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#1
rainbow

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My pet peeve about Type I diabetes is the fact that media coverage about diabetes almost exclusively focuses on Type II diabetes. I suppose that's inevitable given that 95 percent of diabetics are Type II, but it still annoys me. Here in Canada there's been a lot of discussion of the cost of our healthcare system, and several newspaper articles have been published saying that people should "take better care" of themselves because many health problems can be prevented - and diabetes is always mentioned as being a preventable condition. No one ever mentions that Type I cannot be prevented. In fact, Type II can't always be prevented if there's a genetic component. I know some people who have done everything "right" and still developed Type II because they have a genetic susceptibility to it.

The rare occasions that Type I is mentioned in the media is usually a weepy story about some poor unfortunate child who has developed this awful, awful disease and has to do finger pokes and injections for the rest of their life. My response to that is "Cry me a river." I've had Type I for almost 30 years and there were no finger pokes when I was diagnosed. I much prefer finger pokes to urine tests! I can take my meter to work with me and check my blood sugar sitting at my desk. Can't do that with urine tests. None of these news stories ever talks about adults with "juvenile" diabetes. You'd think that either diabetes went away in adulthood or the patient dies from it. Or maybe the reporters think they switch to being Type II.

#2
Tony

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You are right about the media coverage. I don't here much talk about type 1, if any. Even some dr., i don't think they know who has what type.

I thought i had type 2 diabetes, only because that is what the dr. has told me. When i changed dr. they said i have type1. Which make more sense to me. For one i'm not over weight. My girl friend thinks i'm under wieght.:confused:

Tony
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"Weeding my way through Diabetes, and taking all of you along for the ride." - archimeech


#3
BenEBrady

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I recently read an interesting article at www.reversingdiabetes.org that basically blames the use of cow's milk for nursing babies instead of mother's milk as the primary cause of Type I diabetes.

Apparently, according this article, there is a protein in cow's milk that makes the body's immune system create antibodies and in some people, this particular protein is also found in beta cells. The antibodies attack the beta cells and destroy them. According to the article, there is a direct correlation between the use of cow's milk and Type I diabetes. They state the countries that have the highest incidence of Type I are also the same countries that have the highest incidence of cow's milk use.

I found it interesting and at least plausible.
Ben E. Brady
You CAN live well with diabetes!

Last hbA1c: 6.1 on 10/21/08
Prior hbA1c: 5.7 on 5/8/08

Minimed Paradigm 722 - 12/12/08
On insulin therapy since 09/13/01
Diagnosed - 08/21/01

#4
teacher2000

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Hi everyone.

Ben,

That whole cows milk theory doesn't hold true in my daughter's case. Although I was only able to nurse her for three weeks due to a huge blood lose I suffered post delivery, I used SOY formula due to the fact that I am allergic to cows milk and we were afraid she would be too. This theory is kind of scary to me because it tends to blame mothers for not nursing. I don't know what your beliefs are, but this theory is being pushed by Pat Robertson and the 700 club. I have done a lot of research about type 1 and what I have come to believe is that this is an autoimmune disease caused possibly by two viruses combined with a genetic predisposition to diabetes. As soon as my 15 month old son is 3 I plan to have him participate in the Joslin diabetes research to prevent type 1.

There is also a misconception that type 2 diabetes is caused by being overweight. THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE. You must have a genetic presdispositon to diabetes. The body's inablility to use insulin causes or can cause weight gain. So it's the egg that came before the chicken. I certainly don't know everything about diabetes because I am so new to this,but these are some of the things I have learned in my research so far.

Rainbow-

I agree with you that there is way more coverage about type 2. I also agree that it's because lots more people have it. I also think that more coverage should be done on type 1 adults. I discovered that you can develop type 1 up to age 45 which suprised me. I do want to say that I didn't really like the "cry me a river" comment because you have never experienced being your child's pancreas. YOu have never had to explain to your 4 year old why you have to give her the owee pokes in the finger 5 x a day and why she has to have the 4 injections a day. Why she can't be like other kids and eat what she wants. WHY the daycare center she wanted to go to wouldn't take her because they didn't want to deal with a diabetic child or why she feels crappy because we can't quite get her blood sugars regulated or explain to her that she is not contageous and won't give diabetes to anyone else when no one else understands all of this. Having to constantly explain about her diabetes to everyone in front of her because everyone thinks they have the right to KNOW. Reassuring her she is not the only diabetic, but not being able to find a support group to show her this. I'm sorry to rant about this, but your comment hit me right where I live. I hope you can respect that. I see that you have been dealing with diabetes for a long time,but try to remember what it was like in the beginning for you and your family. There may be many medical advances since you were dx'd, but that doesn't make the emotional or day to day life changes any easier to deal with.:(

Tony- Thanks for this new site. I am hoping to see some parents join so we can give each other support.
Karen

#5
rainbow

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I may never have had to explain to a child the reason behind the finger pokes or the injections, but I've been there and done that since I was five years old. I much prefer finger pokes to urine tests. I also inject myself four to six times a day.

