Firstly, a disclaimer. This is my blog and what I say only refers to me. I am putting in this disclaimer because what you are about to read may be against what some of you believe. And that’s fine. But this is my blog. And it’s what I believe.

I love my endocrinologist. There. I’ve said it. Not in an inappropriate way, mind. Just in a ‘she rocks’ kind of way. And I gave my daughter her middle name to show her just how much I ‘she rocks’ love her.

I love her because when I go to her for diabetes information, she gives me what I ask for. About diabetes. If I needed information about how to repair the transmission in my car, she’d send me to my mechanic.

Here’s what I don’t love. People who tell me I should see their naturopath, faith healer, reiki therapist, personal trainer, tarot card reader to help me manage my diabetes. It’s not that I don’t believe these people have a place in the world. Their place, however, is not in curing my diabetes. Just like my endocrinologist’s is not in giving me advice about my car’s transmission.

I don’t care how much I run around a field, how many herbs I take, how hot the yoga room gets, how aligned my chakra becomes. My beta cells are not going to fix themselves. Ever!

So don’t. Don’t tell me that your personal trainer can fix me if only I’d eat three protein bars a day, eschew carbs for the rest of my life and never ever again eat a chocolate bar.

I have a special shout out to a celebrity Australian personal trainer here. I’m not going to name this person, but I’ll refer to them as APT. Here is what I want to say to them: “You are great at what you do – and that is showing people how to exercise. But your pop psychology stuff is crap. You don’t cure people, you are not a dietitian, and when you tell people that they should ‘Just. Stop. Eating. Crap.’ you are not helping. And when you think that you sound smart because you know about non-communicable diseases, but then see fit to claim that ‘diabetes’ is a lifestyle disease that can be stopped if people just lost weight, you get me mad.”

And while I’m at it, can I please send out a direct scream to the people involved in the misleadingly-named Australian Vaccination Network, which is actually an anti-vaccination group. This is not about whether I am pro- or anti-vaccination (pro – for those of you playing at home). But what this is about is the lies, and unsubstantiated and outright wrong claims that some of you are sprouting.

Recently, on the Mamamia website, the very wise (and classy in the way she dealt with the comments after her post was published) Dr Rachael Dunlop wrote a terrific piece called ‘Nine Vaccination Myths Busted. With Science!’ Her writing was brilliant – all facts backed up with evidence and any myth she busted was also supported by medical research, peer reviewed journal articles and, you know, science. Then the nutters came out. And seriously, I don’t have any qualms about using that term. I am all for people having their own opinion (read: disclaimer at beginning of this post), but I was particularly horrified to read many of the over 1,400 comments; especially this one:

I believe the body is complete. ‘Propping it up’ with medications throughout our life – vitamin K, vaccinations, antibiotics, bonjello, blood pressure tablets, anti-inflammatories and cholesterol lowering drugs. Has our body over the last million plus years got it wrong and is modern science the only thing that will save us???? Surely not!!!

It fascinates me that no one has bothered to study our immune systems. And it is not luck, it is good management and a belief in the body’s innate ability to grow, repair and fight disease by giving it real food and without interference. This is the philosophy of Vitalism it is an ancient philosophy.

There is so much wrong with this comment (apart from the ridiculous punctuating, poor grammar and failure to understand basic sentence structure). I was so horrified, I needed to respond:

That has to be some of the most incorrect and downright offensive rhetoric I have ever read. I’m sorry, but the body does not always have an ‘innate ability to grow, repair and fight disease by giving it real food without interference’. Without hourly – actually every minute – ‘interference’ where a pump infuses insulin into my body I would die. A very slow, painful, terrible, horrific death. My own body attacked the insulin-producing cells in my pancreas and the result, 13 years ago, was type 1 diabetes. Nothing I could have done to prevent it and nothing that my body can do to ‘repair’ it.

I am all for people having their own opinions and making decisions for themselves, but you are outright lying to people if you say that there is no need for medication.

Mad? Yep, I really am. Because as long as people subscribe to this ridiculous thinking they will be disappointed. Or even worse, think they can stop medication because they can be healed with a herb, an exercise plan, wearing coloured beads on the second Tuesday of a full moon.

So, here’s what I want (and yes, I know I don’t get everything I want. Otherwise I’d have a pony).

• I want people to stop misrepresenting themselves.
• I want people to stop offering false hope to others.
• I want to stop having to let people down because they got their hopes up seeing some miracle cure sprouted by a faith healer living in the mountains of some remote island.
• I want personal trainers to shout ‘no pain to gain’ to people running around a field – but not promise to fix everything with pop psychology sound bites.

And , I want my mechanic to continue doing the brilliant thing he does. The transmission in my car is dreamlike. (Actually, I have no idea what the transmission is, but my mechanic is brilliant. I love him. And if I’d had a son, I’d have called him Jimmy!)

Advertisements