December 15, 2007

With Energy & Enthusiasm - Who Needs Accuracy

I read two columns on diabetes:

Someone you know - maybe you - has diabetes
Take control

I wan't too impressed so I sent this:

Kudos for getting the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 correct. You correctly write that Type 1 is an autoimmune disease mostly surfacing in children.

Unfortunately your examples are all cases of adult onset.

You further cloud the issue that type 1 is not preventable by recounting Mr. Gladsen saying "I would go to McDonalds and eat like a horse.” This reinforces the idea that type 1 is related to fast food abuse. That is not the case, as you said it is an autoimmune disease.

In your second article, mostly about type 2, you recount type1 complications. In neither article do you speak about type 1 from the perspective of a child or a family with children.

Instead of illuminating the distinctions in life challenges between type 1 and type 2 two you sadly compound the confusion between them. A child living with type 1 will take hundreds of insulin shots and do thousands of finger sticks to check their blood each year.

All these sharps are, at times, literally a pain in the butt. Reporting that stigmatizes them with the implication that their type 1 is somehow the result of diet, inactivity or eating like a horse at McDonalds adds insult to the thousands of little injuries that result from these blood checks and injections.

I suggest you contact Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or the local West Chester base manufacturer of Insulin Pumps, Animas Corporation, and learn how Type 1 really impacts children and families. Or stay at your computer and read parents’ posts at Children With Diabetes (

I am sure you will find that the experience of Mr. Walton is way out of the norm. Type 1 families work hard every day to successfully manage this condition in spite of misinformation and prejudice. The suggestion we need to see the case you site as a wake up call to “get real about” managing our health is at best uninformed and at least condescending.

The author responded:

thank you for sharing your comments.

With Energy & Enthusiasm,