Diabetic Conclusion: my problem is the same as yours

For us diabetes amplifies everything; if you feel just-not-right then broken blood sugar will make it wrong, as alcohol does an alcoholic; every bone of contention, every pulse of ill will, slight upset or lull, every wave of exhaustion and misunderstanding all amplified.

Deformation of sadness, doubt, and dependency; symptoms lost in a bigger world, it leaves us wilting. We push on. Living with a profitable disease is a double-edged sword, sure they are going to make us new medicines every fifteen years once patents for the last have run out, and these on some level will spell vast improvement over previous. But it’s for us to direct and decide upon, which of
these medicines is suitable again in meeting with our state-of-being, not solely encapture the requirements of a mass Diabetes Industry’s profiteering. – It’s not such a bad situation to be
in; on a good day it’s not such a bad disease to have. Our health is readily manageable with the right communication: no miracle medicine in the world is going to work without precise communication. My problem is the same as yours: my solution the same as yours.


At present I am lost, my character thin, my confidence gone, expectations
extinguished, soaked through with doubt, nurtured in worry, close to giving up entirely. I used to be better than this, I used to look the world dead in the eye and I thought I could stare down the sun, now the world’s gotten the better of me.
Responsibility for everything and it’s all too hard but I’m going to make myself better. Maybe it’s the time I find on my hands, or my current health status. This book just seems right.


Seventeen years of feeling like that fly, banging its head off the bar window. I’m a better person when my sugar is level. I’m nicer to be around. Content not frustrated. I do this because there is no other way. Please stay with me.


Week four of being human and I have no intention of leaving this island. I crave new challenges I want to be involved. So this is what it feels like to be young? I don’t feel uncomfortable all the time anymore, I feel fresh and capable. I can’t remember feeling like this since I was a kid.
Clearing out the cobwebs and now to come to terms with having been ill for seventeen years.

Writing this book has made me realise how I see the world. Made me realise how high sugar has changed me. I’m actually quite a nice person.
I hope I’m nicer to be around and for me it’s great to see how lovely the people around me are. I don’t feel like everyone around me is having a go at me anymore. I don’t take everything to heart and no longer feel everything is a poor reflection on me.

Six months on

Every day is lovely, the trees show me how young I am, cool breeze refreshes me, water reflecting sky and I am privileged to walk around here in the company of all you beautiful souls. The smiles of others light me up and I know tears can be recovered from. It’s time to create some little ones, a George Victor, a Jack Stephen.

We should never and I will never again allow myself to feel guilty over being ill. I know I am doing everything I can to be healthy and that’s way beyond what most non-diabetics do.

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. It’s true, it’s not good to keep it all bottled up inside.

Thank you,

Taken from ‘Getting better, state of mind (original notes).’

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

Diabetic Book Reviews, by real life sufferers of diabetes

I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. The Latest Diabetes Book Reviews are in and I must admit, I am incredibly proud. Thank you EVERYONE. P.s. I don’t especially enjoy being diabetic, but often it’s more than worth it to meet all of you. P

“Thanks for writing the book about ‘me’!”

// Note from Author: The sentiment from Lisa is beautiful and exactly as I intended, the true purpose of the writing and the reason of my four and a half years sitting around coffee shops in Tunbridge Wells writing away.

Lisa Sullivan, 03 January 2014


Love it, I laugh in agreement, *****

I love this book. It is so true in everything. Best book I have read about diabetes, Great to read a book that was written by a fellow diabetic too.

Hanna W, 03 January 2014


Being diagnosed with diabetes is a sobering and frightening experience.

Learning from those who have dealt with the condition and successfully learned to manage it while leading healthy and productive lives is a good place to start. In this book, Persona Non Grata with Diabetes’, author Paul Cathcart provides such a guide. Highly recommended for those newly diagnosed as well as those who struggle with managing diabetes well after their initial diagnosis..

Robert Daniels, 03 January 2014


Real life with Diabetes – Telling it Like it Is.*****

Well done Paul Cathcart! Finally, someone has written a book on what it’s REALLY like to have diabetes. Most people think living with diabetes is fairly easy – eat, take medicine and off you go. Even medical professionals think along these lines. This book goes through the true ins and outs of the disease. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Shelby Kae, 03 January 2014


Truthful and honest! .

