Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fictional PWD

I read a book recently. It wasn't a good book, per se, (it happens when you pick up random stuff at the library) and I was about to put it down when it was revealed that one of the main characters was a T1 diabetic.

I was immediately riveted.

It was more accurate than other fictional diabetes stories, I mean, the terminology was there - she used Humalog and Lantus - but it seemed she was on a "four hour" system, and she shot up every 4 hours with Humalog. I don't work that way. I mean, I probably eat close to every 4 hours when I can, so maybe that's how she did it, but it seemed different. I think in terms of "meals" and "exercise", not specifically "time" although that certainly enters into things. (How long until I eat again? Can I go here without a snack first, yada yada) But a strict four hour shot schedule? Has anyone else ever heard of something like this?

(Every time she checked, she was over 200, so I don't know how well it was working for her, but you know, fiction and all. And at least the author knew what was high and what wasn't.)

She told NOBODY she was diabetic, it was like she was ashamed of it or something, even though she said she considered it like having blue eyes, brown hair, and a non-working pancreas. (Her fiancee knew, but they never talked about it.)

She almost went into DKA on her wedding day, and was concerned about ketones in her urine, and her bg reading of 400, and what it was doing to her unborn child, all of which is very accurate. And her description of feeling fuzzy, needing some water and to lie down, certainly describes feeling high.

Her mantra was: Control it, or it controls you. And boy, do I get that.

It just made me wonder how the author did her research, did she read about it, talk to people with it? I mean, it was a pretty good description of diabetes (except what's with the fierce secrecy? You can tell people without being a victim).

Fictional diabetics always fascinate me now. And when the writers are completely WRONG, it drives me nutso. How many people did that inaccurate info have to go through to get to the page/tv/movie? After all, this is where a lot of people get their picture of diabetics.

Maybe all the REAL PWD should get together and produce a TV show or two, write some books, and end up with a major hit blockbuster movie. Possibly with vampires. That would be sweet.


  1. I've found that more often than not media in general get the facts wrong. Years ago when rescue 911 was on I remember laughing when a guy's blood sugar dropped low enough to make him pass out and the guy narrating said "he needed his insulin or he would die". It sucks when they get it wrong because most misinformation is passed through entertainment unfortunately.

    It would be interesting to know if the author is T1 herself or not. It would almost seem to me that she's not because it's something that is a part of your every waking (not to mention sleeping!) moment of your life. While I don't go telling everyone about it all the time, it comes up every now and again and I'm constantly discussing sugars, supplies, solutions, ect. with my husband. Personality also comes into play into who you tell or talk about it to. Though I would have to say, those who are ashamed of it and/or don't take care of themselves usually are the ones who don't share any information. My sister is also T1 and she's had it since she was 8. She doesn't like to talk to anyone about it and does her best to pretend like it doesn't exist because for her it's always been about being a normal kid. It also lands her in the hospital frequently!

    Anyhow, it would seem that if you treat it like your eye color, you wouldn't have an issue with it around anyone else. It just sounds like the author wasn't very consistent in forming the character or doesn't understand the contradictions she was making by not being diabetic herself.

    It might also make a difference in how long you've had it to how much and when you take your insulin. When I was first diagnosed (at 22) I met a girl who had it since she was 5 and she would tell me about hiking up a mountain and having her blood sugar stay around a stable 120. Then when she hiked down it would climb to around 500!?! Another thing about the 4 hour type of regimen that I've heard over and over again is that the more consistent you are in your day, the more stable your blood sugars are all around. Try that with a couple of toddlers and another one on the way! BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Actually a pump and CGM really help with that so I'm not complaining :)

    Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is: Vampires are great, but not when they sparkle like a princess's tiara!

  2. I totally agree. The character was inconsistent. She was also totally crazy, but I don't think the diabetes was related. Also, sparkly vampires - boo.