LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Job Security

On Fridays I’m on Rio duty. It is my day to take him to school. This last Friday, as we sat at the stoplight at Hot Springs Boulevard and New Mexico Avenue, I saw a young Hispanic man come out of the Allsup’s store.

Allsup’s is the northern New Mexico equivalent of 7/11, Circle K, or Mini-Mart. Cheap gas and over-priced goodies.

This young man is very much over weight, he’s not walking so much as waddling. It is two minutes after 7:30 in the morning; the sun had only come up an hour ago. He is carrying in his hands the largest cup of soda I have ever seen. I think it was 84 ounces. And I doubt very much that it was diet.

An 84 ounce cup is the equivalent of seven full cans of soda. More than a six pack in a single cup. That works out to 980 calories, about half the recommended calorie intake for an entire day, and a carb load of 273 grams!

Now to be fair, there must be some ice in that cup, so it probably isn’t actually a full 84 ounces of liquid poison, but still…

I groaned to myself. Actually, I swore under my breath. I wanted to jump out of the car grab the kid by the ear and have a talk with him... but, he looked so happy, and I’ve got to get my kid to school, and… And, OK, I’m a total pussy who doesn’t like to just lecture people on the street. If he had walked into my clinic with that soda it would have been a different story.

So… where does our responsibility lie? Did I miss a teaching moment? Do we have the responsibility, both to society and to our fellow man, to fight the obesity epidemic where ever we encounter it; or does that tread on the rights of others?

You’d have to live under a rock not to know that smoking cigarettes destroys your health; yet for a variety of reasons young people do choose to start smoking.

Had this young man made a similar choice? Or did he have no real idea what lurked inside that cup? Maybe he already has un-diagnosed diabetes and he is feeding the ravenous thirst of hyperglycemia.

I’m thinking, in hindsight, that it would have been OK for Rio to be late to school.

I don’t know what I would have said, but I think I should have said something.


Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Gosh Wil, that's a real tough decision to make. If some dude came up to me talking about my need to lose some weight, he might not have walked back to his car in one piece.

The thing is, I know your intentions are good. But how do you deliver news like that without 1. pissing the guy off, or 2. really fucking up his life?

Which is nuts because it is the exact opposite that you are trying to do.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

I think you did the right thing to carry on with your life. You don't know this kid, and making assumptions and giving unsolicited advice to a complete stranger based on one brief observation is pretty non productive for everyone. Diabetes has show me that I don't want people to do that to me, and so I don't dish it out to others. I know from reading previous posts of yours, as well as your book, that you are well motivated, but man, I'm glad you put away the cape and are saving it for those who ask for your help.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Scott and Carol. You can't fix other people. In today's media-driven world, there's not much excuse for not knowing how bad that big soda is -- even if you're a kid. Hopefully this young person chooses to "hear" what's already all around him and comes to realize that he's not invincible.

12:57 PM  

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