The word "news" on a typewriter

[podcast src=”” width=”100%” height=”90″ scrolling=”no” class=”podcast-class” frameborder=”0″ placement=”top” use_download_link=”use_download_link” download_link_text=”Download” primary_content_url=”″ theme=”custom” custom_color=”3e9ccc” libsyn_item_id=”16448105″ /] This week Ask the D-Moms is back, answering a very different kind of question. How do you know what diabetes news is reliable? Moira McCarthy and Stacey both have backgrounds in professional news media. We’ll talk about medical studies, news sources and, community & social media info.

Check out Stacey’s book: The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom!

In Tell Me Something Good what do prescription swim goggles have to do with diabetes? Nothing really, but it ties into a new realty tv contest where we spotted a Dexcom.

This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.

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Episode Transcription:

Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes by Gvokek Hypo Pen the first premixed auto injector for very low blood sugar, and by Dexcom, take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:22

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:27

This week, ask the D moms is back answering a very different kind of question. How do you know what diabetes news is reliable? Moira McCarthy and I both have backgrounds in professional news media. We’ll talk about news sources, medical studies. And as Moira touches on here, community info.


Moira McCarthy  0:47

When you’re delving into that kind of anecdotal sharing, everyone is right, and everyone is wrong. Some things speak to some people and some things speak to others


Stacey Simms  0:59

in Tell me something good. What do prescription swim goggles have to do with diabetes? Nothing really. But it’s all about a reality TV contestant you’re gonna want to follow.

This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.


Welcome to another week of the show. I am so glad to have you along. I am excited about this episode I love every week, of course, this one where more and I get to break down from our personal experience, what we think of what’s going on news business, how you can better use information. This is right in my wheelhouse. And it’s one of the reasons why way back when I started this podcast,

hey, if you’re new welcome. We aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. My son was diagnosed with type one, almost 14 years ago. And it was really almost six years ago that I decided to start the podcast and did a lot of research. And it really took me until almost a year later to get it going. We started in June of 2015. But what brought me to start the show was that I listened to a lot of podcasts. I’ve listened to podcasts since I don’t know 2005 2008 way back when when you had to actually plug your iPod into your computer and download the shows. And if you don’t know that’s where podcast comes from the actual iPod was the only device you could do it on way back when and I’m sure somebody with Android will correct me and it was all about mp3. But you know what I mean? That’s where the word comes from.

But I would walk my dog and drive in my car and listen to shows with people who had incredible personal stories about diabetes. There were so many really good personal experience shows people talking about their diagnoses, just talking about day to day some technology stuff, but nothing that was a conversation that was from more of an informational standpoint. You know, it was basically nobody was asking the questions that I wanted to ask personally. And the great thing about podcasting is, if you don’t hear what you want to hear, if you notice something is missing in the niche, or the community, you can jump in and start your own show, which is what I did. Of course along the way, I give you a little bit of personal information. Although the show is definitely not all about my family.

I have been mentioning lately that we were supposed to go see Benny’s endocrinologist and we went in the beginning of October, then he had his lowest A1C ever, which is of course fabulous news. If you are new to the show, we started the control IQ system from Tandem in January. And we have watched him spend more time and range with less work all year long. It’s really been amazing to see I give him a ton of credit. Of course, he still has to do a lot of hard work that goes along with it. He is far from perfect. God forbid I say nice things about Benny. But really, he’s doing great, but it’s still really is a lot of work. And you know, you have to wear all the devices. So I give him a lot of credit. I give all of you live with this an awful lot of credit, you know that. But boy, it’s amazing to see that time and range go up, and the actual bolusing and the nagging for me down. It’s been phenomenal. He also grew a little bit more, which makes him very excited because he is afraid he is done growing. Of course, he’s been taller than me for a while now.

We also talked with the endo about insulin. And if you’ve been following on social media, or if you’re in the Facebook group, you’ve seen me talking a little bit about this switchover, my insurance has us going from Humalog to Novolog. And I’m going to talk about that at a different episode. I did hint about that in the bonus episode I put out last week and I’m not trying to be cagey. But I want to give you the total context. There’s a lot going on with this. And I want to make sure I get everything right and get all the ducks in a row before I tell you the whole story, which is a good segue into news and to sharing a good and accurate picture. So I promise more to come on our insulin front as soon as it all wraps up, fingers crossed. All right.