I got diabetes after a bout with the mumps. No one else in my family has either type, so I don't see a genetic component. No one on either my mother's or my father's side for as far back as anyone can remember has ever had any type of diabetes. We do however all have autoimmune conditions.

#6
emeraldbay

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I agree with Rainbow. I developed diabetes at the age of 11 1/2 after a bout with the flu. I had NO genetic predispoition on either side of the family. This was back in 1969 with NO meters, just inaccurate urine tests and not to much research and education available. My parents did not know what to do, so they told me "not to tell anyone" unless I really HAD to (close friends and teachers etc.) That doesn't do much for your self esteen but they thought they were doing good and had no support group to reach out to.

Ignorance still exsists today with Type I diabetes and I think wearing pumps will bring more media attention to the illness and possibly enlighten a lot of people. So I agree with the "cry me a river" comment. Little kids CAN understand more than you give them credit for! Al least you will be able to establish positive self-esteem in them at a young age. I was entering puberty when I was diagnosed and had double the struggles to overcome when my parents did not want to have me "tell" anyone, that stayed with me until my 30's.

I think it is up to us to make the media aware!

#7
carebearsmom

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I do agree that the media seems to target Type 2 diabetes. When they do run a story on Type 1, yes it is usually a sad, weeping story, but as we know - that sells. And personally, if I have to tell my daughter's sad, weepy story 2 million times in order to get one more person to donate money or time to find a cure, then I will tell that sad, weepy story. I also do not agree with the "cry me a river" comment - are you THAT insensitive to a child that doesn't understand what is happening to them? Do you not remember how people would react when they found out about you disease? Do you not remember how there were so many "normal" things that you would like to do or eat that sometimes you just couldn't? Cry me a river - you bet! And I will continue to cry a river for my daughter and every other person with this disease until we have a cure!
As far as the difference between urine and blood tests, I do not agree. While it is easier and more accurate to test blood, I would much rather ask my child to urinate than to prick her finger - at age 3 she has already had over 10,000 finger sticks - urinating is just something that you HAVE to do, pricking your finger DOES hurt!
Gentic link - well, there IS a genetic disposition for Type 2 - that has been medically proven. Type 1 is still out for debate. I have NO medical history in my family of diabetes and yet my daughter, after no illness and after being breast fed, was diagnosed just before her first birthday.
I am sorry that you have this disease. And I am sorry that my daughter does as well. But, please try to remember that people are suffering - there are children who want to be "normal" and adults who don't want to have to feel the need to "hide", and women who want desperately to have children but can't, and parents who would do ANYTHING to take this pain away from their children!

#8
rainbow

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I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I don't know how a parent could put up with having to make their child urinate on a regular schedule. I watched my siblings trying to toilet-train their kids and it was certainly a chore.

What about the newer kinds of BG meters that take blood from the forearm? They're supposed to hurt less (though I've never found finger pricks particularly painful).

When I was a kid it always seemed bizarre to me that adults made such a big fuss over the fact that I, or any other children had diabetes. It was never such a big deal to me. I never cried because I had diabetes. I watched the telethons every year that showed children with cancer or cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy and said "Thank God I don't have that. I'll keep the diabetes, thank you very much." There were very rare occasions when I got angry because others were eating things that I couldn't, but most people who knew I had diabetes didn't eat those things when I was there just so that I wouldn't get upset.

It always seemed that the grownups were the ones that were upset that I had diabetes and not me!

#9
carebearsmom

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My daughter actually would rather go to the bathroom than have her finger pricked... so, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one. As far as the new lancet devices are concerned - they actually bruise her more than pricking her finger, so we' re going to stick with that.
People act so strangely around her - especially strangers. They will stare and whisper - I hate that! I try to explain to people around that she is fine and this is just part of her everyday life now. But, I really have a problem when people don't want their kids to sit next to her, etc. We even had a gas station attendant who refused to let her use their bathroom because of it! I guess it's the ignorance that makes me so mad! And that upset my daughter as well. She will ask - why are people looking at me? Or - why are people so mean? I am glad that you have never had to deal with something like that, but please be sympathetic to those of us who have!

#10
rainbow

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It's very sad that there are ignorant people who treat your daughter badly because of her diabetes. Do they think they'll catch it or something? Yeesh!

#11
carebearsmom

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Sadly - yes! Can you believe that? We had a huge meeting at her pre-school and sent papers home and everything because parents were afraid theur child would"catch" diabetes. And the gas station attendance said the same thing - he couldn't afford for my daughter to contaminate his place!! IGNORANCE!!!!

#12
rainbow

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Catch diabetes? CATCH diabetes? What year is it? Last time I checked we were in the 21st century!! What year are these people living in? 1902 instead of 2002? ARRRGH!

#13
wander

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I agree that I also have a hard time with the media and the differeance of Type 1 and 2. I even read a newspaper article stating that they should rename Diabetes to "Lifestyle Disease"!!!! I went crazy. I wrote the newspaper and blasted them. I told them that they were responsible for public education and they should get thier facts straight before printing them. I asked them how exactly would you explain to a 5 year old child just diagnosed that it was her LIFESTYLE that caused her diabetes???? Or how about the parents of an 18 month old??? Come on..........There are TWO types of diabetes, get it right!
I seriously think that they should rename our diseases. I am 34 years old and have been diabetic 13 years. I weigh about 120lbs. People have even been so bold as to ask me how much weight I have lost! Assuming because I am diabetic I MUST have been obese.............UGHHH. This is one of those topics that gets me super mad. I also live in Canada, and if I hear one more time about the "PREVENTION" of Diabetes I am going to scream. TELL me how I could've prevented my diabetes again please?????

