Hereditary diabetes and other reasons I hate mainstream media.
I had the pleasure of catching the latest lame attempt at media coverage of diabetes this morning in the form of a Telegraph article on research being done at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas.
OK, I get that type 1 diabetes has a genetic component, but does that need to be called out as hereditary? ONE other person in my family had type 1 diabetes (my grandfather, who actually had LADA before they knew what that was) and a couple others have type 2. Of all the descriptions you could use to describe diabetes, why on earth would you pick hereditary? This journalist didn’t even mention the phrase “type 1,” failing to distinguish it from type 2 diabetes because BOTH are, in theory, hereditary – which means passing, or capable of passing, from parent to offspring. Not necessarily that it will happen, just that it can. And why leave it up to chance that someone will actually look up hereditary on dictionary.com (like I just did) to figure out that hereditary doesn’t mean 100% genetic between parent and child?
Second: what’s with the word “sufferer”? OK, I understand that managing diabetes is not pleasant and occasionally when I have a high or low blood sugar I can be pretty cranky and miserable. But I am a happy, cheerful twentysomething who is absolutely thrilled with her life. Have you read my blog? Do I sound like I’m suffering to you? Maybe some people out there are – and I truly sympathize with you if you are – but why paint such a negative picture of the person?
And special diet? Please, pray tell, what “special diet” am I supposed to be on, exactly? Let’s see, I eat popcorn, muffins, oranges, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, ice cream and chocolate chip pancakes. And I’m not dead yet. Yes, I have to make sure I count my carbs and Cheerios wreaks havoc on my morning post-prandials, but I hardly call give up cereal a “special diet.”
Listen, I understand that diabetes is complicated – that’s why we need a cure – but there are certain things that I do not need overdramatized for the sake of selling newspapers or even raising dollars. I do not remember the last time I read a newspaper or magazine article or heard diabetes talked about on TV where the information presented was 100% accurate. Almost every mention of diabetes has been fraught with at least something that wasn’t right. Please do not misrepresent my life. I still have to live it, and I’ll have to live it with an uneducated society who thinks I was born a diabetic, can’t eat carbohydrates and that I have it “real bad” because I wear an insulin pump.