So with everything that’s going on these days, I thought a show about news and information how to know whether your source is reliable. are worth listening to her, okay to ignore would be very timely. We’re really only talking about diabetes news here. But that’s almost more difficult because it’s one of the few conditions that you can think of where we rely so much on community support and information from each other. Because we get so little time with health care professionals and diabetes is 24. Seven. And while so much of that peer to peer and community support is wonderful and helpful and is supportive, a lot of it is inaccurate or outdated, or it doesn’t apply to you, or it is actually harmful. So we’re going to talk about it. Of course here to join me on Ask the D moms, as always is Moira McCarthy, a fellow diabetes mom, of course, and a fellow news professional, if you are new, we will also tell you about our backgrounds and why the news media, which everybody hates right now is so important to us.

But first of Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop, and it is so nice to find a diabetes product that not only does what you need, but also fits in perfectly with your life. One Drop is that it is the slickest looking and most modern meter My family has ever used. And it’s not just about their modern meter setup. You can also send your readings to the mobile app automatically and review your data anytime, instantly share blood glucose reports with your healthcare team. It also works with your Dexcom Fitbit or your Apple Watch. Not to mention, they’re awesome test strips subscription plans, pick as many test strips as you need, and they’ll deliver them to your door when dropped diabetes care delivered. learn more, go to Diabetes and click on the One Drop logo.


Hey, Moira, it’s always great to talk to you. How are you doing?


Moira McCarthy  6:39

I’m doing pretty well. It’s always good to hear your voice how’s things down in the warmer part of America, I am looking out at the beginning of foliage. And all day here in Massachusetts. I always


Stacey Simms  6:50

laugh because I am in Charlotte, North Carolina. Growing up in the New York area. I grew up just outside of New York City and spent a lot of time upstate New York. It’s so funny here because there is beautiful foliage in places. But the season is so different. The first year we had kids and I wanted to go apple picking. I was all set in October. I was like cuz I spent you know, my childhood, going apple picking in October and the crunchy leaves and the crunchy apples. And they were like no, no, you have to go apple picking in August.


Moira McCarthy  7:16

Oh my gosh, that makes sense. Like that.


Stacey Simms  7:21

It is but it’s gross. wants to sweat while you’re picking apples. Yeah, no, no. But I’m glad New England must be beautiful.


Unknown Speaker  7:29

And as it’s my


Moira McCarthy  7:32

favorite season, it’s one of my favorite seasons I enjoy.


Stacey Simms  7:37

All right, so interesting topic this week. And we’re gonna stick on one question pretty much the whole time here on the D mom’s. And that’s about news information, how we know kind of who to trust in this community? How do you know what information to trust? And before I ask the actual question, I think it’s important to back up and kind of talk about our experience, because I think it’s one of the reasons why we’re friends. Moira, and I have an awful lot in common, including working in the news business more, take me through your your experience. But I mean, all kidding aside, you’ve been a journalist for many years.


Moira McCarthy  8:10

So it’s funny you asked because I was visiting the Newseum, which was a wonderful Museum in Washington, DC that just closed down about the news industry. They have a whole of technology, like all the technology from the beginning of time, and I said somebody’s daughter, oh my gosh, I’m so old. And I’ve been a journalist for so long that I’ve used three quarters of the hall of technology. But I am, you know, I just want to start with that. I think it’s if it’s okay, I think it’s really good to kind of stick up for my profession right now. Because it’s been a rough couple of years, I guess. Now I know what it’s like to be a lawyer. You know, I’ve run you always say the lawyers were all liars. But um, journalism for people like me, is a vocation. It’s what I always wanted to do. And when I went to college, I didn’t just learn how to write, we learn how to it’s called the canons of journalism. And we actually learned how to be responsible with our information and with our sources and everything else. And it’s something that I carry with pride.

