Book Report

far-from-the-tree_420One amazeball book: Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree. Reader fall right into giant tome, writing like butter. All about children born w. extreme difference from family. So far Bigfoot only read Dwarf, Down Syndrome chapters, skim Deaf. Everything similar experience diabetes, but diabetes much, much easier.

Dwarf part especially ring diabetes-truthy because so much re LPA convention remind Bigfoot FFL; i.e. thrill of afflicted (sure wrong word) child first time surrounded by persons with similar disability (sure ww again).

Also this:

This is ostensibly about autism, but…

This is ostensibly about autism, but…

While know diabetes probably help explain but not define, maybe hurt child feelings when wish for cure? Child think parent not accept child wholly? Deep in heart feel Bubs no Bubs at all w/o diabetes. Not wish D away, bc then wind up totally different child. Love this child. Love this version this child. Same time, wish cure. Maybe this paradigm not apply diabetes. 

Awesomeness this book not news, only news for Bigfoot because wait in long line library (frugal!) holds after hear interview on Fresh Air. (<–Listen while wash dishes.) (Speedy!)

I don't really recommend this. But I can't stop thinking about it.

I don’t really recommend this. But I can’t stop thinking about it.

Other book report: Joel Fuhrman The End of Diabetes. Really too hardcore this reader. While totally believe possible cut insulin use 1/2, believe rigid diet very helpful health, this diet—especially for child, which author not even recommend/mention for child—so extreme, might as well just give up food, use IV, never eat again. Not literally, but practically literally.

And very mean tone for Type 2. Cliff Notes version: you have diabetes because you are fat and eat crap, and if you can’t reverse your diabetes, it’s because you aren’t trying hard enough.

Also very harsh w. prognoses, etc. E.g. this wretched gathering sentences:

Whoa. Take it easy. This is as unbelievable to me as Nurse Thor's removable eye.

Whoa. Take it easy. This is as unbelievable to me as Nurse Thor’s removable eye.

One idea, wonder if true, insulin itself very bad for human body. Idea of try control diet in order limit insulin to same amount as functioning panc. would release. Insulin: carb ratio not do this? Functioning panc. not release more when eat more carbs? Not sure how determine how many units func. panc. emit. This interesting idea, very appealing, but very scary think insulin so bad for human veins/organs. Haunt as administer correction bolus 2AM. But what else gonna do?

The back cover gives it a nice sheen of not over-reaching, not over-promising.

The back cover the book’s big promise a nice sheen of not over-reaching.

One Fuhrman idea very appealing for sure is slam ADA diet recommend french toast, margarine/similar as diabetes breakfast. Bigfoot loathe mainstream/Walmartyness of diabetes treatment, Joel Fuhrman loathe same thing even more. That why Bigfoot not totally hate this book. Also some nice salad dressing recipes @end.



  1. I · June 3, 2013

    Awesome. As always. 🙂


  2. mollyjade · June 3, 2013

    I’m vegan for nondiabetes reasons, and I have to say that Dr. Furhman is full of shit. He exaggerates, uses shock tactics, and recommends an unsustainable diet.

    Just the sentence under the (terrifying) one you pointed at is BS. There is no proof that a perfect heart-healthy diet (if such a universal thing even exists) would counteract all the heart disease risk of type 1.

    Excuse the bad language, but playing on people’s fears and promising the impossible piss me off.


    • Katy · June 3, 2013

      I really, really wanted someone to say what you said. Because I was feeling kind of irresponsible for not taking him more seriously.


  3. Jacquie Paul Wojcik · June 3, 2013

    So I have a 33% chance of dying within the next 15 years? I’m retiring early! I quit!


    • Katy · June 3, 2013

      I am so, so relieved that this is a known bad book. Imagine the guilt if you *could* cure your child with tahini and lentils, but didn’t do it.


  4. Scott E · June 3, 2013

    I’m just going to address the first part, because the second – as mollyjade noted, is so misguided and full of crap that it’s not worth the effort.

    It doesn’t bother me when people hope for a cure, and I don’t think it would bother Bubs either. I hope for one too, for myself (even though I can’t imagine what my life would be like if there was one), and when the antidote becomes available on, I’ll even pay extra for overnight shipping (which I *never* do!). It DOES bother me, though, when people hope (or, to use the word in the book, pray) for a cure and use it with a tone of despair. That can be really troubling. That implies that there’s no other way, and is almost a premature expression of grief or hopelessness.