Enjoyed reading and found comfort in the fact it was wrote by a diabetic ..
Im not a diabetic but I needed to gain real life feelings instead of just the text book info in order to understand how my son and dad feelon a daily basis .

Rachael K, 03 January 2014


Excellent book I would recommend!,*****

This is a book that is difficult to put down.Laugh out loud moments and desperation - the highs and lows of life made even harder when you have diabetes.

Judy Wolf, 26 December 2013


Superb and enlightening book,*****

Paul Cathcart’s from the heart novel, ‘Persona Non Grata With Diabetes’, is a must read for diabetics and also their loved ones. Having been diagnosed only earlier this year I personally felt it saved me years of confusion, trying to figure out what on earth was going on inside me. Although I was very lucky with doctors at the initial diagnosis, a few months on I had questions I didn’t even know I had or how to phrase if I did and Paul’s book has given me a lot of answers to those questions whilst also giving me a good chuckle. There were plenty of personal anecdotes in the book for which I could either identify with or were just very funny and/or touching, reminding anyone who reads it that a diabetic is a person not just a walking condition. It took me a while to read it simply because there was so much information to absorb but I’m glad I have. It has influenced my life for the better.

Perkimoth, 29 November 2013

Fantastic read growing up with type one diabetes,*****

As a mother of a 4 year old diabetic child I came a cross this book through a friend.
I really enjoyed it, it was funny, heart warming and made me really think of the struggles my son will go through as a adult with type one diabetes.
A really good read not just about diabetes but someone’s life struggles and over coming them.

Laura Stevens, 20 November 2013

Excellent account of living with diabetes,*****

Excellent read, find myself nodding & laughing at many of the things Mr Cathcart has put in this book as with being a type 1 diabetic I can certainly agree with his accounts of being diagnosed & also living with diabetes. Certainly not the usual text book book about living with diabetes. Brilliant x

Ange Erin, 8 November 2013

You really put it out there,

and gave me great insight on this disease from the child’s perspective. As a Mom of a T1D I will never understand how it feels–inside him. I can only watch, help as best I can, and hope. Thanks for having the courage to really ‘hang it all on the clothesline!’

P D Paladino, 8 November 2013

A true account of life with type 1 diabetes,*****

At last, a book about diabetes which deals with how we feel about our condition and which deals with the struggles and frustrations we face trying to balance diabetes with a ‘normal’ life. So much of this book resonated with my own experiences and I’m so grateful that Paul Cathcart has put pen to paper.
This book isn’t only a brilliant account of life with diabetes, it’s a brilliant autobiography. I’d highly recommend it to anyone, with or without any connection to diabetes. And the chapter about trying to pick up prescriptions had me in stitches!

J Acharjee, 28 October 2013


Finally a real account of life with Diabetes!,*****

In Persona Non Grata With Diabetes, Paul finally tells the truth. It’s about time! It’s no fun with this disease, and he brilliantly allows the reader in on his life, the ups and downs, ins and outs of live with a chronic illness that demands more and more from us every day. Brutally honest, his story could be my story. He hits the nail on the head with his depiction of surviving against all odds, and enlightens his reader with what it takes to survive. I recommend this book strongly for every diabetic, and for the families and friends of diabetics. Bravo Paul.

D Thomas, 12 October 2013

As a type one diabetic,

I have been reading books about diabetes my whole life and then being ultimately disappointed by my bland and boring purchase, how diabetes is portrayed as a non serious disease and at how ‘easy’ we have it compared to some other people. However, persona non grata with diabetes is a whole other sort of book. It leaves you wanting to turn the next page and before you know it you’ve been reading it for 3 hours…the book made me smile, laugh and even cry because its so true and honest. The things we put up with that other people say to us out of a lack of education and knowledge of diabetes is outstanding, and the worst thing is we put up with it when we feel like going crazy in our heads. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and finally there is a book that understands us diabetics. Thank you Paul, for writing the book that everyone out there has been waiting for.

Ruth Walsh, 12 October 2013

Thank you for writing this book,

a great read and as a mother to a type 1 childit was good to read a perspective of the life my child will have before him , it was good to get your perspective on life with diabetes , not just what you read on the websites about the condition… Thank you paul for writing a great book with the ups and downs to it all , we all take life for granted everyday … Again great read

Sarah Durow, 10 October 2013

T1 Honesty*****

I have to say after reading many books on Type 1 Diabetes. This made me smile as it was so very honest. So many emotions discussed and shared. Thank you Paul for wearing your heart on your sleeve and bearing all.