And I just want people to know that when you’re dealing with true journalists, people who work in the field and we’re trained in it, you really are dealing with people who are trying their best to give you you know, the truth. And in fact, so that’s, that’s just my little stick up for journalism thing, but I am, I was the editor of a group of 23 newspapers when I was about 21 years old. I went on to be a full time crime reporter and bureau chief for a daily newspaper for about 11 years. And then I went to work for the New York Times doing adventure travel, which I did for a good long time. And now I am the travel editor of a newspaper in Boston called the Boston Herald and I also do their ski section and it can be contributing editor and writer at ski magazine. But my new exciting thing is for about a year and a half now, I’ve been writing as a medical journalist for helpline media. So that’s where my background is with a lot of other things in between. Yeah, tell us yours


Stacey Simms  10:14

Sure. And I will also stand up for my profession, by adding by adding that journalism is the only profession singled out in our country’s constitution. It is an incredibly important part of our government, and country function. And my personal feeling, and you know, you can disagree with me on this, as you listen to more as well, is that most people who are angry at journalism are angry at talking heads and opinion pieces. And the line has just blurred because of 24, seven cable, and lots of other things and talk radio. It’s just become a real mess, in terms of the definition of journalism is, is my feeling on that.

But I yeah, and I’m with you. I mean, when I was in college, we took communications law, we took lots and lots of classes on this. And I had some incredible news directors during my career. So I was a radio reporter. In college, I say I was the world’s worst radio reporter. And I really was terrible, because they hired me, but didn’t tell me how to do anything. So I drove around Central New York looking for stories. I mean, I was terrible. But I made it and I learned a lot. Then I spent 10 years in TV news and local TV news in upstate New York, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I am now. And then I spent 10 years doing news. And this was a really interesting job. I did a morning news show for a conservative talk radio station. So there was a firewall, you know, between the the news department and the talk part of the radio station. But as I said earlier, you know, I don’t think a lot of people make those distinctions as they listen. And so it was a very interesting place to be. Let’s put it that way. And then of course, for the last five years, I’ve done the podcast, which I’ve really tried to instill with those, you know, journalism, ethics and disclosures and all that stuff.

So that’s our background, which is why I thought this is a perfect topic for ask the D moms. I don’t know where this discussion is going to go. I’m excited to hear what you have to say Moira, I’m so excited to see or, you know, find out what listeners think. So let’s jump in.

This was a question. I’m not going to read this person’s name because I pulled it out of a Facebook group. But I think it’s a fabulous question. This person says, My 12 year old was diagnosed last week, we are absolutely new to the world of T1D and my brain is seriously about to explode. I have no idea who to trust for information. Who do you trust? Any tips on how to navigate the flood of information out there? I’ve only been at this a few days. It seems like everything’s a contradiction. Go low carb, don’t go low carb. read this book. No, don’t read this article. Read this instead. And she goes on and on about all of the contradictions in the community and I’ll get to more of them. You know, CGM changed our lives CGM is too much hassle. Technology is great technology is terrible, he can do anything he is about to die. I mean, she really lays it out. All the things that you and I have kind of talked about for years. So I want to tackle this in a couple of ways. I want to tackle this in terms of reporting in the diabetes community and studies. And I want to tackle what people just say, right community advice. So let’s start with the information. And I I’m glad you brought up Healthline, because you may know more about when this started. But Healthline has this really fantastic thing that where they put on the article, not just the author of the article, the journalists behind it, but they see fact


Unknown Speaker  13:38

checked by?


Stacey Simms  13:40

Yeah, so somebody goes through all your stories,


Moira McCarthy  13:43

right, and and what people probably don’t know is that that has been the case, every single place, I’ve worked for the 40 years that I’ve been a journalist and help one, I’m guessing, I probably should ask my boss for this, I’m guessing made the decision to highlight the fact checkers, for the readers peace of mind so that you can see there’s a fact checker there. And then second, because they’re becoming more and more important in this weird time and how journalism is evolving into, as you said, a little bit of a confusing thing. So I think that’s why they put it right out there.

