Thursday, February 17, 2011

This Could Be Any One Of YOU...

"Reyna you will hear things out there that will make you angry."

When Joe's Endocrinologist said these words to me shortly after Joe was diagnosed, I had no idea what he was talking about. I was dealing with the down-and-dirty of diabetes care. The public perception of diabetes had not entered my conscience.


After school yesterday...

I slipped and slid as I carried the precariously lodged three-legged Vietnamese Bamboo Xylophone (don't ask, and thanks Sunshine Grandma) to the car for Joe.

I then slipped and slid my way back to Joe's backpack that was on the sidewalk in front of a massive snow-ice mound by his school.

I unzipped the backpack.

I looked for and found "Woodchuck".

I looked at Joe's daily diabetes log.

Damn, he has been high all day. Joe has a cold and has been running in the low 200s consistently for two days now.

We were planning on staying to play on the school's playground for an hour while Bridget had band practice. According to the log, Joe received a correction dose of insulin about an hour prior for a 331. I needed to check a blood sugar to ensure his "safety" while he played for the next hour or so.

I zipped up the "Woodchuck".

I slipped.

I slid.

I tripped.

I fell on the ice.

I cursed.

I got up and continued to paint my life with some more colorful descriptors as I headed over to Joe, who happened to be pulling a "Penguin Maneuver" as he sailed down the ice hill head first on his belly with a group of his friends.

He ran to me rosy-cheeked and smiling, as he removed his glove. I removed my gloves. I fumbled with the test strip container with my near-numb finger tips. Woodchuck sat on the snow covered ground as it provided me with my supplies. The glucometer readied. Cold tissue was lanced. Blood was expelled. Blood was wicked up the test strip. 5...4...3...2...1 and a 231 was obtained. Off he went...until the next blood sugar check that would take place in an hour, or so.

You see, here is the thing...

Living with type 1 in our lives hour-to-hour, meal-to-meal, activity-to-activity, blood glucose level-to-blood glucose level is difficult enough. It demands a "never-ending-ness" that many cannot wrap their cerebral gray matter around. When you see me at the park stabbing my kid's finger tips as he slides; or, when you see me measuring his food as I am driving down two lane highways; or, when you see me in my life-sized Pez Dispenser role "mother birding" Glucose Tabs into Joe's pie hole; or, when you see me spiking a juice and holding it to a limp-y, noodle-y, sweat-y Joe... or, when you see me rink-side, field-side, yard-side stalking a potentially low Joe...

Guess what?

This stuff is going on all.the.time.


Around the clock.


24 hours a day.

7 days a week.

365 days a year.

There are no breaks.


So, when I read something like this article written in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound, I feel my spirit, my energy level, my spunk deflate a bit. My "fight" for the "damage control", for the "setting the record straight" is sapped. I am simply tired physically and emotionally. I am left without much vigor by the end of the day for a retaliation. But, when I go back the following morning after a 4am blood sugar check to re-read this:

"A child who acquires type 1 is much different that an adult who acquires type 1. Maybe a child was born with a worse hand? Could a child’s diabetic situation arise from their parent’s decisions in life such as lack of activity and over consumption of processed sugars? If that is possible then maybe the child inherited genes that were mores predisposed to the condition. Or maybe it’s a combination of genes and lifestyle. Many researchers are claiming that childhood diabetes type 1 and type 2 could be related to excess sugar intake and a poor quality diet. Children consuming sodas, juices, milkshakes and candy in excess may be a big contributing factor in acquiring type 1 or type 2. A child who consumes these choices in excess and is more sedentary and has parents who are sedentary may just have the recipe for early onset diabetes of either type".

When I go back and read this, ... I get angry. Once again, misinformation is disseminated. Once again, we are left picking up the pieces. Once again, I am left shouting "DIET AND EXERCISE CANNOT CURE TYPE 1 DIABETES, NOR DOES THE LACK OF A HEALTHY DIET AND A LACK OF EXERCISE CAUSE TYPE 1 DIABETES!" Once again, I am left defending my son, Joe. My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just over three years old. Soda had not passed his lips. Milk shakes, perhaps he had one or two...well a bite or two of one or two. Processed foods? Sure, some I suppose. Sedentary? I am unsure if he knows the definition of that certainly could not be used in the same sentence or perhaps paragraph when discussing Joe's qualities.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which a person's own body (white blood cells) attack the insulin producing cells (beta cells) in the Pancreas. To develop Type 1 Diabetes three risk factors must be present. They are inheritance (genetic), autoimmunity (self-allergy), and environmental damage (example: from a chemical or virus). So, in other words, a person must have the genetic "set-up" to be susceptible to the environmental stimulus (chemical or virus) in order for the autoimmune "attack" (self-allergy) on the beta cells of the pancreas to occur.

Clearly, Type 1 diabetes is on the rise. My hunch is it is related to the "environmental trigger" component...whether it be viral, chemical, cow milk exposure, vitamin d deficiencies...who knows? The research is still being conducted. Answers are still elusive. More questions arise. More research is initiated.

What I do know is that I need to raise my voice along with my friends. I need to speak up for Joe.

