Friday, November 15, 2019

I Do Front Flips

So, by now you've probably learned that I have an active life style. I do everything from dance to gymnastics. And something that I want people to understand is that diabetics are absolutely capable of doing all of these things (and more). The only things which truly limit me are low self-confidence (a topic for a different time) and the price of American healthcare and insulin (link to the blog where I talk about that issue here).

I think that the representation of diabetes in American media is severely lacking at best and a terrible misrepresentation at worst. Part of this is due to the fact that there are 2 main types of diabetes which are not interchangeable but are not well parsed (a google search for "famous diabetics" yields mostly people with type 2 diabetes, which is similar in some ways but very different in others).

The most famous person with type 1 diabetes I can think of is Nick Jonas (yes, that Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers):
Credit: Getty Images
There is only one other example whom I know has been public about having diabetes:

Jay Cutler (Football Quarter Back):

Everyone else on this list I had to google:
Crystal Bowersox
Elliot Yamin
Kris Freeman
Sonia Sotomayor
Gary Hall, Jr.
Mary Tyler Moore

There are actors, judges, athletes, singers, and me. I think something that's scary for me is how quiet most of these people seem to be about this disease. Because even though I do a lot of things and am very active, diabetes effects everything that I do. Let's take a video break:

This is me practicing front flips and doing some vaguely ninja warrior inspired stuff. This video was taken after I had to take a break for about 15 minutes to allow my body time to recover from having low sugar. I am capable of doing almost anything (the same could be said for you) IF I have the proper support. I won't rehash my earlier argument about American healthcare (again, link to it here), but I will emphasize that all of the things I've been able to do are because of my access to some level of stability and healthcare. This access was not provided by my hard work. It was provided by my luck. 

I was lucky to have a family who understood what diabetes is and fought hard to make sure I got the best care possible (my mom went to bat for me I don't know how many times). Over the years, though, that care has gotten harder and harder to find. Access is being increasingly limited by cost, and I wish I could bottle my stress and anxiety around this topic not to harm others but to hopefully increase their empathy and understanding. For example, it is terrifying to think of a scenario in which a zombie apocalypse or climate change shuts down means of producing and distributing insulin. There is no way to realistically engage in questions involving deserted islands as a diabetic. My suspension of disbelief can't carry me through. Most holiday meals are spent thinking about balance as opposed to connection.

I'm sorry. I meant to just show this short eleven second clip of me pulling off a couple of dope front flips, but I can't positive outlook or laugh my way to healthy. I don't want to bring anyone else down with me, but I wish more people understood so that I didn't have feel like I'm going this road alone.

The good news is that tomorrow, I'm going to go see one of my recent favorite bands up in Denver: Thank You Scientist. I'll record my thoughts and let you all know how it goes!

Until then, thanks for listening... reading? Thanks, regardless. And enjoy some outro music by TYS:

1 comment:

I Do Front Flips

So, by now you've probably learned that I have an active life style. I do everything from dance to gymnastics. And something that I want...