Busy-Bodies for Health
Putting in your two cents about diabetes and juice.
By Ilene Raymond Rush
November 2008 — As a writer, I've always been a not-so-secret snoop. It's so bad that my children have accused me of harboring hearing superpowers – no matter how crowded the restaurant or elevator, I manage to sniff out snippets of conversation that reveal the relationships of those around us.
Sometimes I'm even tempted to chime in (Don't Marry Him!! She's Lying!!), but good manners have prevented me (or at least have prevented me most of the time) from sticking in my two cents.
But when it comes to health matters, sometimes interrupting can be for the good.
I was reminded of this last week, when, during my daily workout at the gym a man in his late fifties (let's call him Sam) who I have learned (through snatched pieces of conversation over the past year) has lost 80 pounds and is trying to lose 80 more, was pumping away at the Cybex machines between slugs from a gallon container of bright red juice. Sam has been losing weight thanks to this combination of fruit and vegetable juices, a recipe provided by a retired football coach, who also frequents the gym. Sam also has diabetes, and juice, I happen to know, may not be the best choice for his health.
As I readied to torture my thighs on the adduction/abduction machine, a woman approached Sam and pointed to the bottle.
"What's in that?" she asked, with the instincts of a fellow busy-body.
"Pomegranate juice,," Sam said. He puffed as he strained a weight into the air. "Good for the blood."
The woman kept her eyes on the juice, giving it a fishy glance.
"I thought you had type 2 diabetes," she said.
If Sam was surprised that a stranger knew this bit of personal health information, he gave no sign.
"I do," Sam said. "That's why I'm here. But fruit is plenty good for you."
He smiled and turned back to his weights. Ready for my next set, I paused and considered my options. I was dying to pipe up, but it wasn't really my business to jump in and identify myself as a fellow type 2, or to tell Sam that while fruit is good for you, drinking gallons of fruit juice was akin to mainlining Milky Way bars.
Or was it?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...