Diabetes Power, 9 October 2013


True account of how we really feel on a daily basis*****

What a fantastic funny, sad, true account of diabetes!! Can relate well to alot of the facts in this book! A very simple straight to the point and easy read on how we can struggle on a daily basis! A must read for Diabetics and non diabetics. Have recommended this book and will continue to recommend it. I have only been diagnosed since dec 2012 so im still fairly new to everything and trying to find my own way of dealing with it etc so this book has defo helped me and gave me some pointers :) very well done Paul! Wont be the last time I read this book and thank you!

Big Smile, 9 October 2013


Thank you for letting me read your book,*****

it was definitely a story that needed to be told.It gave me insight into how my child feels/will feel with Type 1 Diabetes. More people need to tell their story – it seems you are among some secret society, very hush hush and no one realises the truth and the public need to know.

Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease, 24/7 and no weekends off or holidays, as a parent I cannot remember the last night that I slept for a full night, my child has this, like you, to deal with…for the rest of her life. Too much education is lacking in the NHS, DWP, Schools, Joe public etc….. I really feel my child is winging it!

It shouldn’t be like this/it shouldn’t have been like this for you or anyone ever! Why are these so called experts being paid XXXXXX to tell you nothing and give you no advice whatsoever?? I smiled. I cried. I feel angry for you. I so… wanted to help you. I am glad that you have found your own way to deal with this. You have really helped others by putting this out there for everyone to read and I shall certainly be buying a copy for relatives/friends that think Diabetes is easy, some stupid remark by them and you just shut up and don’t say anything.

Well now is the time!!

Best health and wishes for you xx

Robyn Selley, 9 October 2013

Fantastic open and honest *****

account of what life really is like for us folks with type 1 diabetes! A must read for anyone with the condition or anyone who wants a real understanding of living a life as a diabetic! Excellent!!

Miss RJ Seaton, 8 October 2013

Best Book EVER on what it is like living with Diabetes! *****

I finished the book and all I can say is, “THANK YOU” and “WOW”.  Your stuggles mirror my own…….in five days you can not believe how many people I have told about this book!  I have quoted you and watched as others go “YEAH….THAT IS SO RIGHT ON!”  I can guarantee when this hits paper back…..I am buying several and I am going to give them to all the d specialists and my personal doctor..some with some quotes UNDERLINED and HIGHLIGHTED for them!  I also train diabetic alert dogs and I will carry a copy of the book to hand to those that make snide rude comments about YOU DONT LOOK DISABLED!   A smile and a read this and then call me we will chat!

Thank you for bearing your soul to the world and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE EITHER!

KC Owens, 29 August 2013


Thank you so much for writing this book!

As the parent of a child with T1D I understand so much more now, he’s only 5 and was dx at 18months old so he cannot describe what its like compared to what its supposed to be like. I feel like I can communicate and understand better with him now. I will keep it forever and read it many times over I am sure! I thank you for your candid and personal approach to writing this book!

Elaine Marion, 19 September 2013

Brillant book recommended, *****

Wonderful book says it how it is. laugh out load. even got the Drs at work reading it (i work on a childrens ward) and they loved it.

Alison, 15 September 2013


I found it fascinating,

It is strange to see someone describe symptoms and worries so similarly to those you personally have. I spend a lot of time trying to explain to friends and colleagues what it is like to be diabetic but seeing someone else saying similar words was eye opening. Although having been medically a T1 for 3 years I have only just gone on to insulin so I am only now having to worry about hypos, carb counting and the like. Your book has given me lots to ponder and shown me that while lots of people want to give advice, they are not me, I am different to every other diabetic and that it is me at the controls and I am responsible for where I end up. Well done, looking onward to part 2.

Greg Hawkins, 12 September 2013


Love this book,

It’s good to read something written by a diabetic who goes through the same day to day struggles as myself and others. Never a truer word spoken.

Shelley Scott, 8 September 2013


Much needed, *****

“What a world it would be if we all decided to tell the truth of Diabetes and got everyone else to listen.