I need to speak up for you.

This could be anyone of you in my position. This could be your child. This could be your day-in-the-life.

A day-in-the-life of defending our day-in-the-life.

My Response To Ignorance: One Voice
Dear Mr. Wilcher

JUST IN: The RETRACTED STATEMENT By Dr. Wilcher...2/17/2011:

My sincere apologies go out to the type 1 diabetic community for the article I wrote that was published in the Daily Sound on Feb 16th, 2011.

The main intention of the article was to say that for type 1 or type 2 diabetics a lifestyle of healthy habits may significantly help their quality of life. My statements about excess sugar were meant to be directed toward type 2 diabetics, which has been linked strongly to lifestyle habits.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are basically 2 different diseases. They both involve the pancreas and insulin, but the cause of the diseases are much different. Type 1 diabetes is clearly an autoimmune disorder with no known cause while type 2 diabetes is more of a metabolic issue. I can understand the frustration of type 1 diabetics being categorized with type 2 diabetics.

I am truly sorry for any pain I have caused any of you and your families. I know how hard it must be to have a child who is diagnosed with type 1 and knowing that you have done everything in your power to keep your child healthy.

I quickly scanned the article without giving it a thorough proofreading and I understand that some of the issues I addressed were misleading.

I should have written the article in a much different way, and I do apologize again. My intentions were to raise questions about lifestyle habits and how it can affect one’s lifestyle with these diseases. I hope we can all agree that healthier habits can help us live more full lives no mater what conditions we have.

Bob Wilcher is a Chiropractor and personal trainer in Santa Barbara, CA. He owns Killer B Fitness, a personal and group training studio also located in Santa Barbara, CA. You can contact him at or (805) 448-2222.


Nikki said...

I hope I can march behind you supporting, educating and kicking some ignorant ass. We all have a responsibility to educate.. Much love.

Dawn @ Sugar Free Candyland said...

GF, share the link! If you can find a link to that, and maybe even some contact info for someone we can get in touch with to BOMBARD their asses with mass fkn emails, snail mails, etc and TELL THOSE IGNORANT PPL what we live with day in, day out, and the TRUTH about T1, maybe itll open some peoples eyes up there, and cause them to make a NEW, BETTER, more ACCURATE article! Let's knock them on their asses, like so many other ppl did when Ricki Lake made that goof up on national television! Let's get the word out there about what Type 1 Diabetes REALLY IS! I'll be doing google searches today to see if I can find any info on this article you read, and see if I can find any contact info on it, and if I do, I'll try to make some time today (got a busy day planned!)to type up a letter to send to them.

Dawn @ Sugar Free Candyland said...

Never mind my last comment... just went to their website, he retracted his statement about type 1.

NikDuck said...

Wonderful post Reyna...great job. Thanks for being a voice for all type 1's and for educating accurately. His apology...still a little lame, I think!

Dawn @ Sugar Free Candyland said...

Yeah, I agree, it is kinda lame, but, dont we typically think that when anyone in the media, or celebrity figure, makes an apology for their lack of ignorance, education, research, whatever the case may be? lol.

I think, personally, I'm MORE upset now, just because now I know he was a darned CHIROPRACTOR preaching about a topic he obviously does not know that much about, to god knows how many readers! A chiropractor. Not an endocrinologist. Not a dietitian. Not a diabetes researcher. But a CHIROPRACTOR! I guess because he holds some form of a medical degree, he feels he has the right to discuss anything to do with the medical field, any medical field. PFFT!

Go back to medical school, buddy!

Unknown said...

I had to fight a tongue lashing. Oh, was HARD!!!!!

This is a **GREAT** post. I think he's learned from it. That's one down...sigh...and a million more to go.

Hi five, my friend!!!!!

One misconception at a time...

Penny said...

Oh Reyna, well said my friend. I don't think this guy has a clue what he is talking about - he now, in his retraction, well, first let me say the man needs spellcheck on his computer because 'mater' is not the same as 'matter.' That being said (sorry, snarky, but it pisses me off - SPELLCHECK the damn thing!) he 'knows how hard it must be to have a child who is diagnosed and you've done everything in your power to keep your child healthy.' Cut me a friggin break. You DON'T KNOW what it's like. You don't have a child with Type 1 and you are not Type 1 yourself. And damn it, I don't need his sympathy cause I tried so damn hard to keep them healthy, but in essence, he is communicating that we once again FAILED as moms and dads. I just couldn't keep her healthy you see? You just couldn't keep Joe healthy? Doesn't that just burn your last ass nerve? it does me.
He doesn't deserve the time of day or an answer to this retraction, lame ass that it is.
Good post my dear. Mr. Chiropractor can go and stick it.

Misty said...

Nice job Reyna! Thank you for leading the way...we must continue to educate!

Joanne said...

I read that "article", but lacked the energy to respond. This so-called "avoidable" disease has been kicking my ass lately.

If ever there was a poster child for diabetes not being caused by anything the guy wrote about, it's Elise.

Thanks for standing up and speaking loudly and clearly for us... you rock!

Alexis Nicole said...

