et tu Reader’s Digest?

Kerri from Sixuntilme tweeted a link to Kim’s blog post at Texting my Pancreas about an upcoming special issue from Reader’s Digest.  I love Reader’s Digest, I always have.  My love for them is failing after seeing this:

 

Anyone who has been touched by the ‘Betes knows you can’t reverse it.  Type 1 or Type 2, once its there, its there to stay.  Sure, there are things some T2’s can do to better control it and lessen their dependence on medications, but contrary to popular belief, not all T2’s are fat and lazy.

This kind of shit pisses me right the fuck off.   So I sent the letter below to the editors of Reader’s Digest.  And when my mother-in-law buys this piece of shit and gives it to me so we can reverse my son’s T1, I’m going to mail it right back to them and demand the money back.

 

Dear Readers Digest,


I have fond memories of reading your magazine my entire life.  My grandmother bought gift subscriptions every year for all of her children, and when she passed away, my mother kept up the tradition in our family. Each month, for as long as I can remember, I would devour your magazine and then wish it were delivered weekly. I have found your magazine to be informative, funny, and entertaining.  Now I am forced to wonder if the more serious information I have read for the past 35 years is as flawed as the special issue I understand to be coming out shortly.  The one I am referring to has the cover title of “Reverse Diabetes”.
For anyone living with any kind of diabetes, this title is highly offensive.  There is no reversing diabetes; there is only (imperfect) control.  I can only assume you are attempting to tell Type 2 diabetics they can go off their pills or insulin if they only exercise and/or eat right.  What you are actually doing is propagating the myth that diabetes can be cured.  While the article(s) inside may specify to Type  2, and may even clarify there is no real “cure,” the damage is done.  When people see this headline in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, it only serves to reinforce the idea that diabetes can be “fixed” and if the diabetic in question would only follow the proper advice, he or she would be “cured.”
My 11 year old son is a Type 1 diabetic.  Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease.  I tell him he has a super immune system, and when it got bored, it found his pancreas and started beating up on it.  For the rest of his life, he will need to stick a needle in his finger a minimum of 4, but more likely, 10 times a day.  He will need to either get a shot every time he eats anything or be connected to his insulin pump 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If he does not get insulin, he will die.  It does not matter if his food has no sugar, it does not matter if his meals have a low glycemic load, it does not matter how carb-smart he or his meals are. There is no diabetes wonder drug that makes it go away.  For him there is only insulin, constant blood sugar monitoring and constant awareness of how what he eats affects not only his blood sugar, but his long term health.
My father and his brother are Type 2 diabetics.  While they do not have to monitor their blood sugar levels as frequently as my son does, they do have to take medication daily and check their blood sugar at least twice a day.  Admittedly, they both could lose weight and be more active, but at best, this would only delay their dependence on medications.  My grandparents, on the other hand, were both thin and very active.  My grandmother died from cardiovascular issues cause by diabetes.  There was nothing any of then can or could have done to reverse their diabetes.  Given the family genetics, I will probably develop Type 2 diabetes in 10 to 15 years.  I may win the genetic lottery and be spared, but I doubt I’ll be that lucky.  Even now, at 40 and with no symptoms at all, my personal risk for diabetes is not far from my mind.  I exercise and eat healthy to
There is no “diabetes wonder drug” that makes it go away so you don’t ever have to think about it again.  Drugs and insulin are not a cure, they are imperfect management tools.  By spreading misinformation you not only continue to confuse the issue to those lucky enough to not be touched by these diseases, you also impact the perceived need for a cure.  While I understand the lead times in the publishing industry may prevent you from making changes to this special issue, I sincerely hope you will publish a correct, informative article in your monthly magazine that will differentiate between the two different kinds of diabetes and reiterate that being diagnosed with diabetes is not the diabetic’s fault. I fully expect at least one family member to see these issue and purchase out of ignorance to “help” me and my family reverse my son’s diabetes.  I can only imagine how many other people will do the same thing.  This kind of a title is designed to increase sales among the ignorant.  Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of pocketing the money from those sales, some of it was donated to JDRF or the American Diabetes Association.
mindfluff,
mother to a type 1 diabetic
daughter of a type 2 diabetic
niece of a type 2 diabetic
granddaughter of two type 2 diabetics
(probable) future type 2 diabetic

 

Pure, unadulterated….

