Gary Kleinman was six years old when he was diagnosed as diabetic; at 18 he was declared legally blind, and ten years later...

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Gary Kleinman was six years old when he was diagnosed as diabetic; at 18 he was declared legally blind, and ten years later he experienced kidney failure--both complications of diabetes. His greatest anger is directed, justifiably, at those (including the American Diabetes Association) who lead the public and diabetics to believe that diabetics can live a normal or near-normal life if they but follow the rules. The same lesson can be gleaned more rewardingly, however, from Lawrence Pray and Richard Evans' The Journey of a Diabetic (p. 362). Kleinman skips wildly around--from ""When I wasn't born, I exploded,"" to his present predicament. His prose is scattershot--sometimes vacant (""Life is so crazy. I mean, really bizarre""), sometimes convoluted (""The saints themselves were not free of self-congratulation as they languished in terminal virtue and the national JDF, not more than the UN, the AMA, the YMCA, and the ASPCA are not saints but men and women who are trying""). It is possible to piece together the story of Kleinman's energetic youth; study and some success as a sculptor (he introduced himself to, and was aided by, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth); involvement with diabetes research and counseling of young diabetics. And he did follow the rules as they were in the Sixties: insulin, blood and urine testing, medical checkups--only to find himself, at 28, ""flat on my ass hooked up to a million wires and tubes"" after receiving one of his mother's kidneys in a transplant operation. The facts are appalling--and under today's regimen, diabetics continue to be at risk. But as a personal story, Pray's is the one that's involving.

Pub Date: May 23, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1983