Wonderful post as usual. Hes a douchelord. Period. His rebuttal lacked substance as does he. F em.

I also wanna say thank you for speaking of enviromental triggers. Alot going around about that and you said beautifullh!

Valerie said...

I'm glad he retracted his statement and apologized, but who publishes an article about a very serious topic and doesn't proofread? Really?! If you are going to talk about type 1 diabetes, you better look it over several times to make sure you're not sounding like an idiot. And if his intention was to talk about lifestyle choices affecting quality of life, fine, but he in no way got that across. If he meant to direct the "excess sugar" part to type 2, than it makes no sense why he also included type 1. Ah well. I'm sure all the backlash he got made him feel bad.

:) Tracie said...

Nice retraction.....but WHY IS A CHIROPRACTOR GIVING OUT DIABETES INFORMATION????? That's like an endocrinologist cracking backs!

1. It was MIS- information
2. He needs to stick to his own field of knowledge
3. That being many of his OWN patients has he been wrong about???!!!

Just goes to prove this point......... ANY amount of College or ANY degree of specialty earned by ANYone doesn't change a MORON!

Becky V said...

Wonderful post. I am glad you took some action that caused him to give an apology. Sadly though most readers of the original article won't see that part - so only will have the misinformation stuck in there heads giving us even more *helpful* people to say, "well I read that BOTH T1 and T2..." Ugh. Once again I feel so fortunate that the teachers who care for my son do a great job and have never once questioned anything I tell/ask them to do to care for him. They are wonderful and I'm so glad I don't deal with this kind of crap on a daily basis.

Julie said...

Can a chiropractor be called a Dr? Seems off to me. Don't know who got to that guy..clearly the DOC is becoming a force! Good work DOC. Good work Reyna. I'm there behind you. I'll preach with you too!

k2 said...

Great post an big, FAT HUGS lady!!
As far as Dr. Bob is concerned, I also gave him my 2 cents, twice!
I'm not a fan of his retraction statement - He's still putitng the blame on PWDs and that will haver a negative affect on all of us, regardless of the type!
And one more thing - YOU ROCK~

Jonah said...

I don't like that retraction. It should say, "I don't anything about diabetes that amounts to more than gossip."

But all the same, I think talking heads spouting junk is actually less problematic than when it's people you have to go to school with /work with/ live with who have a problem with your diabetes.

Rachael said...

You never cease to amaze me! When I read this article yesterday, I have to admit the e-mail I sent could have been a little nicer. I tried not to be upset, but when we all fight so hard it does matter! Also, there is always a bit of "them vs. us" when it comes to T1 and T2 patients. This kind of misinformation divides people, instead of bringing them together. Sorry, that you as an awesome D Mama has to read this kinda crap. (((HUGS))) Love ya Friend! :)

Trev said...

I read this yesterday as well on the CWD website. I looked at his site couldn't find it, and got busy with the day-to-day stuff in my three 2 treat house. I thank-you for this post. Ignorance is so out there today. By the way, my friend, I was up at 0300 raiding my fridge and also checking Rowan's sugar. Last thing we need to read is this BS! Take care!

Sarah said...

I think you are much more kind in your words than I feel about that article. I can't imagine anybody telling me that my son whom was mostly breastfed to the point when he was dx was being fed food that caused this, or what about Meri's son who was dx as a teeny tiny makes my blood boil. In his retraction he says he just wanted to make the point that a healthier lifestyle is better for all, than why didn't he just say that?! Why did he have to even drag type 1 diabetes in there? Still mad. Really mad. I think I may have to send another message his way. This man needs to do better than that.

Meri said...

Yeah, the original article has been taken down. Hopefully he feels his stupidity.

Thank you for this thoughtful rebuttle to the ignorant chiropractor. If we stand up together, maybe our voices will be heard! We are here! We are here! We are here!

Five Bears A-Blogging said...

I didn't read the original article, because the retraction had been put in it's place. Probably a good thing, 'cause it would have just pissed me off. You'd think a little "research" would be in order before publishing an article on something as complex as diabetes...T1 or T2. Thanks for being your ever-elloquent self...

Christie Allen (Talulla's Mom) said...

As the nurse who just spent 12 short hours chasing the blood sugars of 2 people (a Type 1 new momma AND the little non-diabetic who she just birthed and was trying to regulate her own sugars after growing in a sugary uterus), this article makes me want to stab the alleged "doctor".
I can't imagine how his words must make you parents and Type 1s feel.
Ignorance and disrespect knows no bounds, nor does "blame the parent" syndrome.
Some of us get it; we don't live with Type 1 and can't pretend we understand, but you all want to go mount a ninja attack on this dude, we got your back.

Jen said...

Wow! I missed all the hoopla yesterday! This was a great post, as always Reyna. I am so glad that you and others set the record straight. It STILL is frustrating though, isn't it, when that information is put out there..there really is no taking it back. I am glad he responded but really disappointed that he used diabetes inappropriately to encourage healthier lifestyles..

Amy said...

Thank you for saying what I didn't. I still don't know my place yet in responding to articles like this but I do know what my heart says and you just figured it out. Good thing we have so many warriors in this battle!!!