HottieLike Aunt Becky I have decided that I have some television/movie boyfriend/husbands.  My current crush is Robert Downey Jr. Take a look at that pic and you’ll see why.  I’m not talking the 90’s coke-head version, but the current, cleaned-up-his-act, and got ripped for Iron Man/Sherlock Holmes version.  That man is smokin. I like my men to look like men; I don’t like the clean-shaven look, men are supposed to have more hair than boys.  You can keep Robert Pattinson and Ryan Reynolds.  In a couple of years they might grow into something interesting, but now, they’re just boys.

Apparently I’m growing into my tastes.  In the eighties, it was Sean Connery (The Rock) and Harrison Ford (The Fugitive), the nineties it was Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Liam Neeson (Rob Roy) and Val Kilmer (The Saint), the aughts are Christian Bale (Batman) and Robert Downey Jr.  All of these guys were popular prior to these movies, but they just weren’t so good looking then.  Sean Connery as James Bond was ok, but The Rock was better.  Mad Max never did a thing for me, Lethal Weapon was better, but Braveheart…hoo boy.  Same this with RDJ.  There is a great deal of difference between this and this.  And the second one is much better.  I think it’s the laugh lines around the eyes that I find attractive.  Charlie Sheen is an attractive guy, and better looking in 2 and a Half Men than he was in Wall Street, but is still missing something.  Him, I’d kick out of bed for eating crackers.  Christian Bale, RDJ?  No way.

Now, all I need are crackers.

 

it’s not what you have…

It’s not what he has that bothers me, it what he won’t have.  A Jell-O commercial only serves to remind me that some of my childhood memories won’t be his.  Anyone who’s ever had diet Jello knows its different from regular jello.  When we were kids, one of the summertime staples were jello squares.  Long road trips required lots of them in baggies.  Last year when he was in the hospital learning about the new normal, he was allowed diet jello for snacks.  He hates diet jello.  Whether its because it is forever linked to being in the hospital, or just because it tastes nasty, I don’t know.   The point is he can’t eat food without ever thinking about it.  And some things, like regular jello, are just off the menu.  Diabetes sucks, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Most times I can deal with it, but sometimes, it hits me.  Today is one of those days.

thank you m’am

I think I can confidently say I have no unwelcome bugs on my head.

Ahem.  After getting the kids to bed, I make the hubs wash his hair with the shampoo and I comb it out when  he’s done.  Nothing, he’s clean and toddles off downstairs to melt after the stress-filled day.  I start checking my head in the mirror, and finally give it up as a lost cause.  Now I shed a lot.  There is always a ton of hair in my brush, on my jacket, everywhere.  So I run my hand through my hair to pull out some loose ones, and lo and behold, on the handful I pull out is a louse.  Crawling.  Ew.  Since the hubs had expressed a desire for a live bug to take to work and look at under the microscope, I put it in a tupperware and make him come up to check me closer.  Did I mention he can’t see close up?  And that my hair is about half grey, even though I’m not quite 40?  Oh, and lice eggs/nits are white?  You see where I’m going with this.  So he can’t find anything, I do the shampoo thing and try combing my hair out with the little comb thing.  My hair is not that short and I kept getting it knotted when I ran the comb through it.  Eventually I make him try again, and again, he doesn’t see anything.  Now when I did my daughter’s I could see the dead bugs and nits floating in the water I used to rinse the comb.  I didn’t see anything in this water, so I’m beginning to think the one I found got on me when I was checking her.  Hope springs eternal and all that.

The next day, The Girl stays home with me, The Boy gets a once over, and gets sent off to school.  The Girl gets another comb-out (about an hour and a half this time) I pull about 20 nits off and she’s happy as a clam playing because she didn’t have to go to school.  My mom comes up and the two of us start the painful process of vacuuming, cleaning and laundering the house.  After she checks my head.  But again, she didn’t find anything.   And made a comment about the amount of gray hair I have.*

That night after her shower, I check The Girl’s head again.  Only 5 nits this time – but wait, that’s a bug!  And shit, its still alive.  Now I’m all creeped out again.  After a while I convince myself that it was probably newly hatched from a nit I missed that morning.  Just the same, since I can’t use the shampoo again on myself for another week, I’m coloring my hair.  I’d read that the ammonia/peroxide the coloring process uses will kill them too.  I happened to have a L’Oreal box on hand from when I was coloring it regularly, so I’m good on that front.  And red hair is more festive than grey for the holidays anyway.  Amazingly, the coloring stuff didn’t react with the Rid shampoo residue, and I ended up with cinnamon-colored hair.

