Thursday, April 7, 2011

I don't care....

(To be clear, Diabetes is not reversible. At all. Ever.)
This upcoming article in 'Readers Digest' has come up this week in some diabetes blogs that I read. It states that you can reverse diabetes, which is a false statement. A lot of people are very frustrated and feel that this is somewhat of an outrage. I can't disagree with how they feel. My words would be that this is irresponsible of 'Readers Digest', and I think it would behoove them to title it 'Reverse Complications of Diabetes' or something similar.

People misunderstand diabetes and how it is brought about, and articles like this are trying to be helpful. I would encourage 'Readers Digest' to spend a little more money on their editors to prevent potential dis-information, especially on titles of articles and publications. I am betting that this article has some suggestions along the lines of healthy eating, exercise and some general tips on healthy living the would definitely not hurt a person with diabetes.

25.8 million people in the U.S. have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, unless you are one of them or you are a heath care professional working around diabetes, you probably don't take the time to know the disease like those of us who have it. In fact there are many people with diabetes that don't know, or care to know the intricacies of the disease. It is claimed that 7 million people out of the 25.8 million don't even know they have the disease. Those people are probably not the most informed or educated either. 'Readers Digest' may be failing at informing people about our disease, at least in the title of this publication.

My stance is - I don't care. I have never been a 'Ra-Ra' cheerleader, or 'poor me' type of guy when it comes to my diabetes. I am VERY open about having diabetes, and have never hidden it nor have I ever felt embarrassed about it. I always talk to people about it when they ask, or if I find they have it or have a loved one who has it. I know that no matter how much I wish it would happen, people are not going to understand what it is like to have diabetes unless they do have it and attack it everyday like I do.

I blog not because I want people to know what it is like to have diabetes, but to help teach people that diabetes is not a limiting factor. The only way diabetes is a limiting factor is if you think it is. I can honestly say I have never missed out on anything in life because of my diabetes. I went to every camp and school event, I played sports, I race my bike, and always did all the things my friends were doing. I was a river guide in the Grand Canyon and have guided over fifty 8-14 day trips through the canyon where I was no where near civilization. I have traveled the country, even alone sometimes, and have gone to foreign countries without letting diabetes stop me.

(Grand Canyon, entering Hermit Rapid. Mile 95)
This is not to say that I didn't have hang-ups along the way, but the key is to be prepared and organized with your diabetes. Take the time to really understand the disease, and the technology you have to mange the disease with. I was on a river trip on the Salt River in Arizona a couple years ago with some great friends. As soon as we got on the water, and there was no turning back, my insulin pump locked up and was unresponsive to anything. I tried for a couple hours, but got nothing. I still had 5 days to go until the end and had no choice but to continue on. No cell phone coverage at all, and we did not have a satellite phone. I was screwed right? No, I was organized and prepared so I grabbed my spare syringes (which I have with me at all times), and emergency bottle of Lantus insulin, and along with my glucometer and Novolog insulin I was able to manage diabetes the way I did before I had a pump. I was drinking beer and rowing my boat without a hick-up and had a great trip. I had everything I needed in case shit went bad, and when it did - I was organized and knew I would be OK.

Fight diabetes with proper knowledge and the right tools. Fight diabetes with confidence and don't be scared of it. Know that there is nothing that you, or your loved ones, are limited to if they are diabetic.

So, I don't care. I don't care if the neighbor down the street reads this 'Readers Digest' article and is mis-informed. Bottom line is, if you are diabetic and using readers digest to manage it, then there are bigger problems that need attention. You are responsible for your own knowledge. If you are the parent or guardian of a child with diabetes, you are responsible for their knowledge. Teach them and give them confidence and organizational skills so that they can live limitless.


  1. Had a 21yr old patient last week with known DM1, admitted to the ICU (AGAIN) with DKA. His HbA1c is >16. Think Reader's Digest could help him?

  2. This is my favorite blog so far... I believe in people having ownership of their lives especially when it comes to health.

  3. @if you are diabetic and using readers digest to manage it, then there are bigger problems that need attention.

    So wait, is Laughter the Best Medicine or not? i just don't feel as comfortable going to Readers Digest for medical advice anymore.