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. 
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