This morning, I check The Girl, and Hallelujah  she’s clean.  So she’s off to school with tightly braided hair.  My buddy the nurse checks her out, agrees she’s clean, and all is good.  On one of my many trips to the local drugstore for diabetic refills, I see they have this Lice Freeee stuff.  So I ask my buddy the pharmacist about it.  He highly recommends it, having gone through the same process last week with his kids.  I also head off to the local health food store to get tea tree oil shampoo and some kickass hand creme because between all the washing and chemicals my hands are cracked and bleeding.  So  tonight I soaked both mine and The Girl’s head in the Lice Freeee.  The active ingredient is salt, and remember, my hands are already cracked and bleeding.  After applying it to her, my hands are on FIRE and her poor little head is burning from all the previous lice bites.  Eventually they both calm down and I put on rubber gloves and soak my head with this stuff.  Washed our hair with coconut shampoo, conditioned with tea tree oil conditioner, and did not find one nit or  bug on her, and the comb came out clean on me.  Hopefully we’re done, and with a final Rid Shampoo this weekend we’ll stay that way.

* The funny thing here is, the early grey comes from her side of the family, and she’s been stricken by it too. On my mother, her gray circles her face, kind of like if you’re wearing one of those coats with a fuzzy lined hood.  She;s colored it for so long though, she has no idea if its still that way or is now completely white.

Bam!

Ok, so this week hasn’t been any better.  I did manage to get enough Christmas shopping done that the kids will have presents to open.  If there’s not a lot, I’m sure my parents will make up for that.  Planned activities went 1 for 2, and at this point I’m ok with a 50% success rate.  Both kids finish their antibiotics with no side effects.  The Girl can’t seem to hear for shit now, and this worries me some though.  I know she gets a tremendous amount of was in her ears, so I’m hoping that with all the congestion, they’re just clogged and will clean themselves out now that we’re relatively healthy.   Physically anyway.  This week my husband’s depression/anxiety decided to rear its ugly head again.  The whole car thing started to freak him out.  Personally, I find buying a car kind of exciting.  I could do without the asshole sales creeps however.  He’s stressing over spending the money, and can we afford it, and a million other things, some real, some bullshit.  I’m doing the whole thing via email, but like both options equally.  Then we have everyone coming to our house for Christmas.  His family and mine.  He does the cooking, so there’s something else he’s stressing about.  And then we get a letter saying the shrink he was seeing has left the practice.  Again.  Pretty soon we’re going to add paranoia to his list of  “issues”.

Then, The Bam.  Saturday night I’m rocking The Girl to sleep.  This isn’t something I usually do, but she’d had a rough night behavior-wise, and it had finally sunk in that mommy Was Not Happy, so she came to snuggle-rock.  We’re talking, and she points out that her head is really itchy.  Now both my husband and I have dry skin.  Every winter, its a race to see whose hands will crack and bleed first (I won already).  Both of the kids have dry skin too, and The Girl has a touch of eczema, so I figure its just another dry skin itchy spot, just on her head.  And she asks if she has lice.  Lice!?  She knows about Lice?!  Then I remember a few weeks ago we got yet another “a child in your child’s class has lice” papers from the school nurse.  We’ve gotten at least two of these per year since The Boy has been in kindergarten.  Big deal, we’ve never gotten it, so I tend to ignore them.  So, I turn on the light, and lo and behold, I see a little white thing in her hair.  And it won’t come off.  Now, back many moons ago, when I worked at the Girl Scout summer camp, there was an outbreak of lice.  Being 15 and a kitchen worker, it didn’t effect me much.  I remember getting checked, being found bug free, and having to use a special shampoo once.  I also remember the counselors and director discussing what a major pain in the ass it was, and all the cleaning and washing and other logistical nightmares that happened.  Please, not lice.

