Last night MTV aired it’s premiere of “True Life: I have Diabetes”. I have seen quite a few “True Life” episodes in the past, and I was more than excited to see this one. But actually I forgot it was on until I saw someone on Twitter mention it. Then of course I flipped the TV on and opened up Twitter to see the DOC was all over this!
Overall I was pretty disappointed in the episode. Out of the three interviewees one was showing responsibility. But as someone said on twitter last night “I guess that is ‘true life’”. At any rate I was trying to imagine myself as a preteen or teenage newly diagnosed diabetic and I was watching this show as my only outlet. If that were the case what I would get out of the show was that drinking in college while being diabetic is bad but you can just wait until college is over to worry about it, and that there is almost no way that a diabetic can have a healthy baby. Seriously I felt that the MTV producers were watching too much “Steel Magnolias”.
The three interviewees were Kristyn, Matthew, and Jen:
Kristyn- Kristyn is a girl who recently moved back in with her parents in order to catch up on debt. We find out that Kristyn’s insulin pump (a purple Medtronic Minimed) was malfunctioning and she no longer had a warranty. Kristyn who was already in debt had to buy a new pump and push herself further into debt. Later Kristyn decides to pick up an extra job and we see her struggling to work two jobs and find time to sleep and be social. Kristyn’s mother is shown as controlling about her living situation and demands Kristyn begins to pay her debt so that she can move out. Despite it all Kristyn manages to make a large dent in her debt and knock her A1C down. (You go Girl!)
Matthew- Matthew is a college student with type 1 diabetes and an OmniPod. Matthew is struggling with balancing a social life and diabetes. We see Matthew drinking large quantities of alcohol and disregarding very high blood sugars to keep his “rep” (now I sound like RUN DMC). Toward the end of the episode Matthew states that he is struggling with thoughts like “Would I rather my disease be better, or my life be better?”. It was really heartbreaking that I couldn’t reach out and tell this boy that there are people who KNOW WHAT IT LIKE! (DOC for LYFE!) Eventually Matthew seemed like he was getting to be “on top of things”. He decided to go to a party but only drink Crystal Lite because he was not feeling well and his blood sugars were out of range. But he began to feel better and started drinking. At the end of his segment it was stated that Matt decided to continue drinking until he was done with college. (sigh) One thing that I do get out of this is that I am so so so grateful that I have a bunch of diabetics to help me out. I mean I am not much of a drinker party goer anyways but its really helpful to know not only do I have a fantastic family support system but that I have tons of friends online and off and that I have people who look up to me to make correct decisions. I love you DOC. I love you Camp Granada. I love you Mom, Sister, Dad and everyone of my awesome friends who try their best to understand what I am living with.
Jen- Finally Jen. Jen was first diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic but at the end of the episode was diagnosed with Type 1. (I’m thinking LADA type 1.5 or a misdiagnoses what do you think?) Jen was pregnant with her first child. Left and right people were telling her that diabetes causes this and diabetes causes that and high blood sugars can KILL your baby. I am sure all of these are true to some extent but I am so sick of hearing that diabetics can’t have children. I know many many people who have diabetes and had happy healthy children. Times have changed and we have better ways of seeing what is going on with diabetes and child birth. (We can have children GOT IT!?)
Now that I have had a fury of information whirring through my head I am glad that I got to put it out there. Please, please, please share your thoughts below in my comments section! I really want to hear your ideas about these topics!
Below you will find a synopsis of the episode as well as a link to the "Check-Up" where MTV interviews these three PWD’s after the show.
“True Life: I HAVE DIABETES”
Airs Wednesday, January 18 at 11:00PM
On this episode of “True Life” you’ll meet three young diabetics faced with the challenges of managing their condition. Kristyn is forced to move back in with her parents because her health care costs are spiraling out of control. Matthew is determined not to let the disease compromise his partying lifestyle at college – despite the fact that drinking alcohol is dangerous for diabetics. And Jen is finding it difficult to control her symptoms while pregnant — which is putting her baby’s life at risk.
“True Life: I Have Diabetes” is Executive Produced by Patrick Holbert of Miscellaneous Media.
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