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: 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.


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’

Diabetes Eye-Screening Clinic

Today I opened a letter from the Diabetes Eye-Screening Clinic. I’m going to go blind.

The only thing holding in hysteria is fear. It’s over isn’t it? Please tell me it isn’t over. I can’t be over before I’ve even gotten anywhere, before I’ve even given up on myself. Everything once so promising has been taken, like a vicious knife attack but slow, far slower, couldn’t really twist it in more. “The first stages of Background Retinopathy.” black print on white paper, an accompanying leaflet listing all the ways it can go wrong from here. I can’t feel anything. I’m less than numb and unbalanced from the knees up. I guess this is the shock. I fold it back into the pile of faceless letters from the bank and hold onto Natasha for dear life, ‘It’s not even highlighted in red. It doesn’t even say urgent on the envelope.’ It’s been laying there for months now amongst a pile of loose bank letters. We stand together frozen, a nightmare where the scream does not come out. White letter and black text.
But how can this happen? I was there at the test; the woman was short and Spanish, she was apologising for the machine having being broken previously and this being a return visit. She put me at ease, told me I’d be fine when I told her how I was scared of eye tests, of how my mum now had glaucoma in the family history and that I was terrified of losing my sight; as my hands trembled.

She said from the first looks of photographs she had taken of the backs of my eyes, that there was nothing obviously wrong, no apparent damage; a couple of marks to be expected following near seventeen years of diabetes. Though nothing of obvious concern and some much needed reassurance these were yearly tests set directly to pick up any early warning signs of decay; so as to give the experts to whom these photographs would be sent much advanced notice. ‘Were they to find anything serious, they can treat a patient in advance with all the wonders of modern medicine and laser eye care therapy. Being able to eradicate it there and then,’ she said. Words taken and held onto like a comfort blanket.

But this letter doesn’t mention any of that; black text on white paper with no personal signature it reads I have the first stages of Background Retinopathy and the accompanying tissue-thin colour brochure states that one direction this may go in can be treated in some instances with laser eye care surgery: that this can work for a small percentage of some people with diabetes. Presenting next on profoundly colourful print another half dozen or so untreatable ways it’ll no doubt accelerate.

Back to the letter, they want to see me again in a year to track what route of deterioration my eyes have taken. A YEARS TIME before looking into possible treatments, if any and in the meantime I am to sit tight and it is most important I should keep my blood sugar(s) level. I can’t deal with today’s letter, it is again sealed, folded then stacked and shelved amongst the bottom end, two-thirds down a stack of white paper envelopes that I’ll never open.

Taken from my book, ‘Persona Non Grata with Diabetes.’ I hope you don’t mind me sharing. P

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


Official Press 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



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.

Diabetes is costing the economy of the United Kingdom £1m per hour


Diabetic: ‘Sorry, my blood sugar is 19.0 (US & EU 343) I must go home. I can’t think, I feel sick, I’m unable to digest, I feel faint, I’m trembling, sweating though my shirt, breath smells sweet, must have forgotten to take my night time insulin. I must go home and have my insulin before I fall over into a hyper-coma.’

Boss: “So bloody inconvenient.” – Inner voice. Shrug of the shoulders, ‘So, what does that mean? Are you saying you have to go home again – now?  You don’t have it with you?‘

Diabetic: ‘Well yeah, I’m really unwell.’

Boss: ‘You can’t have someone drop it off for you?’

Diabetic: ‘I need to lie down.’

Boss: ‘It’s not ideal you know. We have other key team members off sick at the moment.’

Diabetic: “Yeah with hangovers.” – Inner voice.  ‘I’m sorry there is nothing I can do. I need to head home and have my night time insulin and rest till it takes effect.’

Boss: “Yeah, like that’s my problem.” – Inner voice. ‘It isn’t the best time you know? We have tight deadlines to meet and you were off already with the diabetes. Can’t you have some Coca-Cola? I have some birthday cake on my desk with a hundred candles on it; wait and have a bit of that instead?’

Diabetic, ‘I was at the Diabetic Clinic the last time I was off. Listen, my eyes are going blurry and I have to go urgently.’

Boss: ‘Fair enough; it’s very inconsiderate but if you really have to… Oh, but can you finish up first and send updates to everyone on exactly what they will have to do to cover for you at such short notice. And haven’t you got meetings scheduled this afternoon? You don’t want to miss them and we’re all going to sing Happy Birthday to Cheryl on Reception… And we have that Marketing presentation.’

