Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Power Of Syringe Wielding Parents

It's a little strange how these things bother the diabetes community, but they do. Tremendously. There are hundreds of people out there with type 1 diabetes and their parents (especially the parents-lol) who would be at your throats at the mere mention of any incorrect info regarding type 1 diabetes.
Now realize that I don't watch TV or movies, and if I did I would most definitely not be watching Hannah Montana (LOL). But I want to give this as an illustration. There was an episode of of HM that was supposed to come out, called "No sugar sugar".
Yes, supposed to come out. I say that because there is an online forum of parents of children with type 1 diabetes that found an illegal trailer of the episode. They were immediately up in arms. They felt that this episode portrayed many terrible myths about diabetes.
Let's go through some of them:
Firstly, they made it sound as if the boy with diabetes got it as a result of eating too much sugar. Which, of course, he didn't. Scientists still don't know what causes type 1 diabetes, but over consumption of sugar is not even among their choices. (On the other hand, vitamin D deficiency might be....omg.) the parents felt this may hurt their children, as people will accuse them of causing their own diabetes. Makes sense, IMO.
The more important one was this: they kept stressing the importance of not eating sugar if you have diabetes. While this myth is simply that, a myth, it can also be dangerous. Here's why. On a regular basis, someone with type 1 diabetes can eat all the sugar they want, there are times when they MUST have sugar. Imagine this scenario:

(SD is answering questions in a monotone and monosyllables. She also looks spaced out, and her hands are shaking.)
SMI: SD, are you ok?
SD: dunno.
SMI: is there anything I can do for you?
SD: dunno.
SMI: um, you have diabetes, right?
SD: yeah.....
SMI: so you need insulin or something?
SD: no.....sugar.....
SMI: sugar? For a diabetic??? I think NOT!! I wouldn't want you to get sick!
SD: ....but.....I'm.....low.....
SMI: listen, I don't know much about diabetes, but I know this: people with diabetes can't have sugar under any circumstances and no excuse you will give me is going to convince me to give you something potentially harmful!

Whether she pours out my orange juice, dumps my winkies in the trash, or simply yells at me not to eat that, you can see how this can become a potentially dangerous situation. If my blood sugar is low, I NEED sugar. My blood sugar doesn't get low too often, and it has hardly gotten to the level that I need someone to assist me in getting sugar, but the few times that it has, I recovered feeling very grateful that I hadn't been in the presence of idiots who were dangerously misinformed. (Or at least that I hadn't been in the presence of people who think they know everything because they watched it on Hannah Montana...)
So anyway, back to our super dedicated parents, they did everything possible to prevent this show from airing. They emailed and called the big shots at the Hannah Montana show. They rallied for public support. They did everything in their power. And it worked! The episode was pulled. And the illegal trailer was removed from YouTube before I could manage to watch it, which is a shame, because I would have loved to actually know what I was talking about rather than make it up...
The moral of the story: don't underestimate the power of overtired, syringe wielding parents in large groups. Oh, wait, the moral was supposed to have something to do with giving sugar to diabetics, well sorry, you'll have to figure it out on your own...

So what are the top diabetes myths? I'll let you know in an upcoming post. Right now I'm off to eat some sugar just to prove people wrong.... ;)

11 comments:

Inspired said...

I agree, if this episode would have been aired, it could've been really dangerous! I was quite impressed by these parents ambitiousness- never underrate their power!

Something Different said...

Oh I couldn't. Remember that these are the same parents that coordinated a "storm the media and beg for type 1 awareness" week. I guess after that nothing would shock me... Lol.

halfshared said...

Very interesting. I never knew that a diabetic can be low on sugar. I also used to think that diabetics can't eat anything with sugar, so I've been woefully uninformed, although the truth is, I really had no need to know about it. I'm just glad to learn some basic facts now because one never knows what kinds of situations they'll find themselves in.

Child Ish Behavior said...

As we say in Economics, the customer is always right. When people see that the customer base doesn't like what the company is selling, the company goes out of business, or changes their ways.

little sheep said...

but, SD, how will you EVER outgrow your juvenile diabetes if you eat sugar????? ;-)

(before anyone starts yelling at me, yes i know she can eat sugar...)

Something Different said...

HS- yes, of course we can!! Managing diabetes is about trying to maintain normal blood sugar levels. If you take more insulin than you need, or if you exercise without the proper vigilance, or... or.... or.... or... or...., your blood sugar can drop, and you need to have quick acting carbs like sugary drinks or candy (or glucose tabs-ewwww!) to bring up your blood sugar. Know how you feel after a fast? That's basically how a low blood sugar feels only it's a thousand times worse. And yes, we can eat whatever in the world. (stuffs brownie into my mouth)
I definitely think basic education is important. Read my post called "my other blog, and a bit about diabetes".

CIB-I wouldn't say that rule applies here. It was a very small minority who cared. I think it might have something to do with the fact that Nick Jonas has type 1 diabetes. Don't ask me what cuz I still haven't figured out how he became such a celbrity. Just repeating the hock from the diabetes forum...

Something Different said...

LS- that's why I go to the gym-duh!
(truth is, the brownie was SGWSSF...but no BPO...rofl)

little sheep said...

ok, SD, what were those abbreviations? i don't have a head for figuring that out right now...

Something Different said...

Well I didn't have a stomach for eating it so we're even.... :-p

Zeeskeit said...

You are a panic...I LOVE your blog! You have me ROFL most of the time.

I knew very little about Diabetes besides that my friends father only ate sugar free cookies. But one thing DID penetrate my thick skull. I remember hearing stories about a diabetic being saved when someone gave him a chocolate bar...(I think in a Chaim Walder book)and that got me thinking and asking questions...

Now that I know my good friend has diabetes as well, I'm trying to learn more and more so as not to make dumb mistakes and weird comments....

Thx for the blog! Keep it going!

Something Different said...

And thanks for that compliment....my head just swelled up three sizes... :-p

Your friend's father was probably very uneducated. It's like the guest we has who refused cookies because he is a diabetic but ate an enormous quantity of white bread, potatos and fruit. Carbs are all the same! (except in the case of a low...)

I'd love to hear which book it was. I enjoy making myself mad by read stories with inaccurate info. ;)

You sound like a great friend. If you really want to become educated, chocolate is not the best in an extreme low, because it contains fat which slows the absorbtion of sugar, meaning the blood sugar doesn't get raised as quickly.

Oh, btw, if your friend has email, tell her to email me: justablob@gmail.com