Paul Cathcart has to courage to say, write, what many of us are thinking, what many have gone through, what many feel- but may not be able to put it all done- or are too scared to. Finally, a book and an author that is not afraid to tell the truth about Diabetes. Finally- not a book about how to take care of Diabetes, how to “handle Diabetes” but a real life account that many can relate to. People without Diabetes NEED to read this- the world needs to understand that we are more than a number and a disease that it isn’t just a simple numbers game because we are people at the end of the day. As a fellow person living Diabetes, I could relate to so much of this, and I am forever grateful that Cathcart has had the courage to write this down- and to also inspire me to write it all as well. This is a must read- and I will be forever recommending this book to all I know. I hope to see it on the bookshelves of the states soon.”

Mindy, 21 September 2013


Blown away

It’s almost like you took my own thoughts and put them on paper. I am so happy & relieved to find someone who understands and deals with this disease like myself. Most people closest to me don’t understand the depression, anxiety and emotional side of diabetes. I am hoping a copy of the book may help my friends and family understand why I do the things I do.

Mike Graham, 29 August 2013

Paul Cathcart’s memoir, *****

delves into the depths of the diabetic mind;the guilt, the pain and the frustrations of trying to live in our modern world with diabetes.

As a fellow diabetic of many years, I could often relate to Cathcart’s internal struggles within the memoir from having others, including doctors, not understand the immense inner turmoil a high or low blood sugar can cause to eventually losing yourself completely to your disease.

From empathizing to the embarrassment of constant bathroom breaks at work to not being able to sleep at night due to highs or fear of having a seizure, it becomes somewhat therapeutic to read and be able to understand that so many others are going through the same hardships when it comes to diabetes, and in Cathcart’s case, to see that others are eventually reaching a middle-ground in their never-ending battle against this diease.

Diabetes is not any easy chronic illness to live with, and that is certainly exemplified through Cathcart’s memoir. If anything, this true life story will either give you a better understanding of the life of a diabetic – the agonizing pain felt and how it can completely change a person – or as a fellow diabetic it may offer you a sense of common reality shared through experiences.

Becca Clark, 25 August 2013

A brutally honest account,

of one man’s battle with diabetes and the roller coaster that he is forced to ride without the benefit of being strapped in. It is a tale told by a gifted writer full of meaningful sound and fury. Anyone with diabetes, and anyone lucky enough to not have it, will be able to relate to Paul Cathcart’s engagingautobiographabetes!

Diabetes Duo, 23 August 2013

In Persona Non Grata With Diabetes,

Paul Cathcart continues the literary tradition of John Osborne with his tale of an angry young diabetic.  In often Joycean prose, he describes his childhood on the brutal streets of Glasgow and his struggles to manage his blood sugar.  We follow him as he ricochets between hyper- and hypoglycemia, taking more and more insulin to control the highs, then devouring chips and sodas to cope with the resulting low, bouncing between depression and fury.  An engaging story that should be read by anyone who believes managing diabetes is easy.

Mary Dexter, 22 August 2013


So far the only book

I have enjoyed about diabetes is ”Persona Non Grata with Diabetes” by Paul Cathcart. It is funny, honest, and heartfelt, stop over and say hi to him.

Meredith Balogh, 21 August 2013

Best diabetic read ever - *****

Finally a book about being diabetic that isn’t patronising, doesnt moralise and tells it like it is. I read this book in one go. I shared so many feelings, experiences and opinions of being a type 1 D I went through the whole spectrum of emotions as I read it.

I recognised my own denial and anger and my own breakthrough to acceptance when meeting the right team. Maybe it’s like love, all a question of timing and meeting the right people at the right time? For me, after years in a diabetic wilderness, it was connecting with a team who made me feel cared for. This should be compulsory reading for all diabetic consultants and diabetes specialist nurses.

We could probably all write our own versions of this book, they would probably all be equally as powerful but I thank Paul for having the courage to actually do it. Definitely the best diabetic read ever.

CJ, 14 August 2013


Trainspotting on Insulin, ****

I bought this to try and understand the emotional impact of diabetes.

My son is 3 years down the road since type 1 came into our lives and is still a young child. I wanted to prepare myself for the tough years which lie ahead and to try to understand how he may feel about his diabetes in the years ahead.

This book would make a great movie – it reads somewhat like a film script and had me interested and fascinated from the word go. The Authors’ difficult early years in Glasgow are depicted vividly as he struggles to vote (cope?) with his diagnosis and living the life of a young man out drinking and partying.

