Overcoming challenges – knowledge is power!
North Carolina author Carl S. Armato, president and CEO of Novant Health, is an in demand speaker on leadership, community involvement, and diabetes – the focus of this second book ‘A Future With Hope’, his first book being ‘It’s Never Just Another Monday.’
It is refreshing to read a book about a disease written by one who has lived with that disorder. Carl has diabetes mellitus type 1, diagnosed when he was a child of 18 months. The impact of this particular author’s book is even more impressive because of his leadership stance in a major health organization. It speaks well for both the people with diabetes and for those attending them – doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and families – with significant evidence that this once ‘impossibly chronic illness’ can be now overcome.
Opening with a discussion with a teenager with diabetes attending a meeting sponsored by the American Diabetes Association gives a fine overview of Carl’s worldview - and finding the path toward positive thinking and respect for the body and the care of health. With this warm advice he follows with a discussion of his journey through life with the diagnosis of diabetes. His sidebars are devoted to words from his parents and others in which we see his emphasis on taking care not only of himself but also his support system, a feeling he emphasizes throughout the book. As he states, ‘Refuse to let diabetes deprive you of hope or success. The more you exercise control over diabetes, the less it has control over you.’
In this manner the author allows us to enter his zone of self-help and honoring support, and his inserted stories magnify the importance of those values. Exercise, taking ownership of the disease, refusing to deny the diagnosis to others, embracing a new normal (“For a really long time, I thought being different was a negative thing. But as I grew older, I started to realize we were all born to stand out; nobody is born to blend in.’ and ‘For a diabetic, normal is whatever you make it.’), necessary vigilance to face challenges, and a very fine discussion about self care and management – all make this an indispensible guide for understanding and dealing with diabetes.
Carl has matured with his disease, adapting to all the innovations as they arise – he uses a Bluetooth sensor connected to an insulin pump and monitors his blood glucose levels sensitively, manages potential hypoglycemia intelligently, and is fervent about promoting a positive attitude about his disease with others, both in his profession and in his commitment to the community in speaking about his philosophy. Throughout his book he emphasizes the importance of his family support system, both from his parents and doctors when he was a child and from his wife and family and co-workers as an adult. This is one inspiring book on many levels, a tribute to the human spirit and to the many fellow patients with diabetes, as well as an immensely entertaining and informative volume. Highly recommended.
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