Precaution: Diabetes in the Mainstream

A couple of days ago, I caught the episode of “Two Broke Girls” after hearing that there was a “diabetic” on the show. Y’all know how about I feel about that word, and if you don’t, read about it here. Anyway, when I heard that there was a PWD on the show, I had to watch it. The first thing I thought was, “I can’t wait to spot all the errors they’re about to commit!” Especially because, well, that’s what usually happens. We read, see, hear something that’s totally wrong, inconsistent and sometimes unsettling.

TwoBrokeGirlsIn the episode, Max decides to go to pastry school and meets Dick, I think his name was. They make jokes about their instructor and at one point when they get kicked out of the class, they start talking and he shows his fanny pack with syringes and insulin. They make a joke about him being “diabetic” and a pastry chef. He ends up liking Max and goes to the extreme of not taking his insulin so that he goes into… and this is where it gets weird.

While Max is talking to her roommate Caroline, Dick falls over (why? Because apparently he’s going into shock? Or just acting it out) and the head Chef asks if anyone knows how to administer a shot. Max proceeds to just pull out a syringe and shoot him up. After she’s done, he stands up like nothing happened, claiming that he didn’t take his insulin so that Max could be his partner (since she knows how to give shots). What a guy! He must REALLY like her.

OK, what do we know about diabetes? First of all, we know that high blood sugar creeps up on you and as a person with Type 1 diabetes, you’ll feel that and have symptoms. Secondly, bouncing back from a high blood sugar takes at least a half hour because you feel crappy and you need time for the insulin to be absorbed in your body. And lastly, how did she know how much insulin to administer? We should also make note that when your blood sugars are that high, you want to test your blood sugar to figure out just how much insulin to give yourself. The last thing you want to do is “roller-coaster” your body and drop immensely.

Although diabetes is popping up in sitcoms and other general market areas that a wider audience can see, the information pushed out should be correct. Maybe he was pulling everyone’s leg and it was a joke, but it should never be treated as such. Administering insulin is such a serious thing that it came up in a court case in California as recent as August, ruling that schools can administer insulin without a nurse.

I’m glad that people are talking about it and that it’s casual enough to stick it in a sitcom; especially Type 1 diabetes. People should talk about it more, but you also have to know that what you see isn’t always the truth.

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2 Comments

Filed under Diabetes, Health, Insulin, Stories

2 responses to “Precaution: Diabetes in the Mainstream

  1. Linda

    Actually, I found this scene to be VERY disturbing and even life threatening to diabetics in the workplace. The more likely occurrence in the workplace is insulin shock where too much insulin is in the blood and the blood sugar levels drop dangerously low. The proper treatment would be to give the diabetic sugar (like a glass of orange juice) to level out the sugar levels in the blood. Giving an injection of more insulin without checking the blood glucose levels could literally be a life threatening situation for the diabetic. I know it is just a sitcom, but I think this was a careless portrayal of a very serious and life threatening situation.

    • I completely agree with you. In this episode, the character did not give himself his insulin, which is also life-threatening. Regardless, mainstream media has incorrectly portrayed diabetes again. And for people like me and you, it’s just a sitcom. But for others it may be where they’re getting false information.

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