Borrowing Time: Growing Up with Juvenile Diabetes   

by Pat Covelli

             This review is about the autobiography of Pat Covelli. The full title of the book is Borrowing Time: Growing Up with Juvenile Diabetes. Pat was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of ten. It doesn't give the exact date, but I guess it must have been around 1965. For those of us who weren't around in 1965 it is hard to imagine what life as a diabetic would have been like. This book really made me take a look at how far we've come and also how much farther we need to go in finding a cure. This is the first book I have read that deals directly with the phsychology of diabetics. He looks at the affect the disease has on siblings, parents, spouses, and the individual. All diabetics question how "normal" they are, and Covelli is no exception. He was very introspective. He lived in a time when there was no humulin insulin. The Juvenile Diabetes Association wasn't created until he was 25 ( give or take a few years). In his book Covelli adresses rebellion, the feeling of being confined by his disease, and his view that diabetics have an insight and appreciation of life that others take for granted.

Quote: "It is therefore my responsibility, as a diabetic, to know the medical aspects of my condition, to be informed to the point where I myself am capable of judgment. I must be aware of the total picture, because I live in a world of specialists. I must be able to inform them of possible complications". Covelli believed that knowledge was key to controlling diabetes. He experienced unnecessary suffering because of a few ignorant doctors of the time. I think that Covelli's quote can be applied to all people regardless of whether they are diabetic. At some point in time people need to take responsibility of their lives/well being. Just because established people or institutions give you their opinion, it doesn't mean they are necessarily right. You need to do what is best for you. In sports and life. Another quote that really hit home with me was "We're all afraid of things we can't control. It helps to talk, because that's really the only thing you can do."

Covelli presents a clear and accurate description of diabetic complications. I think that no matter what the time period there is a certain phsychology that all diabetics can relate too. However; Mr. Covelli suffered from retinopathy and poor circulation. His descriptions can be morbid.

On a squale of 1 to 10, I would give this book a 7. It is part of our history.