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Gee, Thanks Al.

November 10, 2007

I’m watching television right now (yay laptop!).

I’m watching “Diabetes: The Quiet Killer” on NBC. It’s hosted by Al Roker.

They started out talking about the complications of diabetes, the statistics of diabetes, the people with diabetes.

They’re talking to Patti LaBelle and Fran Kaufman, and other doctors from around the country.

After a five minute introduction where they only referred to the blanket term “diabetes,” which we all know pisses off 99% of type 1 diabetics who don’t like being lumped in with the “old, fat people” syndrome (no offense to those with type 2 diabetes – this is simply the stereotype).

Then Al clears things up, “There are actually two types of diabetes: type 1 diabetes happens when you are young and are caused by genetics, and only two million people have that problem.”

Sometimes. Kind of. And excuse me?

Now, I appreciate the fact that NBC is running this show (which must be heavily funded by Eli Lilly, since they are the only advertiser shown so far). It’s the weekend before World Diabetes Day and with so many people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I don’t have an issue with running a show that examines the difficulty of living a healthy life in America and actually goes into the scientific cause of what happens with diabetes, as well as issues that face people with type 2 diabetes like insurance and overcoming our culture’s tendency towards overabundance at the dinner table and our chronic underactivity.

I hope that people who watch this will learn more about diabetes and the fact that diabetes is the only illness that is getting worse, not better.

But I am very disappointed that once again, type 1 diabetes is marginalized because we’re “small in numbers.” Sure, maybe that’s a good thing, but it’s not good enough.

Thanks, Al, for once again belittling type 1 diabetics. I expected more from NBC.

14 Comments
  1. November 10, 2007 9:22 PM

    It doesn’t feel like we are “small in numbers”. It feels like a crappy crappy disease that I don’t want to have for the rest of my life, and that I am sick of people not knowing enough about. I wonder if we should all campaign for a cure for Type 2, so after they find that we will get all the focus?

  2. November 10, 2007 10:17 PM

    I’m also sick of the lack of information that is given to the general public about type 1 diabetes.. There are so many misconceptions about this disease that I hate having to deal with.. most commonly comments like “I thought that was the fat people disease?” and.. “So you ate too much sugar?” .. urgg. I agree that awareness about type 2 should be spread, but they should really educate people about type one as well!!

    Anyway.. That’s so cool you were at the walk too!! We might have seen each other and not even known ! are you going to world diabetes day in new york? Oh yeah, and the pictures are from vacation this past summer.. my dad grew up in ireland so we go back as a family to visit every so often.

  3. Allison permalink*
    November 10, 2007 10:20 PM

    Jillian: Amen!

    Seonaid: I am going to World Diabetes Day in New York City. Are you going to be going? I know it’s a trek but it would be great if you could come. I really need to think about coming down to Philly again, maybe sometime in December before I leave for winter break. I’ll keep you posted.🙂

  4. November 10, 2007 10:34 PM

    Sofa King annoying! I am glad I didn’t see that or I would’ve been chucking things at the TV. thanks for blogging about it, though. I hate that type 2 gets all the press and type 1 is like an afterthought. IMHO, living with type 1 is often times much more challenging than type 2 and I hate that, like Shannon once said, it’s like the Rodney Dangerfield of diseases–it gets no respect!

  5. November 10, 2007 11:06 PM

    I think mainstream media needs to just stop covering diabetes all together.

  6. November 11, 2007 12:50 AM

    Hi Allison,

    I have been reading your blog for a little over 3yrs now. I spent the day today in Eugene OR with my sister and walked through UO. I could not help but think about some of your posts when you were still in school.

    Eugene is a beautiful place, nice people. I met an insulin pumper at Trader Joes (Oakway Center)

  7. Allison permalink*
    November 11, 2007 1:07 AM

    Pearlsa: I used to grocery shop there! I love Trader Joe’s! I’m glad you got to enjoy Eugene. Is your sister attending school there? Just curious to know what brought you to my alma mater. If I had known you were going, I would have recommended stopping by Espresso Roma for a great cup of coffee.🙂

  8. November 11, 2007 3:03 AM

    Yeah, there’s only 2 million of us.

    Maybe we need to play up the fact that Type 1 is a “childhood”-related condition or something, and people will start to pay more attention.

  9. Tom permalink
    November 11, 2007 4:20 AM

    Hey hey hey. I’m late to the party again. Hope D-Blog day went well. :-p And thanks. For everything. I missed your Imaginary post too, but ya know. I’m in Philly. I can drop into Jersey sometime and grab coffee with ya. It’s not like I’m terribly far away.🙂

    But yea. It seems that most of the coverage of the betes lately has been sub-par. Let’s just give em all a good kick to the behind and a new pair of glasses. “Only” two million is “only” a lot.

    Hope all is going well with you hun. You know how to get to me if you need anything at all. : )

  10. November 11, 2007 9:13 AM

    I didn’t see the special since I was gone Christmas shopping with friends… but I’m kind of glad I didn’t! No one seems to understand that we are a LARGE group. And there should be mad a distinction between the two types. And type 1 doesn’t ALWAYS happen in childhood. Grrrrrrrr! Why don’t people get it??

  11. November 11, 2007 2:30 PM

    Same old story – different celebreties.

  12. November 11, 2007 10:50 PM

    NBC does it again.

    I’ve trained myself to expect virtually nothing of any use from the major news media, and they always come through.

    Set your expectations low enough, and you will never be disappointed.

  13. November 12, 2007 1:49 PM

    Yes I’ll be going.. I’ve convinced my dad to take a day off work and go with me!😀

  14. November 12, 2007 11:09 PM

    Hi Allison,

    Just got back home Vancouver BC. Eugene was wonderful. No my sister does not attend UO. We are just travel freaks we pick a town on long weekends to explore. We did Portland a year ago. San Fran in August before our vacation to London UK in September.

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