The Angry Type 2 Diabetic: The Moldy Cupcake Awards

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Moldy Cupcake Awards

Copyright © 2010 Julie Kin
/ Gleeful Things. All Rights Reserved.

Today, I'd like to add a fun, new, regular segment to our blog called "The Moldy Cupcake Awards."

Ya' know... It's just so inspiring to read or watch the news, every week, and see ALL manner of misinformation, quacks, outright lies and drivel, just regularly being fed to the public for the sake of ratings. So, because you've inspired us, ALL of you who are the most deserving for writing, or producing, the shittiest materials out there for the public, will get a wonderful mention here... along with a not so sweet, and oh, so moldy critique.

You've worked HARD (not!) for it, so you're gonna get it! Today's deserving green, stale, sad, and moldy cupcake goes to... The View!

That's right. Earlier this week, the View produced this GEM for it's regular audiences.


Let's take a moment to examine this, not so educational moment, play by play. 

Right off the bat, I am immediately annoyed because for all her education, Barbara Walters CANNOT pronounce diabetes correctly. I'm sorry Barbara, it would seem you've spent your free days watching too many Wilford Brimley commercials.

If that doesn't annoy you, then the big letters headlining "The Fat Show," in the background, should. Oh, sure, Barbara, you aren't fat. Let's see your saggy behind in a bikini. I double dare you.  

She goes on ahead, and introduces this man, David Nathan, as the Director of the Diabetes Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital. It should SCARE the beejesus out of you that someone with such a title (and employed at a hospital, mind you) would get on such a show, and FAIL to grasp the opportunity: 

"So I think everyone recognizes that diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar is elevated. We all KNOW that. What many people don't understand is that when your blood sugar remains elevated over many years, blah, blah, blah... feet falling off... blindness... blah, blah..." (Okay, that's not entirely, a literal quote.) 

Dr. Nathan, for someone who calls himself a doctor you are surely very disconnected from reality.

1. NO, people do NOT know what diabetes is about. You could've spent a minute or two, telling people that our condition is a condition in which the body FAILS to be able to process glucose adequately, and that ALL food gets converted into glucose. NO, people do NOT know the difference between sugar, and blood glucose. People think if we just stop having Paula Deen lady donut burgers, and ho-hos, that blood sugar goes down, and diabetes goes away.

This is the kind of situation that gets people bullied by idiotic people thinking they can take on the role of diabetic police.

2. Meanwhile, everyone DOES know the serious complications diabetes may bring, so since they associate them with eating too much sugar, they are ALWAYS making jokes about our feet falling off, and us going blind. You could've clarified a little better that well controlled diabetes is the main cause of NOTHING... But you really missed the boat on this one. Thanks for letting the bullying cycle persist.

Now, I don't really understand why The View would have Paula Deen as some kind of 'interviewer' for this segment, asking things she really doesn't understand because she's just too new, and uneducated -- but it matters not, because this Dr. Nathan fails to answer her questions directly. She asks him what the connection is between obesity and diabetes, and he doesn't really say... He just muddles the picture by starting to talk about other majorly recognized risk factors, and how now, younger folks are getting diagnosed because of weight. Okay? So tell us something we DON'T know. Why not tell people "gee, the more you are overweight, the more your body will struggle to produce insulin -- and if you are genetically predisposed to insulin resistance, and diabetes, the more it will likely trigger your developing the condition at an earlier age..." Is it that difficult to speak to people with truth and honesty, and clarity? Do we think The View's audience are a bunch of simpleton housewives, who only know about dish soap? I wonder...

Oh, and I love how you describe Type 1 as "the insulin dependent, juvenile form... the Mary Tyler Moore form..." That's metaphor, right there!! A definitive moldy cupcake award for dialogue. Here's a TALL idea, for you: how about calling it the "my autoimmune system sucks, so it attacked itself" form. People will have this FOREVER, and can get it at ANY age. They don't grow out of it, and gosh darn it, MANY adults, every year, get it... WAY past their 'juvenile' years. Oh, and to add to it, you make it sound like type 2s don't need insulin, when in fact, if a type 2 diabetic is diagnosed early enough in their lifetime, they will more than likely need insulin before they die. MOST type 2 diabetics will go on to need insulin. It's a fact. Hell, it's an American Diabetes Association researched fact -- even when they're trying to act like it's not. 

One thing is pretty juvenile, though -- your casual approach to discussing diabetes. You nailed that one right on the head.

Now, dear Paula Deen tries so hard to stay relevant in this discussion. Paula, honey, NO ONE is born with type 1 diabetes. And I think an awful lot of parents out there would kind of take offense to your portraying their children as like 'having leukemia.' I say this, because while type 1 diabetes can be deadly and challenging, we all know you weren't trying to suggest they were 'troopers, fighters, survivors, and well adjusted kids...' No, you were trying to suggest they were sickly, weak, and likely to die from sneezing. Paula, I support your journey with diabetes, but sometimes... you gotta shut your lady burger pie hole. Okay? We should not comment on things we know not about.