Wendy

#14
Mick

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Ok, whenever I go to a lab for bloodwork, when they see I'm getting the HgA1c, they know I'm diabetic, but have a hard time believing it, because I'm quite thin--137 lbs. Then they ask me how long I have been diabetic, and I answer, "37 years." Well, I don't even look 37 years old (I'm 50), so they act like that's impossible, they've never heard of a childhood diabetic grown up to age 50! What do they think?!? That we never grow up, like Peter Pan? Or that we just die off before we make it past age 30? Sheesh...

Michael

#15
BenEBrady

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What really bugs me is that now when I fly (and I do it quite often) I have to explain to complete and total (usually moronic) strangers why I have to carry syringes on the plane and why I refuse to let my insulin go through the airport x-ray. It's none of their damn business. And the next time someone asks me to take off my shoes I am going to scream!
Ben E. Brady
You CAN live well with diabetes!

Last hbA1c: 6.1 on 10/21/08
Prior hbA1c: 5.7 on 5/8/08

Minimed Paradigm 722 - 12/12/08
On insulin therapy since 09/13/01
Diagnosed - 08/21/01

#16
rainbow

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I live in Canada too, and whenever a newspaper writes an editorial about health care costs, they always mention so-called preventable diseases "like diabetes." One of the writers for my local paper did that, and she got blasted by the Canadian Diabetes Association and many, many readers with Type I or who were parents of children with Type I. She never did apologize, though; she just whined about all those horrible diabetic people who were picking on her.

#17
carebearsmom

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We also flew recently (back in December) and expected a total nightmare when it came to check in time. We were, of course, the people pulled for the "random" checks... go figure! We were VERY prepared and even had a note from the doctor stating that my daughter couldn't go through the regular metal detectors (we were afraid that it would screw with her pump batteries). Anywa, we did have a few idiots who pitched a fit, but at least at one airport we found a very caring and sensitive checker. That was SO refreshing! She didn't treat us or my daughter any different and I was so pleased!
I think you are right that a lot of people have the misconception that people who are diagnosed with Type 1, never make it to adulthood. People still ask me questions about how I will deal with it when my daughter dies before me. Gee - that is a pleasant thought!! I always respond something sarcastic like - Gosh, I hope that she is a better driver than that and since the odds are slim that she will be struck by lightening, I think we are okay! They just look at me!
I would LOVE to see some media coverage on "real life" with diabetes. How it become just an every day part of life and you deal with it. I mean, my dauhter is NO different than the other kids at her preschool - some have glasses, one has a hearing aid, one has special shoes - she just has a pump. Get over it!
And, yes - I would like to know how I could've told my daughter ( at just less than a year old) how she could've PREVENTED her diagnosis! Get real! And it pains me when people ask - well, I guess you gave her a lot of sugar and cookies and stuff when she was a baby, huh!
Let's just pray for more GOOD media coverage and knowledge!!!!
On a lighter note - we found out yesterday that our neighbors are both diabetics - the mother as well as her 14 year old son. Needless to say, my 3 year old daughter now has a new crush - the 14 year old boy next door with a pump like hers!!!

#18
Emily

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I agree that the media definitely focuses on type 2 more so than type one and when it is type one its always a child. For those without diabetes I feel that seeing a child who had to deal with finger sticks makes more of an impact than seeing an adult. I am 18 and have had diabetes for 17 years, so I've had my fair share of needles and finger sticks. I personally have found that now as I am in college it isnt as big of a deal for me to prick my finger, where as when I was younger people would think it was a bigger deal. It does not bother me though that they tend to put childen in the media though-- as long as somehow they are raising awareness about diabetes.


Emily

#19
rainbow

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The reason that it bothers me to see all these children in the media is, as some others have mentioned, no one thinks that Type I diabetics live to adulthood. They think we all die off or suddenly change to being Type II or something.

I hated doing urine tests when I was a kid, but I might just as much have hated doing blood tests. I certainly find finger-poking much easier to do at work! If I have to work a 12-hour day I do a lot of blood tests.

#20
Jon

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If people want to think that type 1 diabetics die young, let them. Hopefully it will generate some sympathy and get some money going towards a cure. I think it is great that they show kids doing finger sticks on tv, because many people are afraid of needles. It sounds like the worst thing in the world to have to make yourself bleed several times a day, and for kids to actually give themselves shots! I am glad that we have the modern testing equipment now, but it is still very traumatic for kids. My son used to tell his teachers that there was no point in doing his school work because he was just going to die anyway. When people asked him what he was going to be when he grew up, he would tell them that he would only live to be 20 so what does it matter. Fortunately he has adjusted now, and is dealing with it better, but it is still very difficult for him.




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