is not such a bad disease to have.

P

Diabetic Unity

I think of us as diabetic brothers and sisters, we share a bond that many married couples of ten years have yet to reach. Of course we don’t deserve each other, but I’m proud to be of your acquaintance.

Sharing a coffee in any café I see the lady before me play the ritual of prick-bleed-strip-test: we nod in accordance and smile a tip of the hat to the other man’s cake.

Testing for a hypo and I know this sleepy head pales in comparison to the parent of the child still too young for hypo awareness as tireless routine repeats itself every second hour, having to awaken and discomfort her child for her child’s sake.

I put up with the Pharmacist; never enough sugar test strips to meet my prescription and often an unprofessional glance of, ‘you’re using too many,’ yet my heart is busy going out to those with inefficient Health Care Plans and dependent on getting by with few.

My Dr. doesn’t know as much as she should. Type 1 or Type 2 we have all been in this waiting room too long and 1.5 Lada, don’t worry, eventually someone will figure it out, eventually…

Stopped at Customs, “Yes I have a letter supporting my requirement to carry needles onto this flight,” as did the couple on the flight before me, as do the two for the flight behind me. Can’t take sugar through with me, comes as little surprise. Get to Spain and “Sin Azúcar,” relieved as I am by international recognition of “light” cans.

Drip-fed supportive advice and force fed untrue media coverage, often hung on our shoulders and easily sold on our hopes, needs and fears. Expected to be grateful, I am not. I assure you I am not.

I’m going to the bathroom too much and I think of you Diabetes Insipidous. I hope to be a dad one day and I ponder the difficulty of Gestational Diabetes. I think I feel a little shaken as I write this down so time to check and feel satisfied / unsatisfied. I often worry for my eyes, I often worry for your feet, but back in the café we tip our hats in recognition of one another’s emotional fluctuation.

Saturday comes as it always does; supermarket tin to drop a coin and raise awareness beside a half-price special on a packet of biscuits.

Through this disease we triumph and fall with related spirits. I have your back my diabetic brothers and sisters. I hope you have mine. And remember, on a good day, diabetes is not such a bad disease to have.

By Paul Cathcart, Author of ‘Persona Non Grata with Diabetes’

Official Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Living with Diabetes,You Are Not Alone

Explained with Honest Wit and

Real World Experiences

“I felt as though I was dying faster than I was living. I figured things out and I made myself better. I wrote this book for you,” Paul Cathcart.

January 07, 2014:  Paul Cathcart is diabetic, yes, but it is how he handles the disease and who he is that is quite individual among 371,000,000 fellow sufferers; a population larger than the USA screaming in silence, ubiquitously blamed by others as being overweight, lazy or lack the discipline for dietary structure.  The disease can strike anyone.

With a writing style extraordinarily unique, Cathcart streams his consciousness without hesitation onto the pages of his book, Persona Non Grata with Diabetes, named with his style of language of a quick wit and a sharp tongue, brewed from his upbringing in Glasgow, Scotland.

Raised in a working class family by a single mother, Cathcart created the picture that diabetes can and does happen to “normal,” everyday people, he smashed down the door to shed some light on what it means to live with the disease.

“The work is a head in my hands reflection and looking forward of my life with diabetes,” said the Author during an interview with Pacific Book Review.  He continued, “What led me to where I stand at the moment I decided to write this book (seventeen years trial and blood sugar error, read as emotional turmoil lost in a bigger world) and through that four year period to completion.”

Interestingly, when asked who outside his family supported him, he replied, “It took some time to get to the development stage, where I was able to reach out and ask the opinions of fellow diabetics, on whether they felt the same. Ultimately their feedback was unanimous, we are all screaming inside with this condition in one-way or another. But until then and outside of that I wish I had better things to say.”

“Say” he does. Cathcart keeps his humour and welcomes readers, both diabetic and non-diabetic, with the understanding that you don’t have to face life’s struggles alone.

Real diabetic, reader reviews have flooded in, praising the, Bravery of the Author” for Laugh out loud moments of desperation” and Finally a book about diabetes that isnt patronising, doesnt moralise and tells it like it is.

This book makes for an especially good read for those struggling with the condition but it also serves as a good educational piece for those looking to understand a loved one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: An everyday diabetic of 20 years experience; Cathcart has come to understand his diabetes as a state-of-being rather than its medical definition. With his core belief, that only through a rightful understanding can we accept a just responsibility to our shared condition.

Author: Paul Cathcart

Author

 

Title: Persona Non Grata with Diabetes

Free chapters: http://www.pngwd.com/

Author:   Paul Cathcart

Publisher:   Paul Cathcart

ISBN:  9780957689947

Pages:  424, Paperback/Kindle

Genre:  Health & Fitness / Diseases / Diabetes

Insulin and all related diabetic medication should be priced as Paracetamol (Acetaminophen / Tylenol)

Packet of Paracetamol, 500mg x 100 capsules only 5p (you save 1p). The reason, simple: there are no clinical patents remaining on the formula. Technically anyone with a white lab coat and a license can knock them out for a cost cheaper than the fresh foil packaging and postage.

But the fundamental analogue type insulin we mostly take has been around since the 1980’s, – and the reach of clinical patents only lasts 15 years or less, so what is going on? Why still so expensive?

Why every time when I read my Tweets, is someone being declined at the Pharmacy or someone else stands rejected by their Health Insurer over costs to cover diabetes related meds? – Is it because you don’t have enough diabetic stress, upset and emotional tenderness to deal with, without the added burden of being unable to sleep at night wondering how you are going to pay for vital medication?

Why is this allowed to continue under the noses of our Governments and Health Care Professionals, while profit growth forecast based on dated medication skyrocket, as assuredly as the sons a Pharma, Tarquin and Farquhar, are wearing silk embroidered socks to fancy school?

It’s all down to tinkering.

Brand control adorning Share Holder promises far in excess of patient care; executive pimps and a stable of us 371,000,000 diabetics being held by the throat whilst assured in a thousand hushed tongues, “It’s not a disease you really have to worry about, its more a condition. Just have some more of this self-same synthetic hormone insulin in all its guises and eat what you like,” while at the other end, “No your Medical Insurance won’t cover these, they are far too expensive.” Those who tinker from the top are all too aware that the majority of us fall somewhere in-between, and at some point we are struggling to keep our heads above water.

So how do you protect an out of date patent on an admittedly miracle formula while choking your ample audience?

Future proof tinkering defined.

By tinker I mean modestly redefining the molecular structure of a synthetic chemical to extend patent reach: it’s slightly different, being delivered in a different way (pump) and comes in a new box – another fifteen years patent exclusivity expected as standard.

Along with further tinkering; artificial manipulation of price, set against what Big Pharma clientele can stretch to; based on a Slavers definition of what a mother will do to protect her child.

Tinkering with education; brand promotion making a mockery of less supportive Health Care Services, engineered to sell more product outweighing patient concern and a horrendous greed that spits in the face of those great minds who first figured out how to deliver us a diabetes solution, to save millions of lives, based on some pigs pancreas in the first place.

And tinkering with humanity; – The scientists who saved us were not thinking, “Just have as much of this as you like and eat as much of those same foods that made you diabetic in the first place,” or I doubt they would have bothered. And I can’t believe for a moment they envisioned brand stranglehold or corporate greed to withhold medication and related peripherals from the poor.

No lab coats and price cuts for us then, no 5p insulin or 1 penny blood sugar test strips; no conspiracy either; it’s all out there in plain sight. Well I guess someone has to keep Tarquin and Farquhar in luxury socks.