So, I get a flashlight hoping that what I’m seeing is  just dried shampoo, but alas, no.  There are way too many white things stuck to her hair for it to be shampoo.  So I send her to bed.  What else am I going to do?  It’s 9pm, if it is lice, she’s had them for at least a day and her bed is infested already.  The drug stores will be closed by the time I can get there, if they’re not already, so I send her to bed with plans to call the pediatrician in the morning.  Sunday we get up and she’s in my bed! She does this, comes into our bed in the wee hours of the morning and goes back to sleep.  I’ve tried everything I can to break her of this habit, but it still persists.  So I gave up. She doesn’t wake me up when she comes in and I’d rather sleep than fight over who sleeps where.   Eventually she’ll stay in her own bed, I mean whoever heard of a high school kid who sleeps in her mommy’s bed, right?  Except now she’s buggy.  and in my bed.  In the daylight, I check and oh, yes no doubt about it, she has lice.  Which means that I and my husband probably have lice.  Oh, did I mention this is the first snowfall of the season?  A good 6 inches and the road crews around here suck.  So I schlep out to the drug store to buy some delousing shampoo, and while I’m out and its early and snowy, I’m stopping at the book store to finish *snort* my Christmas shopping, and I’ll stop at the Club Store to pick up some foodstuffs we’ve run out of and need for cookie baking.  Things like milk and eggs.  Bookstore is done, and I’m off to….wait a minute, the new Walmart ought to have lice stuff  and a bunch of other things I need to.  Like coconut shampoo (supposed to repel lice). Score!  I got lucky, its a Super Walmart, and I can get food here!  Yay!  Something finally is going my way.  Get the de-louser Rid, and some stuff called Lice Freeee that I read is supposed to be good and can be used more often than the other.  More importantly, it has a metal comb and the RID only has a plastic comb.  I’m done and out in record time, and I only had to field one carb counting call (to calc a PB sandwich, weigh the bread, then add the PB,  multiply the grams of PB by 0.22, add the carbs for the bread and voila, pb sandwich carbs).  I get home, the (anxious as hell) hubs takes the kids sledding while I strip the beds and start the massive laundry movement of ’09.  As I’m reading the directions for the RID, I realize that I am way short of the amount we’ll need to treat all four of us.  Back out to the local drugstore to remedy this.  Nearly $80 later, and I’ve got enough shampoo to treat and retreat.  The de-nitting gel can suck it.  Everyone gets home and I start the inspection.  Holy Cow, the boy is clean.  I’m shocked, and treat him with the Lice Freee.  I start the shampooing process with The Girl, and while she’s baking, I check the hubs.  Holy SHIT he’s clean.  How in the hell is this possible.  Whatever.  We decide that we’ll do the shampoo after the kids are in bed.  I start working on The Girl’s hair to clean the dead bugs and remove the nits.  Four hours later, her head is clean.

I’m tired.  I’ll finish the story tomorrow.  I promise

and WHAM!

This week has sucked the big one.  The Boy had an endo appointment to start things off.  His A1C * was good – too good in fact.  His target is 6.5, and he was 5.7, which is normal.  Unfortunately, he is not normal, so that is too low.  What this means is that his blood sugar is going low and 1) he doesn’t know it and 2) its not happening while we’re testing him.  So, he’s going on a continuous monitor next month.  This is a good thing; control freak that I am, this will tell me exactly what his sugars are every 10 minutes of every day for five day straight.  This will also coincide nicely with the whole getting-the-pump process, so hopefully we’ll be able to use those numbers to set up his basal rates quicker than normal.

The Boy, The Girl and I have been fighting a cough and cold for forever.  Monday, the same day we went to the endo and the day before The Boy’s birthday, The Girl gets off the bus in tears because her ears hurt.  Didn’t think to mention it to the teacher and has been in pain all afternoon.  So instead of shopping for birthday presents, I’m schlepping her to the doctor.  at 7:30.  Completely trashes any idea of getting presents and I have nothing.  No-thing.  She has a double ear infection, so off to CVS we go to get those meds.  And just in case, I pick up an iTunes gift card.

Tuesday The Girl stays home from school because she’s a mess and the antibiotics haven’t kicked in yet.  She has no fever, but is whiney and tired so home she stays.  I’m going to the state house on a field trip with The Boy (because I have to go to give him shots and stuff), so my mother comes to watch The Girl.  Fortunately we get back from the trip early, so I dash to Toys R Us and the book store and pick up a couple of cool things.  Including the D&D mini-fig game.  One more stop at the card store and I’m wrapping presents in the parking lot.  Shut Up, at least he had presents.  When he questions why I wasn’t home after school, I told him I had his presents at work (work is where I hide Christmas presents) and wne to get and wrap them.  Dinner ensues with my parents, a fit occurs because we’re not having Pizza Hut – Pizza Hut and chocolate cake at the same meal would be a diabetic no-no.  He calms down, cake is eaten, presents unwrapped and he’s happy.  Whew.

