Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Diabetes Day. Again.

Although back in November of last year, we mentioned (and joined in the commemoration of) World Diabetes Day, I bring you today's celebration: American Diabetes Alert® Day.
You can almost hear The American Diabetes Association arguing with the International Diabetes Foundation, not untruthfully: "Americans aren't International. Most can't even find a country on a map, much less tell you where their pancreas is. A third of the 21 million Americans who have diabetes don't even know they have it, so they're not going to care about a World Day of education! We need to get out and scare them with blood tests and alerts!"
The IDF answers: "Maybe if more citizens of wealthy nations like the U.S. knew more about diabetes, it wouldn't trickle down to developing nations with the lifestyle and foods you export."
ADA: "Don't be naive! Americans only know about their Type 2 diabetes when a complication arises, and then the doctor gives them some pills or shots, so why bother with all the smarts and edumacation?"
IDF: "It sometimes appears that wealthier countries don't care about diabetes growing into the developing world. That's why we need WORLD Diabetes Day. Every person has the right to learn about this disease."
ADA: "What? You want we should just hand over the massive profits our medical and pharmaceutical industries to some kid in Nambazimbia? You just let us sell our fast food and Playstations, and we'll take care of the sugar-freak cash cow over here."
HEY, Hold on, you kids! Take it outside.
Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death by disease. And for whatever reason, there is no cure. I was diagnosed with Type One 37 years ago, when they used to talk about "a cure." Now, they talk about new drugs and treatment options. And thank you for those, because an insulin pump is better than boiling syringes any day. But did you give up on the cure thing? "If you give a person a diagnosis, you get a patient for life. If you give a person a cure, you get an empty seat in the waiting room." Maybe it's time to ask both the IDF and the ADA, who undoubtedly get a lot of funding from sources that produce a lot of those "treatment options."
I agree with Maggie in this post over at Aces Full of Links. Maybe we should just have a "No Day" day and forget all of this.

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