    Back to your point, there are parts of me that would indeed be “missing” without diabetes, but many of the other parts would be just the same; I’d still be the same person and I’d get along fine. But I understand how you feel — I think of my own brother, whose severely disabled because of a freak genetic mishap (for lack of a better term) called Angelman Syndrome. Now at age 36, he still can’t speak or read, requires constant supervision, is very awkward and clumsy in his motor skills, can’t use the bathroom on his own, and a host of other things I won’t get into now. Seeing my own kids (the youngest at 18 months) surpass my 36-year-old brother’s abilities is really an awkward feeling. BUT — for the most part, he’s happy.

    A month or two ago, I read a blog post written by a mother of a child with A-S (younger and higher functioning than my own brother) and about the fundraising “walk for a cure” they would participate in. It got me thinking — if my brother could be cured, would I want it? Because then he’d be a 36-year old man with no social skills who is ill-equipped to blend into society. Perhaps he could somehow go through an accelerated Billy Madison-style crash course and emerge as a “regular” member of society, but then he wouldn’t be the perpetual child that we’ve grown to love. Unlike diabetes, A-S *does* define who he is: it’s present in every aspect of his life and every expression and interaction he makes. The only difference is — I’m not sure he knows it; and if he does, I don’t know if it bothers him.

    Sorry for the long diversion, but thinking about what a cure (for whatever it is we speak of) would mean and how it would change a person really is a lot to think about…


    • Katy · June 3, 2013

      You especially might like Far From the Tree—I’m going to peek ahead to see if there’s an A-S chapter!

      This stuff is so interesting—identity, who we really are, etc.

      Sent from my iPhone


    • Katy · June 3, 2013

      “It DOES bother me, though, when people hope (or, to use the word in the book, pray) for a cure and use it with a tone of despair.” <–me too, man. Also agree on the overnight shipping fee.


  5. Scott K. Johnson · June 3, 2013

    You know, I’ve never considered that angle of hoping for a cure. Even when I heard it as a youngster, I always figured it was hoping for ME but without all of the suckage that diabetes burdens me with. Right? But I can also see the point addressed in the book.

    For the second part, that sounds like some extremely dated information. Jeff H. from CWD has some great study data that shows most PWD’s nowadays live just as long as anyone else.


    • Katy · June 3, 2013

      I love that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


  6. Sara · June 4, 2013

    A book I would recommend is Strong at the Broken Places by Meredith Veira’s husband ( It doesn’t talk about diabetes but it’s about how people live with their chronic illnesses. I like this description – readers “will be carried into the hearts and minds of those who cope with sickness daily and will learn about self-determination, courage in the face of adversity and ignorance, keeping hope alive, and finding strength and peace.”


    • Katy · June 4, 2013

      I will read it! Reserving at the library now…


  7. Robin Jingjit · June 4, 2013

    I really liked reading this today because I vascillate back and forth with my son’s seizure disorders. Some days I think if I could somehow choose, of course I would choose for L to never have another seizure. But then sometimes I don’t feel that way, it’s a part of him. I always hated myself f


    • Robin Jingjit · June 4, 2013

      Whoops, not done. Anyway I was going to say hated myself for the second part, because it makes me feel like deep down I’m one of those munchausen-by-proxy moms on TV. But this is much more comforting.


  8. bonni · June 5, 2013

    This is spot on for Deaf people. I come from a family of all Deaf individuals. They identify in their culture and to want to be anything else is an affront. My dad would never wish for hearing if he was given a I’ll give you anything in the world-genie style wish. He was pretty positive that when he got to Heaven, God would be signing as opposed to giving hearing to my Dad.
    From the diabetes perspective, I agree that Diabetes doesn’t define my child. Maybe because it is still so new. But I wish for cure and am grateful for insulin.
    I’ll be reserving my copy of this book at my local library to take on vacation. Thanks Katy. (Last year on vacation I read the book you recommended, I can’t remember the title, but it was the discovery of insulin)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lexi · June 6, 2013

    I love “Far from the tree” too, it makes me really put everything in perspective (I’m at the prodigies part, I understand the last chapters aren’t very tasteful).
    When I read the part about the cure I also thought about my diabetes and I don’t think that paragraph refers to the same thing. I don’t see diabetes as an identity – though I love the idea of the diabetes community, I bet there are people that would choose to have it only to feel that they are part of a community – so I wouldn’t mind being cured. Then we could establish a community of former diabetics, wouldn’t that be nice? We could be all grumpy and pass remarks about the younger generations lack of ability in SWAGing.


    • Katy · June 6, 2013

      The last 1″ of pages is bibliography & index–you’re probably almost done!

      Ha ha–“In my day…”


      • Katy · June 6, 2013

        I liked the last chapters, but I think Dwarfism was my favorite.


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