Diabetic: ‘I need to go now.’

Boss: ‘Well when will you be back?’

Diabetic: ‘Tomorrow morning.’

Boss: ‘So why were you off for so long last time, wasn’t that the diabetes?’

Diabetic: ‘No. I was on holiday.’

Boss: ‘You were on the phone and sending emails all the time.’

Diabetic: ‘You had me working from home to meet deadlines.’

Boss: ‘Well if you really have to go, I suppose… but didn’t I see you smoking?’

Diabetic: ‘Twelve years ago.’

Boss: ‘That’s what gave you the diabetes then; self-inflicted?’

Diabetic: ‘No.’

Boss: ‘And what about James in Marketing, his grandmother has the diabetes, what did he say?’

Diabetic: ‘To have some cake.’

Boss: ‘I told you I’ve got cake in my office. And Cheryl on Reception, whose birthday you’re going to miss, she has the asthma, what does she say about all this?’

Diabetic: ‘That I should get a new diet-book.’

Boss: ‘Great idea! And what about Brian in Human Resources, what does he think?’

Diabetic: ‘That he fancies Cheryl.’

Boss: ‘And Harold in Accounts?’

Diabetic: ‘He fancies Cheryl as well.’

Boss: ‘Harold had the flu last week and he is back at his desk. What does he make of your diabetes?’

Diabetic: ‘He thinks it’s probably caused by work related stress because you keep taking on three-month projects and telling the clients we can deliver in three weeks.’

Boss: ‘What about your Doctor say; he must be sick of looking at you.’

Diabetic: ‘He says have more insulin and get myself a better diet-cook-book.’

Boss: ‘And the Specialists? You had a day off to see them before; did they not fix the diabetes?’

Diabetic: ‘They just said to eat what I like and have more insulin and buy their latest diet-cookery-books.’

Boss: ‘What about that thing on the news where they cured that dog. Can they not do that to you?’

Diabetic: ‘I don’t think it works like that.’

Boss: ‘Well, I see what you’re saying but I don’t feel you are doing yourself any favours and no-one here is going to give you a cuddle. Hadn’t you better snap out of it?’

Diabetic: ‘???’

Boss: ‘So all that and you’re really not willing to have some cake?’ hand on the shoulder, ‘Are you not just being a little bit difficult? I never planned for you to be off ill all of the time. Can you not just do me a personal favour and get better?’

Diabetic: ‘You don’t understand. I’m not being deliberately difficult. I need to go home now. I’m really ill!’

*The current cost to the economy of direct patient care, which includes treatment, intervention and complications, for those living with diabetes is estimated at £9.8 billion.

The current indirect costs associated with diabetes, such as those related to increased death and illness, work loss and the need for informal care, are estimated at £13.9 billion

It’ll be alright if we can just be unwell on very specific days, such as on holidays, Bank Holidays, Christmas Holidays and the Queen’s Birthday, but not working holidays.

If you can’t manage that then just be ill at everyone else’s convenience, and know well in advance when you expect to be ill; for exactly how long; have an ailment considered acceptable (falling into criteria of your Boss’s, colleagues and Doctor’s satisfaction); be willing to work from home unpaid whilst absent; never present the same ailment more than once in a single year (so uncouth); get on your knees and beg forgiveness – but don’t drool (too untidy) and promise (cross my heart and hope to die) never-ever to be ill again.

Clearly as a country we are calculating profit and loss in a game of chickens before they hatch; discrediting real world factors (our health – we are all made up of protein and bacteria after all) and promoting them as excuses for poor economic stability. Last year we entered into a double-dip recession riding on the back of a Royal Wedding and some snow. Running out of excuses fast, they pick on us.

Guilt in favour of understanding; welcome to the Health Class System.

*Deaths from diabetes in 2010/11 resulted in over 325,000 lost working years.


Written by Paul Cathcart, Author of ‘Persona non grata with diabetes.



//* Official statistics quoted from Diabetes UK. http://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/News_Landing_Page/NHS-spending-on-diabetes-to-reach-169-billion-by-2035/

What is diabetic emotion?

While I respect the wish-list deliverable of a ‘diabetes cure‘ and observe growing concerns over a global diabetes time bomb, I can’t help but feel the actual reality of diabetic understanding (not diabetes) continues to evade us.

“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.”

Hello World!

I want to get better.


Paul Cathcart, Author of ‘Persona non grata with diabetes.’