Saturday, March 7, 2015

When Homework Hurts (More Than Usual)

Do any of us like homework? The answers will vary. Some of us do. Some don't. But no one likes doing homework when the material is thirty pages of reading about how diabetes is one of the primary causes of kidney failure.  Or an hour long documentary on retinopathy in which the narrator never specifies between type 1 and type 2.  Or that blindness and retina damage more than likely occur only when diabetes has been poorly managed/uncontrolled for an extended period of time. What a Debby Downer.

All diabetics encounter this problem at some point in their lives.  The commercials that ask, "Are you diabetic? If so enjoy your future with heart disease!"  The ignorant strangers who immediately counter you with "Oh! My grandpa died from that."  Do we get used to it? I guess. Do we like it? No. Would we like it to change? Yes. We're WAITING, everyone.

Now I'm not saying that we should be forever sheltered from the frightening statistics in our homework, especially those brave souls who decided to attend school and take classes specifically in the medical field.  What I am hoping for is more detail. More specification between type 1 and type 2.  More specification between the end result of adhering to your diabetes care and not adhering. And more consideration for those who don't have the means for this care. No disease or disorder should be thrown into the blame game.

I recently was doing some volunteer work, during which my old endocrinologist stated that there is no reason why a newly diagnosed baby girl couldn't live a healthy life until she was an old gray-haired lady, much like the doctors who diagnosed me told my parents.  She also said that complications more commonly result from type 2 diabetes, and that many of the complications we are seeing today are the result of the lack of advanced care there was when the elderly today were diagnosed.  And I thought, can someone tell my professors this?  Can someone inform the media???

I understand that I have to do my homework. I understand that when the topic of the week is end stage renal failure, diabetes will be mentioned.  But that doesn't change the way it makes me feel when I read it.

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