I am not completely angry at the intense stupidity of this segment (okay, I lied...); I'm actually happy for your patient, Misty. I'm happy she's doing better, and is healthier.

What I'm not happy about is that Misty doesn't seem to understand what a diabetic diet is all about. She keeps talking about sugary drinks, sodas, juices. She doesn't talk AT ALL about controlling her carbohydrate intake, carefully weighing out her meals and portion control, in any way. In fact, NO ONE ever mentions carbohydrates and their role in any way -- and continuously focus on sugar!

Dr. Nathan, this is the BIGGEST disservice you can do for people -- letting them go on believing that diabetes is about sugar. IT IS NOT. Diabetes is NOT about juice boxes, soda, cookies, etc. It takes a hell of a lot more effort to control diabetes than to just cut out soda and juice boxes. In fact, I am so scared of Misty's apparent lack of knowledge of what it all entails, that I truly wonder what her A1C is, and what you justified to yourself was "excellent control" to make it seem she needed to get off the Metformin. I guarantee it's not in the 5.0-6.0 percent rating. It can't be. Not with her thinking it's just sugar. She probably goes home and has a plate full of wheat pasta, and calls it good.

"That's the beauty of type 2 diabetes... is that it is reversible." 

Diabetes is not reversible. Whenever folks discuss diabetes as 'reversible,' what they are referring to are the symptoms of uncontrolled diabetes. Blurry vision, dizziness, slow healing cuts, some forms of early neuropathy, thirst, continuous urination, headaches, mood swings, etc.

I have news, for you Paula... You'll still have diabetes, even when all those things are gone. You live life so that you CONTROL those things -- but you can't stop your routines, or those things WILL return. And quickly. Your diet is your MEDICINE. It's just exactly like medicine.

In this sense, Paula... ALL diabetes is reversible. Yes, even type 1 diabetes. It's a BOLD statement, but I know some pretty TOUGH type 1 diabetics out there that could run circles around me, any day, and to the average world look like they have NOTHING wrong with them. They have worked hard to REVERSE the horrible grip of uncontrolled diabetes which they had at diagnosis. TIGHT control is what we ALL aim for -- but it takes CONSTANT work and effort, and it is SO not a cure.

Photo by RingoFuentes
You can't go on living like just testing once a day, and not knowing what carbs do to you is, somehow, having diabetes in control. It is a full time job, and it causes a lot of psychological trauma, and exhaustion. There's just NO beauty in this pile of dung. (But you'd be a little prettier if you spoke a little less. :) Thank you.) The beauty is in US -- and how we evolve to adapt to the harsh winds of diabetes.

Additionally, Dr. Nathan, it is embarrassing that you would suggest to people that all they need to do is lose a modest amount of weight to better manage their diabetes -- this is untrue. While weight loss helps lessen some of the challenges of insulin resistance, it is NOT the way to control diabetes -- the way to control diabetes is to control one's diet and carbohydrate intake, along with weight lifting and resistance training, and sometimes, medication. When you tell people that losing 5-7% of their weight would reduce diabetes by 58%, you are leaving them with a lot of confusion, and mixed feelings. I mean... what the HELL does that even mean?????

You can't reduce diabetes by 58% when YOU ALREADY HAVE IT.

You must be talking about the poorly done, not so large, diabetic studies... who used a lot of extrapolation, inference, and ignoring of many, many additional risk factors and components, along with populations that did NOT represent a cross-section of the country... to claim that 58% of diabetes could have been PREVENTED. Which is another poorly used word. One can only REDUCE one's odds of disease -- not eliminate them. There is NO SUCH guarantee that you won't get diabetes, even if you do 'everything right.'

So, Dr. Nathan, Paula Deen, Barbara Walters... for all these reasons -- and I'm sure -- many more... You have earned yourself a Dung Cupcake. But they don't make dung cupcakes, so here's a moldy one, instead. You've earned it.

One big, so not so heartfelt, THANK YOU... for all the work you DON'T DO. You make the world one heck of a crappy place for diabetics everywhere.

(Oh, and in case you didn't get it... That's called sarcasm. It's a young people thing.)

. . . 

If you would like to submit 'nominees' for the week's crappiest stories worthy of a Moldy Cupcake Award, feel free to 'Contact Me,' and they shall be thoughtfully considered. :D We shall leave no moldy cupcake left behind. 


  1. Wow, Lizmari, you really told 'em! Good for you! These things need to be said, no, they need to be shouted from the rooftops! There is SO much misinformation about diabetes and diabetics and all the false and misleading stuff that's circulating is killing people, plain and simple.


