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Happy Endings  [ Wed Aug 15 2012 9:15 PM ]

I seem to recall a sixteen-year-old in a torn skirt, black bra beneath a white tank top, Converse sneakers, cat-eye glasses, a gift for repartee, and a zen Buddha-like nature in full bloom despite her tender age. Your fashion has changed a bit, but your innate qualities of kindness, intelligence, and brilliant humor have not. I feel humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with someone I admire so thoroughly. I'll be cheering loudly from the sidelines as you take the next step in your remarkable career, Laura. Bon Voyage!

When religion trumps medical standard of care...  [ Thu Jun 28 2012 9:14 PM ]

I wonder what would happen if a Jehovah's Witness refused to administer a blood transfusion to a trauma victim on religious grounds, or an anti-vaccination purist denied a pertussis vaccine to a baby exposed to whooping cough, or a bible-toting homophobe refused antibiotics to an HIV+ patient with pneumonia?


Last edited [6/28/12 9:27 PM]
Loved it  [ Sat Aug 6 2011 9:46 AM ]

'nuff said. You shall quickly rise through the ranks of the gynocracy. Great review!

Thank you...  [ Thu Aug 4 2011 9:38 PM ]

...for shining the spotlight on these wonderful midwives and their beautiful new birth center. In my opinion, all healthy low-risk pregnancies should be cared for by midwives. I can't wait to have all my babies caught by you all! $2500 is the GREATEST bargain in health care. I can't believe Dar a Luz is able to keep the cost so low. Major major congrats to this important new birth center.

@crankytype2 also  [ Fri Nov 5 2010 7:43 PM ]

The quote you cited is from a blog written by a dude who has a wife with Type 1 diabetes. If you think my article was offensive, here's a picture of him holding a bunch of fat!!!

[link]!/photo.php?fbid=287382139962&set=a.204889069962.26650.5457479962

@crankytype2  [ Fri Nov 5 2010 7:18 PM ]

Hi Cranky,

I understand why you take this article personally and interpret what I'm saying as a regurgitation of the stigma you so often suffer in association with your disease. But it's not intended, nor written, as an attack on people with diabetes. Remember this paragraph?

"Not everyone who has the disease is overweight or sedentary. The last guy I took care of with type 2 diabetes was probably 125 pounds dripping wet. Certain minority groups are more likely to get the disease, even when matched for weight and age to their Caucasian counterparts. Minorities also tend to develop a more aggressive form of the disease. Add this to the fact that minorities are less likely to have access to insurance and health care, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster."

Nor do I suggest that the solution to diabetes lies in "faulting" any "fat lazy pigs":

"Clearly, diabetes is a public health issue that raises more questions than answers. This is not just about people drinking too many sodas and watching too much television. This disease is steeped in cultural and economic factors like poverty, education, family structure, employment opportunities and access to care. It’s easy to tell people to diet and exercise. It’s hard to create an environment in which people actually have the knowledge, motivation, and social and financial resources to make it happen."

I know you feel that I, by restating the fact that diabetes is almost completely preventable, am reinforcing a stereotype. But I'm discussing a fact, not some opinion of mine. From the CDC's 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet:

"Progression to diabetes among those with prediabetes is not inevitable. Studies have shown that people with prediabetes who lose weight and increase their physical activity can prevent or delay diabetes and return their blood glucose levels to normal.

• The Diabetes Prevention Program, a large prevention study of people at high risk for diabetes, showed that lifestyle intervention reduced developing diabetes by 58% during a 3-year period. The reduction was even greater, 71%, among adults aged 60 years or older.

• Interventions to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in individuals with prediabetes can be feasible and cost-effective. Research has found that lifestyle interventions are more cost-effective than medications."

This prevention is what I'm talking about when I say we must make the necessary changes, and nowhere do I say the burden of change rests on the shoulders of those with the disease. I argue it must be a society-wide effort.

I know it's enraging to have a disease that people perceive as "your fault." It wasn't my intention to echo that sentiment here (nor do I think I do). But it's also not my intention to sugarcoat the strong associations between diabetes 2, weight, and lifestyle. Nor is there any point in sugarcoating the devastating consequences of diabetes. Many people without diabetes don't understand the fact that people can lose vision, or limbs, or kidneys, or quality of life, just from having high blood sugar. Would we let people lose vision, and kidneys, and limbs from Ebola, or would we organize quickly and efficiently to stop it? So why aren't we doing the same for diabetes? The strong language and comparison to diseases like Ebola clearly serves the purpose of illustrating how we, as a society, should think of diabetes and our response to it the same way we think of responding to more "attention-grabbing" diseases like Ebola. The point clearly isn't to say, as you suggest, "you're going to die a horrible death and it's all your fault." My suggestion throughout the article is society-wide prevention, not individual changes.

"Diabetes won't abdicate its destructive throne on its own. We, as a society, must empower one another to make the necessary changes. So our first challenge, as we move into a future in which one in three Americans could develop diabetes, is to make this real to people."

Anyhow, I apologize that this article rubbed you the wrong way. This wouldn't be my approach with a patient of mine. But this article wasn't written for patients. It was written for the 24 year old Alibi reader who usually skips to the music section and isn't thinking about tomorrow and doesn't give a damn about this disease. Like I said, my goal was to "make this real to people," not offer a management plan for victims of the disease.

Thank you for your thoughts. I will consider them the next time I'm writing about a disease with a stigma or stereotype attached to it. It's always important to be reminded of how people who actually suffer from a particular condition perceive what's being tossed around in the media.

Happy Shower  [ Fri Sep 10 2010 10:22 PM ]

"You're being such a massive tube of Monistat (miconazole) right now."

Yessss!  [ Wed Sep 8 2010 8:40 PM ]

Congrats on quitting! No matter which way you slice it, it's hard as hell to quit and to stay quit. Thank you for sharing your success story.

I love you Laura  [ Mon Aug 30 2010 5:58 PM ]

So much that I'm going to buy those lederhosen for Lulu

boo  [ Sat Aug 28 2010 12:16 AM ]

YOU'RE LEAVING ME???? NOOOOOOOOOOO.

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