Miss Lilly, 10th august 2013


As the parent of a Type 1D, ****

it is important that we can “get inside” our children’s heads and try to put ourselves in their shoes.  Paul’s book gives a no hole barred look at what a person with this disease feels, struggles with and can accomplish in life!  I appreciate him, our friendship and his view on T1  4 Stars from me for sure!

Cathy Dow, 09 August 2013


A real life story that reads like a novel,*****

Persona Non Grata With Diabetes is a candid reflection on living with an illness. An illness which, on the surface, seems manageable and less serious than some others, but as any type 1 diabetic (including myself) will tell you – there is plenty more than meets the eye.

Cathcart takes us into his world, from a difficult childhood growing up in a rough area of Glasgow, through his teenage partying years, on to adulthood riddled with health and personal problems. With every step we feel his frustration as he struggles to deal with his diabetes without proper care and guidance, from clueless health professionals to unsympathetic bosses. We see how diabetes truly effects every aspect of one’s life, and how most of us strive to be a “good diabetic” but often times fail due to lack of information and communication with the people we ought to trust -our doctors.

Cathcart pulls no punches – his book reveals all. Although this is not a “how-to” book, and is devoid of medical jargon and complex explanations of diabetes (which makes it easy to read even for non-diabetics, uninterested in the minute details of the illness), it conveys an important message: diabetes is NOT an easy illness to live with. It is a constant struggle for most of us, and I can’t think of any diabetic who has not been through similar ordeals in their diabetic lives (at least in the beginning stages of living with this illness). I encourage everyone – whether diabetic or not – to read this heartfelt and gripping account of a person struggling to live a normal life with an incurable disease.

J. Wozniak, 01August 2013


I have never read something that touched upon the various different emotions,

and struggles, along with the strides, we each make on a regular basis. I recommend this for anyone struggling with their diagnosis and coping of any type of diabetes! Very insightful – we are not alone.

Chrissy Gorman, 29 July 2013


I felt that was my story you’d written,

subsequent to my diabetes diagnosis! Felt each word that I read & could totally relate :)

Sarah Fazli, 17 July 2013 

Best book I’ve read

and so many things to say “snap” about! A lot of the book is like reading my own diary… if I had bothered to write one that is :)

David Hansford, 05 July 2013


Simply brilliant. No truer account of life with diabetes. *****

The best diabetes life account ever. It has totally changed the way I am looking at my own diabetes. The author is a true inspiration. That said you don’t need to be diabetic to enjoy the book. The three bears chapter is probably the best description of diabetes written within any book / blog.

Olly, 28 May 2013


No holds barred account of living with diabetes. ****

Paul Cathcart tells it exactly like it is in this brutally honest account of his life before and after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I found it both sad and funny, and definitely thought-provoking. I cringed at the descriptions of his encounters with Healthcare Professionals and sensed that he felt alone, unsupported and let down by the NHS. Paul has strong opinions and is openly cynical about the Pharmaceutical Industry. Although not everyone will agree with him I personally found his thoughts and ideas interesting. Many people, including Health Professionals, fail to understand how difficult diabetes can be to live with. They wonder why people with diabetes don’t just ‘behave themselves’, and don’t appreciate how much people struggle to gain control of their health. I recommend this book for those people in particular.

Rebecca L Owen, 22 May 2013


Wonderful. Truly enlightening!*****

At last someone who fully understands what it is like and what we go through. This has helped me enormously in understanding my diabetic son. To think for a while I naively assumed all the mood swings were typical teenage years not for one minute did I think it was his diabetes making him emotional and more unwell.

Bear Because, 22 April 2013


Yes it was very good

I liked it a lot and had some good laughs out of it a great read and I would recommend it to all my friends to read!

Stephanie Knight, 8 October 2013


I really appreciated the first hand experience

and point of view of a diabetic. You have expressed the anger, resentment, and frustration that I feel constantly. It is such a non stop battle and struggle.

Jamie Todd, 8 October 2013


I have enjoyed reading this book,

and its nice to know that someone else is going through the same. I would highly recommend this book to fellow Diabetics. It is a good read.

Irene Nolan, 8 October 2013


As a Diabetic for 23 years,

i have read many articles, books etc on the subject many of them very similar in content, but i found this book very informative and interesting, well worth looking into for yourselves if you haven’t already, excellent.

Mark Everton Jones, 8 October 2013


Persona non grata with diabetes, by Paul Cathcart