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October 27, 2016
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Diabetes Intervention?

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Did you see this week's Intervention on A&E? The subject of the intervention was John C, a young man with type 1 diabetes. The episode's on YouTube, this is the link [the show has been removed from YouTube].


Watching his behavior around his diabetes nearly made me physically ill. He never tested, guessed at insulin doses, didn't count carbs, didn't exercise - it was horrific. John tests at one point and his meter only returns HI. I'm surprised the producers didn't call 911. He also looked like death warmed over - very pale and thin. In several shots his arms looked as big around as the spindles on my porch railing.


The intervention was really for his depression, which was keeping him from practicing any diabetes management. John was suffering from deep depression and self-esteem issues, and just didn't care enough about himself to care for himself. He definitely has a lot of issues beyond type 1 diabetes. I was quite relieved when they showed the follow up, he had gained 30 pounds and looked 1000 times happier.


Intervention is a good show, much more docu-drama than reality genre. More scientific than sensationalist. I think they missed the boat when they brought up John's father's diabetes. I would bet what's left of my 401(k) that he has type 2. They didn't take the 15 seconds to say that and perhaps even explain the difference a little. Some of their statistics seemed to be for either type 2 or both types, and that was never specified.


I thought they did do a good job of explaining the complications and the risks he was taking. I had a morbid curiosity about what his A1C before treatment. But the science of diabetes wasn't the focus of the show, it was his behavior.


I have type 2, so I don't know how accurately diabetes management was portrayed. What did you think of the show?

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