MTV’s True Life: I Have Diabetes



Paula Deen- photo by Andrew Eccles

| Jan 27, 2012

With the recent news of Paula Deen's battle with type 2 diabetes, diabetes has been getting some negative coverage in the media. I've even heard comments like " No wonder Paula Deen has diabetes when she eats so much sugar and butter." This is frustrating because it perpetuates the false stereotype that all people with diabetes are the same.

When I heard that MTV's television series True Life, which documents people with different struggles, was going to take on diabetes in the January 18th episode, I was apprehensive. It could have easily been another media show about type 2 diabetes and overweight people that lectured about what we can't eat.

Instead, the episode addressed gestational diabetes and what it entails for the mother and the baby, profiled a 19-year-old type 1 college student who believes that partying is more important than caring for his disease, and followed a young woman whose medical bills are out of control.

I liked certain aspects of the show, like the fact that it revealed some of the struggles associated with type 1. It even showed how to insert an infusion set, which is something that I am often asked about. I also liked the personal details about issues that often arise in my own mind as I watch other people take care (or not take care) of their disease.

It made me think about how sometimes you feel as if the disease is running your life, so you rebel. This was the case with the young man who decided that drinking and "living life" was more important than reining in his social life to control his disease. It also made me think about where I would be financially without the huge burden of medical bills. Would my life be a lot different?

The responsibilities involved with diabetes or any chronic illness spill into so many other aspects of one's life. Obviously, it was impossible to chronicle them all in one hour-long episode. It would have been great, for instance, if they had been able to add exercise in the mix to see the challenges that come with that.

Overall, however, I enjoyed the episode. It's hard to capture such a complex disease in one hour, but the program did explain some general aspects of the disease that I am often asked about in day-to-day life. Any time a media source even attempts to break stereotypes about type 1 diabetes, I am all for it. Let's keep the discussion going!

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Categories: MTV\'s television series True Life, Celebrities, Chronic Illness, Diabetes, Diabetes, Exercise, Gestational Diabetes, Insert an infusion set, Medical Bills, Overweight, Paula Deen, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Diabetes, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 27 January 2012

Oh no, I missed it! Does anyone know if MTV will replay this episode? And when?
Thanks! -Patrick, Type 1 :)

Posted by rosiolady on 31 January 2012

I'm glad the show addressed the burden of cost. I don't think of where I'd be if I hadn't had to support the cost of type 1 all these years--it would make me feel too sorry for myself! And that's without even mentioning how much better the quality of my life overall would have been! I, too, am glad to see the media addressing the issues of diabetes, especially if they're not "blaming the victim" by saying poor living habits like overeating and laziness cause it.


Posted by Anonymous on 31 January 2012

You can watch the full episode on Hulu, saw it there last Friday. I want my 13yo t1 to watch it but she's not interested.

Posted by Anonymous on 2 February 2012

Hi Patrick!

Here is the link to watch the full episode @ :

You can also click on the " tv schedule" link and find out when it's out in your area!

Let us know what you think!!


Posted by Anonymous on 7 February 2012

Why is this under type 1 if she is a idiotic type 2

Posted by Anonymous on 27 March 2012

I have had type 1 diabetes for a lnog time. I hate to say this, but I really don't care about folks with type 2 any more.

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