Riva Greenberg is a diabetes patient-expert and health coach who has lived with diabetes for more than 30 years. Riva's first book, "The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes" guides patients to develop greater emotional resilience and work with their positive emotions to better manage diabetes. Riva is a columnist with the Huffington Post, she blogs on her website, DiabetesStories.com, and is a national speaker at diabetes conferences and support groups. See more on her Author Page at Amazon.
I was 18 when I got diabetes. It felt like a ton of bricks fell into my life and then skittered far away from my consciousness. Thirty-eight years have gone by and there is still no cure, but the way I live with diabetes now is completely different than how I lived with it then. Through the years I have educated myself on the basics: medicine, food, diet, exercise, stress and what many people overlook, developing emotional resiliency. My best advice: Learn everything you can and do your best. For me, today, that translates into never having worked as consistently at my diabetes management and never having felt so free and relaxed about it. Taking good care of my diabetes also makes me not only medically healthier, but emotionally healthier: I definitely value life and myself more.
These days I'm living what I consider an exceptional life, not despite having diabetes, but because I have it—and through my work I help others do the same. Over the past seven years I have been researching diabetes, from medical to behavioral management, and how diabetes affects our psyche, spirit, energy, happiness and quality of life. I have interviewed more than 140 people living with diabetes, family members and diabetes professionals, and I know that when you understand how diabetes works, you can work it. Diabetes can be a catalyst to create a healthier, more meaningful, fulfilling, appreciative and joyful life. It can be the stimulus to get fitter so you'll dance at your grandchild's wedding, turn your hobby into a thriving new business, follow a long-lost dream, or maybe work toward curing an incurable disease.
50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It is my second book about diabetes. Along with my first, The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes (2007) they form two legs of a three-legged stool: medical knowledge, emotional resilience and meaningfulness - you have to find a reason why doing the work of diabetes is worth it to you. Then this stool will hold you up to live your best life.
Sharing this message is my work and the foundation of my pretty exceptional life. Currently, I am working on a new diabetes book, a workshop, emerging models for better diabetes management, and I continue to interview people because I learn so much. I managed to take those bricks that fell on me so long ago and build a staircase to a pretty incredible life. I know you are capable of doing the same.