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The Forum: "Diabetes is like a Religion"


11 January 2006

The Forum: "Diabetes is like a Religion"

I just had to post a few of the letters that the NYT has posted on their email forum for their series on Diabetes this week. Here are a few of what I think are the best. Not necessarily because I agree, but because it really does sum up what the media doesn't ever hear. The voice of diabetes...not a staged one-off interview in a Harlem chapel.

From: kathleengriffin1 - 11:28 AM ET January 9, 2006 (#19 of 79)
Ignorance plus Bias equals Police State
"The new superstition regarding diabetes and obesity is leading to the proposal that diabetics be registered and monitored as public menaces. The New York Times knows it is promulgating a hysterical witch-hunt based on ignorance and bias. The image of a 400 pound person placidly refusing to lose weight and become perfectly acceptable, while draining the resources of the general public, is a caricature as bigoted as Thomas Nast’s racist cartoons. Diabetes is more often inherited than “caused” by overweight; onset can be delayed by diet and exercise, but no more than delayed; there are several forms of diabetes. In my case, all four grandparents from poor, thin, and physically hard-working farming or dock-working families contributed diabetes: Type I, Type II, and situational (stress or gestational). Careful behavior only delayed onset until 50. Like so many of the diabetics in NYC, I earn too much to receive free health care and not enough to have job health care..." (read more, go to the Forum.)

From: korsborn - 11:55 AM ET January 9, 2006 (#20 of 79)
"Please, please distinguish carefully type I from type II diabetes. Genetics combined with an otherwise benign viral infection cause this autoimmune disease, not obesity, poverty, poor diet, or sloth. It generally strikes otherwise healthy, active kids completely out of the blue. Type I CAN NOT be controlled by diet and excercise because the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are completely destroyed, although a balanced diet and excercise are crucial to a healthy life, as for everyone. Without exogenous insulin, a type I diabetic would die in a few days, no matter how healty the diet or how vigorous the excercise because insulin is required for all organs except the brain to internalize glucose and therefore to function. Your article as written simply does not distinguish carefully enough between the two types, and potentially adds to the burden of misunderstanding a child with Type I has to carry..."

From: mooreas - 4:22 PM ET January 11, 2006 (#80 of 80)
Rich vs. Poor and the Healthy California Myth
"I found the map showing prevalence of diabetes in the city of New York interesting. The lower the socioeconomic status of an area, the heavier the shading in the prevalence code. A map showing yearly incomes within NYC laid on top of this map would be one more sad commentary on how so many people are left behind in this country. Preventive health care, affordable insurance, time for cooking healthy meals and exercising, even something as simple as a pair of gym shoes - all of this is out of reach for so many American citizens with no money or who have children and are working 2 jobs. The only action on this front seems to be the continual cutting in Congress of any glimmer of a program that might help poor people. I've got mine and no one else is gettin their paws on it - this seems to be the new national anthem, even though it will result directly in someone getting their paws on that money because we'll all be paying for a national diabetes crisis soon enough.
And I'm mighty embarassed for the person who stated "In California, we are more health conscious," as if that's true and as if to imply diabetes isn't be a problem there. This person actually seems to believe that high rates of diabetes sufferers is an isolated situation in NYC. Take a look at a diabetes map for California."

From: injectionsites - 2:23 AM ET January 10, 2006 (#43 of 80)
"In April I will “celebrate” my 65th birthday. My A1C is 7.1
I check my blood 8 - 12 x a day
I take 2 - 3 Insulin Injections a day. From head to toe, I measure 5’8” (172 cm) My weight is 172 pounds (1 pound / 1 cm) and last but not least, I HAVE NOT HAD ANY DIABETIC COMPLICATIONS……yet, after 22 years of Diabetes.
How I do it? ……I believe,
I know something about Diabetes
Last September we (our Hiking Club) went to PERU for 3 weeks to hike the “Inca Trail” and the highest point we reached (carrying a backpack of 45 pounds), was 16,000 feet and that for a 64 year young Diabetic, I think that is an achievement!
Take you pick ……Heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, amputation, it’s up to you!"


Blogger Megan said...

I like the letters you picked. They do highlight my concerns with the articles.

2:29 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

The last letter is my favorite. Injectionsites is my kind of person!

2:50 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thank you for posting these, esp. injectiosites.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Snouffer said...

I loved Injectionsites too! It made me smile...because in the end, believing in your diabetes is just believing in your future!

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Laura the LIVabetes Glucose Goddess said...

Hey there Elizabeth,
Great post...
Love injectionsites Positive Attitude...what an inspiration!

2:08 AM  

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