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

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.’


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.


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

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

Can I be rude and ask a favour of you all?

Can I be rude and ask a favour of you all? I’ve spent four years writing ‘Persona non grata with diabetes’ and I went against using a traditional publisher because they wanted to charge £12 / $16 for it. So I’m out here on my own trying to tell people about it, and it’s hard and I need your help.

The people who have read my book have loved it, http://www.pngwd.com/readerreviews.html I’ve written it for you all because I believe we all share in the same diabetic emotions. So please check out the website, send on a link to your diabetic social circles and let me know if you want to review a free copy.

We are in this together and I am not some Pharma rep or financed in any way individual. I’m not even asking you to buy it; I’m hoping you will tell people about it.

Thank you,