Yeah, that's how I see it. A friend of mine ask me this question a little while ago, "If you didn't have diabetes what would you do differently in your life?" I sat there thinking about all the wild adventures I've had in my life, and that I plan to keep having, and I said "Ya know man, my life would be exactly the same. I already do whatever I want to do, diabetes doesn't restrict me at all...it just makes me a little more precautious when I'm climbing or skiing or whatever."
My life would have been very different if not for T1. Had planned to join the military, let them pay for college after a few years. I could not get in with T1 so had to figure that out on my own. Took about 13 years but did get it done on my own. Who knows where life would have taken me if only.....
Girl at school: "You can't have chocolate, can you ?"
Me: "Of course I can eat chocolate. I can eat anything I want."
Girl: "Ah, I know, that's what you've got your insulin for."
In the last few years I've met so many people who think diabetics only need insulin when they want to eat sweets. Most people at my school know of my diabetes. But they are totally unaware that I have to take insulin for non-sugary foods too. This girl was shocked when I told her that I have to take basal insulin even if I don't eat anything. Her reaction was like "Well ... I think I couldn't live with that."
Personally I think we'd all be better off if Diabetic educators went back to suggesting people needed to limit sweets and other carbs in their diets.
For adults, I definitely agree. For children, it's a tighter line, because all their friends are eating candy and cake and cookies and ice cream and pizza and soda and hamburgers, etc. And teenagers, especially, mostly want to be part of the crowd. So I think the emphasis needs to be to learn how to eat that stuff appropriately (like one slice of pizza instead of the whole thing), and how to dose for it.
With that said, a major problem I've observed over the past year is that children with diabetes grow into teenagers, with their parents still taking most of the responsibility, and then all of a sudden, they're adults, and they really didn't understand what was going on, and they've moved away from home, and don't have a clue as to how to manage their diabetes, because it was always done for them. I think ages 15 - 30 are a crucial time for young adults with diabetes, and that's the time to teach them about carbs, and appropriate eating and calculating ratios and handling stress, exercise and illness, and all the other things that mess with BG control. In the past, insurance companies (if they had insurance at all) wouldn't cover the intense education they need at this time in their lives; I don't know if that will change with Obamacare, but I somehow doubt it. Maybe someone will cheer me up in this department!
When I meet parents of those with kids with T1 I try and stress to them that they need to teach their kids to take care of themselves. We are all primarily responsible for our own health and well being, and these kids need to have as much information to take care of themselves. Parents need to let them, too!
I think I just see a larger cultural attitude of self-indulgence. We all seem to feel it is our entitlement to eat carbs, sugar, etc and not to in any way be deprived of anything. I think the change of doctors attitude from advising Diabetics to not eat sugar and lower carbs to "you can eat anything you want and bolus for it" is symptomatic of that incredibly spoiled entitlement that's become almost the hallmark of our materialistic culture.
Oh! I do that because I want to "live" my life, or did in the past anyway. I eat much better now than I ever have. However, I don't listen to doctors either. After so many years of T1 I know as much as I need to know. Most of the doctors I have talked with don't have as much experience with this as I do, and don't live with it either. They are a necessary part of getting my meds and testing, but otherwise I haven't gotten good or new advice from one for years.
I think my point is that our cultural value defines "living our life" as indulging every whim, satisfying it immediately and to excess and anything less as "being deprived".
I sure agree with you on that Zoe.
I don't think they market it correctly. It's way more self-indulgent to do less work and I am 100% certain that eating less carbs is less work. I don't totally low-carb b/c I'm sort of nutso and enjoy experimenting and risk taking and taking little boluses and jellybeans here and there to "cover" experimental variation but it's important to have a strategy and I don't see how the medical industry hasn't figured out the benefits of lowering carbohydrates and all of that.
Although the last couple of years, I guess I've seen places tossing less fries on plates and stuff like that but I wasn't sure if it was medically oriented or more a consequence of the restaurant industry struggling with the economy.
The problem is that "normal" is, in fact, WRONG and that societies as a whole need to consider all of the evidence. We had the "food pyramid" molding people's thinking for decades, telling everyone "fat is bad, carbs are good" so it should not suprise anyone that, 50 years later, we are seeing what we are seeing. It's sort of weird that we then react with ***alarm*** at T2 penetrating new demographics when science suggests that's exactly what would happen. I think that carbs are very much an input/output thing and that the number that we need is quite a bit lower than what dietetics would prescribe. At least the Taubes' books (my main source, plus the posts around here...) suggest that there's not a consensus about what the "high end" of "low carb" should be but I would think that would be a critical discovery, like a longitude of food ("longifood?"), that would allow everyone to say "this is IT" but, since we're still in a contentious phase, we're not quite at the point to install a new reality, one that might allow us to more readily manage our societal approach to diabetes more effectively.