Wednesday The Girl stays home again, and The Boy ends up coming home early because his head & ears hurt.  No fever, but he’s in tears so we bring him home.  He has a well-visit at the pediatrician Thursday morning, so I tell the hubs to mention it, along with the cold from hell,  to the doctor.  I’m not taking him because I have to go to work at some point during the week.

Thursday morning my car has two hard starts – one at home, and one at the bus stop.  I call the hubs, and we make plans to change the battery that night.  Its 5 years old and due, no biggie.   They go to the dr, and pick up the battery on the way, The Boy his H1N1 and has no ear infections.  Four hours later, he’s in tears in the nurses office with a fever of 100.2 and bad ear pain.   I go to pick him up from school and lo and behold, the damn car won’t start.  At all.  Call the nurse back and she’s going to keep him there, and collect The Girl (its now near the end of the day) and my mother is coming to get them both.  I call the dr and The Boy is going back (again) to get his ears checked.  In the meantime, I will get someone to jump me when its time for me to come home.  Except I work with Cornell grads, and those assholes have no idea how to jump a car.  The spastic one has cables but just wants to start attaching things irregardless of polarity.  *I* hook them up, and we start the process.  No go, the terminals are either too corroded and I can’t get a good connection, or his battery is to small or old to jump my truck.  He jiggles cables and does some other stuff that I can’t see because I’m in the car with the hood up, but no dice.  I keep the cables and he leaves.  I clean the connections as best I can with paper towels and water and try again with a different car.  By this time its dark, it the coldest day of the winter so far and I’m fucking freezing.  My husband has the new battery, I call my mom to come get me and take me home.  The hubs can change the battery in the parking lot, leave the car there, and mom will take me to work in the morning, because she’s going to have to come up and watch The Boy who won’t be going to school on Friday, due to a presumed ear infection.  Which he ended up not having.  He stayed home anyway because the nurse knew he had a fever, and he can’t go back for at least 24 hours.  Unfortunately the battery change doesn’t fix the piece of shit car, its trying to turn over now, which is an improvement, but sounds like its not getting gas.  Oh, and my gauges don’t work and the ODB2 (car computer reader thingy) can’t talk to the computer.  So we make plans to have the PoS towed to the local dealer.  But now its Friday afternoon, and they’re shop isn’t open until Monday.    Friday gets more tears and a massive headache for The Boy, so now I’m taking him to the pediatrician on Saturday morning.

Remember, there’s only one car now.  There is no Christmas tree, no presents, its finals week and I have a paper due, and I’m trucking the kid up to the dr for the third time this week.  The dr agrees with me that he has a sinus infection, and calls in the script for antibiotics.  Oh, and did I mention the hubs’ car has a bizarre starting problem – sometimes it doesn’t, and then it will.  But its a miracle, I don’t have a problem with it.  We go home, get medicated, and the hubs takes The Girl out to get a tree and more lights.  Panic ensues at the Walmart (its really crowded) and he grabs a bunch of lights and leaves.  He got regular lights, which we have.  I wanted LED lights so I can leave the dam tree on Christmas eve and not have to worry about starting a fire.  Sigh.  Tree is put up, but every time we try and decorate it, children start fighting. It takes three days before its done.

Monday I’m supposed to be off from work to go Christmas shopping, but there’s no point with no car.  I score a ride to work and wait for the worst.  And…..TADA…..the fuse that feeds power to the computer was fried.  By the JACKASS who decided that since the car wouldn’t jumpstart, the cables needed to be switched.  $50 later, the car starts, but runs shittier than normal.  Apparently it needs to re-learn how the car works  to get the fuel mix and idle speeds correct.

We’ve had that piece of shit car for 9 years, and hated it for at least 8 1/2.  My Christmas present is a new car.  If we can find the time to go get one.  It will be either a Subaru or a Hyundai, depends on who give me the best deal, the best interest rate and the color I like.  And sometime in there I need to go Christmas shopping because again, I have nothing.  For either kid.

The miracle is that through all of the disruption to routine, sickness and whatnot, The Boy’s sugar levels haven’t been bad.  Thank God for small miracles.

Squee!

This is just too fucking awesome for words.  For those of you who don’t know Jonathon Coulton…get to!

In other news, I’m busy (for real, not just procrastinating) but will post more tomorrow.