  2. Bravo. Standing ovation, in front of my computer. Well written, Lizmari.

  3.*p! I'm a RD/CDE. I literally spend half my time explaining to my patients why they shouldn't listen to these morons - but who are they going to believe? I mean, if I was right I would be on TV, huh?! AUGH! Can I say AUGH! I swear, I give up. The only positive spin I can put on this kind of ignorance is that it gives those of us that do understand diabetes job security. Well news flash....there's nothing more I want than to work my way OUT of a job when it comes to diabetes! Morons!

    1. You go Kit! So happy to have your expertise in our local area! Everyone should have a "Kit" on speed dial! Thanks for being who you full of knowledge and willing to share when it comes to diabetes facts!

  4. Gaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! Twitch twitch smh

  5. Kit, I too am an RD, CDE and agree 1000% with you. I also have a type 1 diabetes son. So pretty much my whole world revolves around diabetes - work and home. I spend a good part of my day just doing myth busting about diabetes. Lizmari, this is just so well written. Would you consider sending it on the "The View" and also to Dr. Nathan? I'm sure his email wouldn't be hard to get from the hospital website.

    If you want another subject for a rant, that is easy. Dr. Oz!! There is just so much quack medicine on that show it boggles the mind......But he has a huge public platform.

    1. Thank you! Feel free to send it to whoever. (I have to go to work in a few, so might not be able to get to it right away...)

      I surely should have started this segment when Dr. Oz did that horrible Oprah Winfrey Diabetes segment. lol Ahh... but I am sure he's just gonna keep on giving us materials, anyway. People like this don't keep their traps shut for long. :D

  6. Two minor nits to pick, sweetie:
    1) Both "diabeeteez" and "diabeetus" are correct pronunciations of the word. I think that "diabeetus" is probably the older pronunciation, because that's what my family used when talking about my grandmother. But I checked several dictionaries, and they all agreed that both pronunciations were correct.
    2) There IS such a thing as being born with diabetes, although that may not actually have been the case with Paula Deen's nephew (or whatever). It can be either transient or permanent neonatal diabetes, and can result from being homozygous for some form of MODY, or probably other causes which I am not aware of. I once read an article with a picture of a newborn with an insulin pump almost as big as he was -- poor little thing sure didn't have much room for infusion sites!

    But you do bring up some good points -- the talk was oversimplified for consumption by the ignorant, and didn't do much to relieve their ignorance. On the other hand, it DID clearly distinguish T1 from T2, and emphasized that T2 can and does occur among the young and should be tested for and taken care of. So ya gotta give them a little credit for that.

    1. Okay, just a few minor nits to pick... :)

      1. Perhaps "diabeetus" might be recognized in dictionary communities, but I disagree that this means this alternate pronunciation is correct... (Just like some people might accept 'crik' as an acceptable way of pronouncing 'creek.') Language evolves far quicker than dictionaries are able to keep up -- and since English does not have an Academy of Language that guards over the pristine usage of it's tongue, most of its dictionaries are simply 'encyclopedias' dedicated to capturing how people choose to speak -- and not entirely, if those choices are correct or incorrect.

      So... many of us will just simply choose to disagree with you. Language has evolved, and Mrs. Walters has just not kept with the times... and there is NO U in diabetes.

      2. I never said "no one is born with diabetes." I said "NO ONE is born with type 1 diabetes." No one is discussing MODY here, or other forms... So there really is NO need to muddle the picture.

      3. I think that I, as well as many other readers would COMPLETELY disagree with you that they "DID" and especially 'clearly' distinguish between type 1 and type 2. Simply stating that type 1 is the 'insulin dependent' type is NOT a distinction, as many type 2s ARE insulin dependent... Simply stating it's a 'kid's type' is NOT enough, as it leaves impressions kids grow out of it, or that it could never happen in adults... Further, they never said how it came about -- and that it wasn't diet related. They NEVER referred to an immune reaction in one's system.

      Oh... and one more thing. Please don't call me sweetie. I'm not Paula Deen. :) :D

  7. 2 horribly untrue things they said about type 1 in this segment were that you can be born with it and its like leukemia, which makes it seem like a type 1 person is doomed, and that every child who gets it knows what it is. In some cases type 1 is even misdiagnosed by doctors which leads to dka or worse. This whole segment was so fraught with errors it makes my head spin.

  8. THANK YOU!!! You've pretty much summed up everything that I've been feeling since my diagnosis 6 months ago. I've found more good information on the internet than through my diabetes educator and physician.

  9. Awesome and bang-on rant! I hope you managed to get this to those who actually earned you much deserved moldy cupcake award. I hope they understand the disservice they did to deserve a moldy cupcake. I hope they invited you on the show for a real conversation about diabetes! You go, girl!