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[IP] Re: who should represent diabetes?

> Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 17:55:54 -0400
> From: "Sally Tipping" <email @ redacted>
> Subject: Re: [IP] Who should represent diabetes?
> I can remember a time (I've had diabetes type 1 since 1958) when readers of
> "Forcast", complained that there were too many negative stories of people
> who havediabetes and so they changed there foremat. So which way is really better???

I think what's better is a balance.  I personally don't want to stop anyone who lives with diabetes from telling his or her story.  It's helpful to me to hear both sides of the spectrum, to get the full picture.  I don't want people to assume that diabetes isn't that big a deal and that with hard work and luck I will be completely unscathed.  But I also don't want people to assume that, no matter what I do, I'll end up with no legs, blind, and on dialysis.  We know now that what one does in terms of treatment DOES make a difference.  Is it a guarantee of perfect health?  Of course not!  Genetics, time, health, environment, attitude, and simple luck also play a role.

Fact:  There are people who have had diabetes for 50+ years, diagnosed in the days when treatment was primitive,
         who are healthy now, despite all the odds against them.

Fact:  There are people who are dead after 20 years with diabetes, though they did everything possible to take care
         of themselves.  Despite their efforts, their health deteriorated steadily.

Fact:  There are many more of us living somewhere in the middle of those 2 extremes, using various treatments, with
         various health issues, with various levels of control.

The extremes are part of the picture, but they are not THE picture.  Diabetes should be portrayed as it is:  difficult, life-threatening, increasingly treatable.  And people with diabetes should be portrayed as they are.  Each of our stories is valid and important.


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