I was in our pediatrician's waiting room yesterday with my boys, Will fell off the playground at school and landed on his wrist, and there was a tv or radio on featuring health stories. Will was sitting on my lap and perked up when he heard the word Diabetes on the program. "Hey Mom, you have Diabetes," he said. I nodded and smiled and tried to distract him with a book. The tv/radio voice had been listing all the negatives of diabetes such as, "diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, or diabetes increases heart disease in women....." the list went on and on and I didn't want Will to listen.

When we're at home, I don't want him to see the commercial with Patti LaBelle talking about diabetes complications. I don't want Will and Miles to associate these negative media images with me. I grew up afraid that I'd end up dead like Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias, isn't it time for the media image of diabetes to change? I don't want my boys to think that diabetes means death, cause it doesn't. Not even close. And I'd like to see a commercial for one touch test strips with Halle Berry or Bret Michaels (sp?) instead of Wilford Brimley. Come on already.

Views: 37

Comment by MeadowLark on September 25, 2007 at 5:58pm
YES!!! I agree! how about a petition to get Brett? :P It's time to lose the old image!
Comment by Chris Bishop on September 25, 2007 at 8:33pm
Society need to change the face of diabetes to the younger generation because they are the ones that are going to make the changes.
Comment by Amylia Grace on September 25, 2007 at 8:47pm
I totally agree. Wilford Brimley and Patti LaBelle? C'mon. How about someone with type 1 diabetes, too? Someone healthy and young talking about living well with diabetes. I wonder with Halle Berry's pregnancy now if she'll consent to giving her diabetes more press.
Comment by Janice on September 25, 2007 at 8:50pm
My son has type 1 diabetes and is 8 years old. I have yet to see or hear a positive diabetes ad. I would love to see one! I am very positive about Ryan's diabetes. He can (and will) have a healthy happy life and we don't need the negative. If you have or know about diabetes, you know the complications that can occur without proper maintenance. I don't know if you run into this problem but, everyone I meet likes to tell me a horror story about a family member that has diabetes. It's awful! Most of the time they say "he/she doesn't take care of themselves". Well thats the problem then. It's frustrating. Thanks for posting your story!
Comment by amy mercer on September 26, 2007 at 11:20am
Thanks for your feedback! I just created a group called diabetic parents if any of you have kids......
Comment by Catherine on September 27, 2007 at 2:46am
It must be really frightening for your children to constantly hear about all the negative aspects of Diabetes. Sometimes it's hard enough tryiing to be positibe yourself without all of those sort of reminders isn't it?
Comment by amy mercer on September 27, 2007 at 4:40am
And frustrating because those risks have nothing to do with those of us who work so hard to stay in tight control! I really wish type 1 and type 2 diabetes had different names, they really are different diseases.....
Comment by Lara on September 27, 2007 at 10:24am
Negative media images... it's a double-edged sword.

Of course you don't want your kids hearing about all the downsides/complications of diabetes. I have not personally experienced that with my daughter yet since she is only 4 and I have never used the word "diabetes" around her so she does not even know what it means. But I know that day is coming!

HOWEVER. Mentioning the complications and death rates associated with D are necessary in terms of gaining funding and making curing D a national priority. Look what the negative stories did in terms of AIDS awareness which affects a fraction of Americans compared to D and receives disproportionately greater funding. Positive media stories about people living with D don't translate to more money being allocated for research.
Comment by amy mercer on September 27, 2007 at 10:29am
You're completly right! It's hard to swallow that pill but if that's what it takes to get more funding for research, than I'll deal with it!
Comment by Mike Moon on May 29, 2008 at 5:35pm
I'm in total agreement with you, I've had it for 27 years now and I don't like people to know, cause the next word out of their mouths is a horror story about someone they know who lost a body part. I'm new and I think it's great in here, I'm here to get a positive edge and start giving it back too others. Research is good but do we have too hear about all the crap to get their dollars to help. i think not...


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