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Rules Of Love.

In Austin two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to finally meet Josiah Hammer (known affectionately across the world as "The Hammer"), who works at Dexcom and is my direct point of abuse contact at Dexcom for when I screw things up.

During the course of an email exchange, The Hammer sent me a page from an old health book that he found - the Modern Home Medical Adviser: Your Health and How To Preserve It (edited by Morris Fishbein, MD [who, according to many online sources that may be less-than-credible-but-still-cracked-me-up said that Fishbein was originally aiming to be a clown, but realized there was more money in medicine], published in 1942) which included a chart, of sorts, dictating who should shag whom. 


Only four rules. The shortest rule list a PWD has ever seen, to date.  About dating. ;)

Of course.  Because all decisions of love are made with diabetes in mind.  There's something about this chart that makes me both roll my eyes and then picture a diabetes Punnett's Square.  Love is a tangled web as it is - plotting decisions against a diabetes graph makes things even more complicated.  Thankfully, good ol' Morris was there to help people sort out who they should be smooching on.  (/sarcasm.)

This book also featured "blameful" and "blameless" diabetes, helping to drive home the misconception that type 2 diabetes is something people should be beaten with a stick for having and that type 1 is the result of hereditary circumstances (just like in my case, where I"m the only diabetic in my entire family, of any kind ... /sarcasm once again).

The Blame Game sucks.

Sometimes I look at how diabetes is currently portrayed in books, television, and other media outlets, and I'm frustrated.  It's a potluck of misconceptions, facts, and always colored by opinion, but it is slowly becoming more accurate, and more "real."  People are learning about all different kinds of diabetes and the varying treatments, and the discussion about diabetes entering the mainstream is increasingly credible.  But iooking back at the so-called "medical books" from the early 1940s has blown my mind in a way that Steel Magnolias never will. 

We have come a long, long way.  And I'm grateful for that.


Blameless --- I cannot even go there. And think: it really has not changed that much. Sigh

But as for a person with diabetes marrying another -- you know we D-Mom's all dream of a Prince Charming with D, right? Cause he'll totally get it??? True that.

Here's some irony, I blame clowns for my diabetes.

Seriously though, we have come a long way thank goodness!

If I'm going to listen to a clown, it's going to be Fizbo.

I co-sign the 'we have come a long, long way, part.

Not getting accurate statistics because a child only lived a year or two is just plain scary...

Thank goodness for progress!

So even if you have D in childhood, once you become adult, you are automatically blameworthy now?? Yikes.

Apparently then (according to rule 4 of the "transmission chart") my chillens shall get off scott-diabetes free. Haha, seriously though, great find :)

At the hospital where I work one of my patients found out I was a diabetic, and that the Doc on call was also a diabetic. She therefore deduced that he must be my father :|

This would then indicate that I was conceived when the Doc was 15. Ohhh the misconceptions of diabetes. It wasn't a good day for the poor Doc's ego!

I dated another diabetic guy when I was about 15, and he was 17. His mother did EVERYTHING in her power to break us up so that she wouldn't "be guaranteed diabetic grandchildren". She took me aside one day (again - I was 15!) and told me she didn't want diabetic grandkids, so if I could please leave her son alone that would be best for all of us. C'mon lady, really??

That book is too funny--and definitely a produce of its time! You make a good point about diabetes on tv and the media today-_I'm happy to report that I recently saw an episode of Body of Proof that treated a diabetes diagnosis with common sense, as a "manageable condition" in which the young girl would not lose her limbs. Who-hoo.

Wow. Amazing how far we've come, when looking at that kind of thing.

Aw, man - back when I worked at "Big Red" there was a page from a super old Diabetes Forecast called "The Diabetic and the Atomic Bomb" about what to bring to your bomb shelter, etc. I might have a photocopy at home. If I find it, I'll send it to you.

As for love... I don't listen to clowns. They creep me out.

Let's HOPE we've come a long way! Online sources do not seem to like this clown dude. Now I have to go find me an electromagnetic machine to cure my diabetes......Man I wish they existed.

Excellent Blog post.
Thanks for the shout out

Blameless diabetes! That's where my mind always goes when I have to explain that T1 is not T2. I should have been a doctor in the 40's.

My great-granddaddy had type 1 (so do I), and after he passed away, my great-grandmother gave me a momento that she thought I'd enjoy. It's called "Diabetic Manual" by Joslin (10th edition, published 1959-- she'd actually had earlier editions, but could no longer find them). It's special to me because it has calorie counts (ahh, the old days) for my great-granddaddy's favorite foods scrawled along the pages...but OH the things it says! It gets things SO right in the first sentence... and then it is pretty much all downhill from there. I can't help but share the first page.

"Introduction: If you are a diabetic, remember you are not the only one. There are about three million others in the United States alone and the majority of them lead useful lives. Their number is increasing, (1) because diabetics are living so much longer, (2) are having so many more children and (3) diabetes is chiefly a disease of older people and the average duration of life of the entire population is lengthening. Therefore, face the facts, accept the situation, study the disease and become master of your fate. By so doing you are sure to help those less fortunate and may defer or even prevent the onset of diabetes in other members of your own family.
Prevent Diabetes: Prevent it, but how? Diabetes is hereditary. Yes, but it takes two to make a diabetic. Therefore, a diabetic must not marry another diabetic and by all means should try to avoid marrying into a diabetic family. That is difficult, I will own, because one person in four inherits the tendency. Fortunately, there is another way to prevention, namely, don't be overweight. Above the age of thirty, 80 to 90 per cent of most diabetics are fat before they develop the disease. Consequently, if you are a relative of a diabetic, don't be fat because thereby you increase immeasurably your chances of getting diabetes. Indeed, to be stylish don't be fat under any circumstances and if you wish to be really up to date, plan not to have a big baby because the woman who has an infant weighing 12 or more pounds at birth stands a 100 per cent chance later of herself becoming a diabetic"

You get the idea. It wasn't just Morris- it was Joslin himself. This was the "forefront" of diabetes "management" at the time. I will never forget how GUILTY my great grandmother looked the first time I saw them after my diagnosis. I know now why-- she probably thought she was one in four. Just another reason to be so glad we live NOW and not then. :)

I'm trying to decide if The Hammer has a mustache based on his comment above. Hmm...

Also, I wish getting (or not getting) diabetes was as simple as the clown makes it sound.

I just found that piece on diabetics and the atom bomb, in a larger piece that was published in JAMA. It's sort of awesome to read, but I could just be weird.


clowns have always kind of scared me, much like many of the doctors/medical "professionals" I have encountered over the years.......
long live Patch Adams !!

Nice post, and good use of the /sarcasm tags! hehe No one in my family is T1 Diabetec (and I don't look like the milkman - LOL!), and being diagnosed with T1 in my mid-30s means there are no guarantees either way.

Steel Magnolias was such a disservice to women with type 1 diabetes. Through my life I've been told "Drink the juice [Shelby]!" and "You can't get pregnant because you're gonna have kidney failure and die." Wha??

My then, boyfriend's mother, now..unfortunately, mother-in-law did everything to persuade my husband not to pursue his relationship with me because "what if your kids catch it"....Emphasis on the word "IT"

10 years later....we are still together, married for the last 5, 2 beautiful, HEALTHY, kids, Type I for now 21 years with no complications! I'm so thankful that what I have is so difficult, but manageable. We are so blessed!

My mother-in-law however, thinks I'm cripple & tells everyone her son has to take care of me & do everything with the kids. Funny....when I am the one who is home with the kids while he's at work! Ignorance is bliss.....

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