But I have always worked for quality publications, and every single thing I’ve ever written has always been edited, in fact checked. And I think that that’s an important distinction for people to understand. And I can talk a little bit about how you can figure that out. Because one of the things you know, as a journalist and you’ll agree with me, Stacey is everything ever written needs at least a second pair of eyes on it before it’s published at least a second pair of eyes No matter how good you are as a journalist, you get fact checked and looked over by someone before it runs if you’re Woodward and Bernstein you do and if you’re me, you do now I think the blur comes a little bit in that blogs and ziens and other online things that may just be done by one person look the same on the internet, as the New York Times does or as the Hoboken journal does, whatever it is that you read, do you know what I’m saying? Yeah, yeah, it’s a great point. It’s a grand. So I’m not saying that people who write those kind of things aren’t smart and and don’t know, but that’s actually not a full journalism, experience, for lack of a better word. And what I usually say to people is, when you’re reading things, first of all, figure out what the sources you know, if if the name of the quote unquote publication, when you look at it online is like, I am smarter than It’s probably not a really great source. But if you start to read something, and you feel like you’d like their boys, then that’s a reason to read it. But understand that you’re not dealing with full on journalism set up in the classic way back. Does that make sense?


Stacey Simms  16:19

Right back to my discussion with Moira. But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Gvoke Hypo Pen.  almost everyone who takes insulin has experienced a low blood sugar and that can be scary. A very low blood sugar is really scary. And that’s where Gvoke Hypo Pen comes in.Gvoke is the first auto injector to treat very low blood sugar Gvoke Hypo Pen is pre mixed and ready to go with no visible needle. That means it’s easy to use how easy you pull off the red cap and push the yellow end onto bare skin and hold it for five seconds. That’s it. Find out more go to Diabetes and click on the Gvoke logo. Gvoke shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma visit Gvoke glucagon comm slash risk.

Now back to Moira and me interesting timing. Following this endorsement, we move to talking about disclosures and commercials. But she left off asking me for last point about looking for clues in something as simple as a blog name made sense.


I think it does. I think it’s great advice. It’s also helpful when you’re reading a blog or you’re reading a personal new non-medical testimonial, something like that, that you also ask yourself the question. Are there disclosures on this website? In other words, if this is a blogger or a podcaster, you who are they sponsored by? And are they disclosing those sponsors? In other words, who is paying them? Just because this is a good example of this show, we take sponsorship and I talk about this all the time, whenever we have somebody on the show who is one of the sponsors, I disclose it again, and I talk about how Look, they’re not paying for the content, they don’t tell me what to ask, they’re paying for the commercial, that sort of thing. But you know, as you listen to that that is happening. And so if you’re on a blog, or you’re on a podcast, and they’re not disclosing who the sponsors are, that’s a red flag, it’s also really important in our community to kind of know what the person is using device wise. Because while that doesn’t mean doesn’t make them biased, it doesn’t make them their information incorrect or wrong. It does influence how we live with type one, we all have our little fandoms. And I think it’s really important to acknowledge that. So if you’re hearing or reading some information, it’s okay to question


Moira McCarthy  18:35

it is but to go backwards as a journalist, when I write for someone like helpline, or if I was, you know, when I write for a newspaper, whatever, that should matter, not one bit. In other words in in these things like podcasts and blogs and, and other things that are sort of, you know, it’s a new world in a different way than then that does. But my job as a journalist, when I write for classic journalistic publications, is to not bring what my opinions are to the final product.


Stacey Simms  19:09

Absolutely. And that’s, you know, we’ve already talked about blurring the lines here, when I’m speaking about disclosures, all that, look, if you’re a journalist writing for health line writing for a magazine writing for newspaper, you shouldn’t disclose your sponsors, because you shouldn’t have any,

Moira McCarthy

I don’t have any

Stacey Simms

right. You know, to be clear, we were kind of talking about two different types of writing there. And that does make it confusing. Let’s talk about reading studies. Because I think most people after they’re in the diabetes community for a month, know to look past the headlines.


