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Shot: Staying Alive with Diabetes Paperback – January 15, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''The author's transparency into her own story of diabetes is courageous and informative. This memoir is a moving read that will appeal to young women and diabetes sufferers alike.''
--Library Journal

''. . . hands-down the most 'relatable' book about life with diabetes I've ever read.''
--Amy Tenderich, Diabetes Mine

''Amy Ryan really understands what it takes to manage this relentless disease. Her view into type 1 diabetes is personal, frank, memorable and right on target.''
--William V. Tamborlane, MD, Professor and Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology, Yale School of Medicine

Shot is a heartfelt and moving tale about real life with type 1 diabetes. If you have type 1 diabetes, or care about someone who does, you'll love this book, and benefit from the love, aggravation and wisdom in Amy Ryan's story.''
--William H. Polonsky, Behavioral Diabetes Institute

''The book took me back to my early days when I was first diagnosed, which were good to remember; I could see how far I've come and how successful I am now. Shot is a realistic portrayal of first being diagnosed with diabetes, finding your way and learning how to tame it, remembering that along with glucose tabs, Amy's last message of hope that should also be our constant companion.''
--Riva Greenberg, A1c Champion, diabetesstories.com

''Amy Ryan's important new book tells the truth about living with type 1 diabetes; the tears and fears, but also the inspiration and courage to overcome. If you've ever wished you could find someone who totally understands what you're going through with this disease, Amy will be like a new best friend.''
--Dan Hurley, award-winning journalist and author of Diabetes Rising: How a Rare Disease Became a Modern Pandemic, and What to Do About It --Book Reviews

About the Author

Amy Fitzgerald Ryan lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her family. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Georgetown University Law Center. She practices law in Washington, D.C., with a specialty in commercializing new medical technologies. Shot is her first book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Hudson Whitman; 1 edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976881357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976881353
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,678 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a general population we are becoming increasingly familiar with type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, however, remains something of a mystery, and it's often conceived as a "just" a chronic condition that means a patient might have to take insulin sometimes and watch what he or she eats -- i.e., not that "big of a deal."

This book proves quite clearly what a misconception that is. Ms. Ryan's story illustrates just how serious Type 1 diabetes is, with potentially life-threatening, and often unpredictably-timed, consequences. But setting the medical info aside, to me, the greater benefit of the book is to show the extent to which the disease pervades a patient's daily life -- how exhausting it would be, mentally and physically, to have to prick your finger and check your glucose level 10-15 times per day, and then to have to inject yourself with the right amount of insulin at each time; how day in and day out it never changes. Fifteen years after diagnosis, the patient is not only "shot" with medication, but mentally "shot" too. It was, for me at least, a real eye-opener about life with a chronic condition.

The book is not at all negative or depressing, though. By contrast, Ms. Ryan tells her story with good humor and even joy (at times!). She's not embarassed to share the good or the bad and puts a very human face on the disease. One of my favorite parts of the book is when she discusses her decision to convert to an insulin pump, and shares her very real (but something I wouldn't have thought of) concerns about how it could affect intimacy in her marriage! Her experiences with pregnancy were also eye-opening for someone whose only experience with a diabetic pregnancy is "Steel Magnolias" and a gestational diabetes glucose test.
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I can't say enough great things about this book. I am not a diabetic, nor do I have any close family members with diabetes. Instead, I relate to this book through the author's fantastic writing, which brings the reader into her story in ways that are alternately funny, heartbreaking, warm, and utterly relatable to anyone who has ever faced a challenge in their life (which is, I think, pretty much everybody).

I cried when reading this book. I laughed - a lot. I nodded along. I do struggle with other, unrelated chronic health issues - and so I 'recognized' many of the challenges the author describes so vividly: our sometimes-ludicrous medical system; the struggle with whether, and when, to identify yourself as 'disabled'; the tension between independence and relying on others in times of crisis; the issue of when to tell your friends and co-workers about your condition (and how to deal with their reactions); the tricky, and sometimes terrifying decisions about treatment; and above all, the challenge of holding on to your humanity, even in those moments when your 'condition' feels like it's going to overwhelm you.

Ms. Ryan tells the story of her own navigation through these waters with remarkable detail, from diagnosis to daily regime, from pregnancy to the insulin pump. Yet somehow - even when describing really tough things - she always seems to lift the reader up, never to weigh them down.

Buy this book. If you have diabetes, or if you know someone who does; if you struggle with other health issues, or if you know someone who does; or if you just want to read a great story - buy this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My girlfriend who is a T1D (3Y) had this book recommended to her by a mentor of a sort. Initially she was very hesitant to pick up a copy as she's already read so many supposedly helpful books on diabetes. When she told me about it I figured I would order a copy as it seemed interesting enough and her mentor has had some very good recommendations in the past. Little did I know that I would actually be getting a window into what it's like to be a type 1 diabetic going from diagnosis to dealing with daily life and the burnout that can occur.

I highly recommend it for everyone who knows or has T1 diabetes. For family and friends of diabetics it's an amazing story, approachably written, where you can actually feel the anxiety and depression she felt going through it. The only other way to get this insight is to have the disease itself.

For diabetics I recommend it as well just to know you're not alone out there with all your frustrations, anger, anxieties, and trials. My girlfriend and I settled in for the evening and she read through the first few chapters. When she put the book down she started crying as she remembered her own diagnosis and the bewildering world she entered. I think it had a cathartic effect on her as we spent the next hour talking about it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amy captures all the emotions and reactions we feel when we are diagnosed, interact with our family and co workers and just life itself. Felt like she was writing my own thoughts and feelings. Thank you Amy ... EXCELLENT!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is so much like my own experience with Type 1 diabetes that the author almost could have been writing about me. Ms. Ryan relates her experience of being diagnosed with diabetes as an adult in detail. Like me, she was initially diagnosed as Type 2 since at that time Type 1 was only considered to be a juvenile condition. Those with Type 1 can easily relate to her fears and experiences, and those who know someone with Type 1 can get insight into what that person is truly experiencing.
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