Adriana Arreaza-Rodríguez is confident that her book about living with diabetes, "No es tan dulce" (It's Not Too Sweet) will point the way for other people suffering from the disease.
"This is a book that seeks to bring hope to those who, like me, suffer from diabetes, and tell them they can lead a full life," the Venezuelan-born author tells Efe in an interview at her home in Irvine, California.
"It takes much discipline, persistence and tenacity, accompanied by faith in God and confidence in one's self. When we stick to all this, we can achieve the most ambitious goals. I am witness to this and it's what I want to share through my book," she says.
Arreaza-Rodríguez was only 7 years old when she became the first person in her family to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Since then, the now-44-year-old Adriana has had to inject herself with insulin every day, while adhering to a rigorous diet and regimen aimed at keeping her blood sugar within safe limits.
Even so, she counts herself lucky.
"In 37 years that I have been suffering diabetes I haven't had a single complication," she says. "Statistically, after 12 years of diabetes you should develop something: the organs start degenerating, people have problems with their kidneys, go blind or their extremities are amputated."
"Complications are very frequent, but in my case there is nothing. I have a normal life; it's a miracle," Arreaza-Rodríguez marvels.
Married for 24 years, Adriana is the mother of two daughters, ages 14 and 21.
In her book, put out last month by Hirsch Publishing, she offers not only her narrative, but an explanation of medical concepts and terms, as well as practical guidance for diabetics about things such as how to safely finger- and toenails.
"They are fundamental details and people often have no idea how important they are because doctors don't always take the time to explain to us, with the depth that's needed, those things that can make the difference between being healthy or not," she says.
In addition to the book, Arreaza-Rodríguez shares her wisdom on a weekly Internet radio show, also called "No es tan dulce," at the Web site turadiolatinoamericana.com.
"People need not only the knowledge about what diabetes is, they also need love in their hearts, they need to feel there is someone who, though he or she doesn't know you, gives you a word of encouraging, gives you a hug, a handshake, who understands you, accepts you and comprehends you," she says.