We're keeping it light today since it's a Friday, and many from our community are attending the annual CWD Friends For Life conference at DisneyWorld in Orlando, FL -- our own Mike Hoskins included.
We'll have a report on the FFL experience and the second-ever MasterLab advocacy event next week, but in the meantime, let's mix it up with a little fun from a friend in the international DOC (Diabetes Online Community).
Say hello to Ilana Lucas from Toronto, who many may know as a fellow D-blogger over at Diaturgy. She was diagnosed at age 12 back in 1997, and we've been longtime fans of hers. We also have to wish her a belated congrats on her wedding about nine months ago!
Today, Illana wonders: What if diabetes were a game show on reality TV? If you're curious too, read on...
A Guest Post by Ilana Lucas
Diabetes is like an over-monitored version of Reality TV, except it’s all too real. What might be entertaining on screen becomes less so when you have to deal (or not deal) with it, but, alas, the game’s afoot!
Step right up, and welcome to your diabetes reality game show!
Up first is Diabetes Jeopardy! One wrong move and you can lose everything. Just like in your actual life with diabetes, everything is in the form of a question. Categories may include “Things You Ate Three Weeks Ago to Cause That High,” “Excuses Made By Your Insurance Company,” or “Things that Beep Inopportunely.” Insulin is always included in "Potent Potables," which in our version is called "Impotent Pancreases." You may find that it’s hard to play if you’re already in the hole, starting with a disadvantage; you may not even get to Final Jeopardy. Finally, just like a hospital bill, who knows what’s covered under that dollar amount?
If you fancy a game with movement and exotic locations, The Amazing DRace is on next. Teams compete in a race around their daily life. Challenges galore! Contestants must factor in work, childcare, lows, exercise, doctors’ appointments, a social life, and creative pursuits, all the while hooked up to meters that can U-Turn you in a second. The travel edition is even more exciting. What happens when you’re in a different time zone, and the routine is disturbed? This is a grueling mental, physical, and endurance challenge rolled into one.
The Bachelorette With Diabetes (BWD) comes with a twist: love me, love my diabetes. There are a lot of awkward dates, because the broken pancreas always comes along as a third wheel. You know how they say you can tell a lot about a date by the way he or she treats the waiter? These contestants reveal their true colors via their treatment of diabetes. Instead of giving the winners roses, the hopeful dates must donate to Spare A Rose, to provide insulin to a child in a developing country. This show ideally culminates in a wedding, where “in sickness and in health” is emphasized, and which is called off if the bride or groom-to-be asks whether you can eat the wedding cake.
American Diabetes Association Idol (with a Canadian and various international versions) has you call on all your friends and family, performing various numbers and stunts, to see who can raise the most money for his or her diabetes walk. The pressure is on not to lose to charities for other, sexier, more popular diseases. Performance is key. There’s no business like show business, so you’ve got to have a gimmick.
Family Type Feud pits Type 1 Diabetics against Type 2 Diabetics in guessing what a randomly sampled group of people has to say about diabetes. When it turns out the words “lazy,” “candy,” and “Wilford Brimley” are the three most popular answers, both teams walk out in solidarity and disgust, and do better things with their time.
In The Price Is Right-A-Betes, we try to guess the number of carbs without going over; if you’re under, you might at least be close. If you’re over, you’ll just go low, and we know that’s when the buzzer goes off. Popular games include Cliffhangers (we all know what it’s like when the little man goes over the cliff and crashes),
Competition categories include Seven Numbers (where you lose a dollar for every point you’re out of range on seven A1cs), and everyone’s favorite, Pumpko (where a board full of pegs shows you just how tangled your pump tubing can get).
Let’s not neglect some of the classics: in Queen for a Day, three people tell you terrible stories about their elderly relatives who have diabetes. The one with the most wretched, scariest story wins a refrigerator, and the chance never to talk to you again. The $64,000 Question, of course, is how much does this medication cost, and will insurance pay for it? It’s a thrill ride every time.
In Deal or No Deal, you have to decide whether or not you’re going to succumb to diabetes burnout and not deal (let’s face it, there are a lot of shows here), or whether you’re going to deal with your diabetes for another day. Okay, diabetes, Let’s Make a Deal, you say, and hope not to get zonked if you try your best. This one pairs well with its sister show: Truth or Consequences.
In Hell’s Kitchen, you try to cook a meal as friends, relatives and total strangers shout different diet advice at you. Cinnamon is often involved. Can you make something you’d actually want to eat that follows all this mutually-exclusive advice, while avoiding mixing in the noxious snake oil?
Finally, Wheel of Complications is the scariest show out there. It’s worse than Fear Factor. Nobody plays voluntarily. You start out with only the barest amount of information on how to stay healthy, and you’re expected to guess, little by little, to fill the rest in. In order to guess, however, you have to take your chances and keep spinning the wheel. If you guess poorly every time, your chances get worse, because you have to spin that wheel over and over again, but even the best player can make an unfortunate spin on the way to solving the puzzle. You do your best with what you have, but the complete randomness makes it brutally unfair.
Diabetes is a strange game. The only winning move, as the movie War Games reminds us, is not to play. But like Jumanji, once we start the game, we have to keeping playing, every single day. Reality TV may be scripted, but diabetes never is. No matter how much it may seem like a game, remember: it’s real life!
Ouch. Thanks for the somewhat scary fun, Ilana. Diabetes is totally like a gameshow sometimes. Here's to us making the right spins at the right time!