Playing Hardball With Type 2 Diabetes
It took a trip to the emergency room for Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, to own up to his diabetes. In the December issue of the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) consumer magazine, Diabetes Forecast, Matthews talks about what it is like to work on a high profile television show while managing his condition -- and taking control of his health.
"I was basically ignoring the situation," said Matthews. "I was told I was diabetic, but I guess we all grew up with the [idea] that if you weren't actually taking insulin, you weren't diabetic." But the big meals and lack of exercise caught up with him, landing Matthews in the hospital with complications related to type 2. He realized it was time to make some big changes.
A major challenge, he says, has been figuring out what to eat. "It's harder because it's more complicated," says Matthews. "If I'm at a big event, some big celebrity dinner, I still have the dessert. I know I shouldn't but I check the blood sugar the next day and it doesn't have much of an impact if I limit myself to those situations." With a new perspective about how his day-to-day habits affect his diabetes, Matthews has been able to lose 30 pounds and get in control. "I stick to my diet and very small doses of insulin," said Matthews. He hopes to one day stop taking insulin and instead manage his condition through diet and exercise alone.
Matthews -- who has just published a new book, Life's a Campaign: What Politics has Taught Me about Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success -- says he has a renewed appreciation for doctors. "What people ought to be told about diabetes is that if they have it in the family or sense that they're on the road to it, they should go to their doctor and ask him what he thinks," says Matthews. "I've come to respect doctors a whole lot through this whole thing because they know what they're talking about and they're telling you to do something for your own good."
Thanks to the recent settlement of an ADA lawsuit, children with diabetes in California will be able to attend school and stay safe. Lahle Wolfe, whose child has type 1 diabetes, is one California mom who shares her family's story. After many frustrating situations and a scary medical emergency, Wolfe was forced to place her daughter, who has type 1, in a private school to get the care she needs.
The ADA's lawsuit against the California Department of Education and two school districts alleged that they were failing to meet the needs of students with diabetes. The settlement establishes that students with diabetes have the right to proper care and that schools are obligated to provide it.
In addition, this issue of Diabetes Forecast brings you stories about:
-- Sleep apnea: Is it causing you restless nights and exhausted days?
-- Taking oral care one step further can help keep your mouth (and the rest of you) healthy.
-- Easy, healthy sauces that energize meals -- with little or no cooking.