Moira McCarthy  19:42

Yeah. And even some of the studies I remember years ago, I don’t remember what study there was that I don’t even know if there was email, maybe email was new back then, and I emailed it to the Lauren’s endocrinologist, and he called me up and he said, just so you know. person can create a study to prove and be successful that women who drive in red convertibles, when they’re teenagers, at least once are more apt to have a child with diabetes. In other words, you can take anything and link it to something else and sort of prove it. So so what I always say to people and, and we maybe will talk to you about how you react when friends send you all those headlines that are not really true, because you sound like such an over when actually you are. So first of all, forget the headlines, read, read what it is. And then if you’re reading a story about a study, you can almost always get your hands quite easily in the internet on the actual study, and read the actual study so that that’s what I usually suggest. And anything that says, you know, cure diabetes in mice, my old story is when Lauren was very little, the movie, Stuart Little came out, and they gave all the money to JDRF the first night. So we went to a movie theater, opening to see it. And on the way home, my little daughter said, Oh, Mommy, I understand why Stuart Little wants to help diabetes, because he can be cured. He’s a mouse.


Unknown Speaker  21:13

So So what I’m saying is,


Moira McCarthy  21:17

is read carefully and dig into it. And and my advice when friends send you articles about studies is just thank them. Like, you know, just say thank you so much. It’s so interesting. And if they push further and say, why aren’t you going to get back here? Then you can explain more. But I guess so I guess my advice on reading studies is actually read the studies, or at least the summary of the study,


Stacey Simms  21:40

get exactly the first thing I do. It’s funny about Stewart little, the first thing I do, and I just saw study yesterday, but some like electromagnetic field, these researchers were so funny that the headline was like, we built a remote control to cure diabetes. And they were I’m laughing that they were funny. They were very young, which is what made me smile. So I think there was a college study or something. But I clicked on it to read more. And the first thing I did was scroll down. And of course it was in mice. And you know, nothing was proven. It was all correlation, not causation. And it was very interesting. But it wasn’t, it didn’t prove anything. And they may move into human trials someday.

So what I also talk about a lot is, and I’ve learned this over the years, which I find kind of disappointing, but also it’s good to live in the real world, is to realize that, especially with a lot of companies, the marketing department can get ahead of itself can get ahead of the rest of the company. Yes. So sometimes they’ll say something and make a big splash. And you know, a great example of this, and I’m so sad is Animas Corporation, that I loved Animas Corporation, part Johnson and Johnson, they made this wonderful insulin pump that my son used for 10 years. For years, they were talking about their hybrid closed loop, they seem to be ahead of everybody. And they were getting these incredible studies out of Europe. And it really looked terrific. And then of course, Johnson and Johnson closed up the whole company. And it never as far as I know, it never even got to trials in this country. So that was a lesson for me, unfortunately, in I mean, get excited, get optimistic, you know, let go, obviously great things are happening. But be careful about letting marketing get ahead of what’s actually happening. And so when we’re reading articles, we’re reading studies, like you said, actually read the study is probably a really good way to go. And a good thing to point out too is I don’t know about your experience. I have never written my own headline for anything. You never get to write your own headline,


Moira McCarthy  23:32

right? Oh, no. And and Healthline actually has a team that writes the headlines. Yeah. Like, that’s their job. And I did you know, when I was an editor of a newspaper, I was, you know, oversaw the headline writers and everything, but I know, I don’t write my own headline. Um, you know, I was just thinking to that this is kind of a good conversation to have right now. Because one of the reasons, you know, beyond being a medical journalist and covering it, but one of the reasons that I’ve been able to follow the vaccination news, with, with confidence, and what I understand and what I know I shouldn’t care about is my experience all these years and reading studies and reacting to things that I hear about diabetes. So it’s a good time for people to know how to dig deeper when they see a headline.


Stacey Simms  24:16

And you mean the COVID vaccine.

Moira McCarthy

I do. Yeah.

Stacey Simms

This is a time when we need good health news.


Moira McCarthy  24:24

No, no, maybe that’ll be one of the silver linings, people should know how to at least basically understand medical research of all different kinds. So understanding how to read about it. That may be a good thing that comes out of this. That’s a really good point. Then, of course, there’s the whole world of information that newly diagnosed families like this person whose question you read are thrown into now. And I want to tell you that my first advice when people Reach out to me, you know, connect me to a friend whose child was diagnosed her car is do not go on the internet for a while other than basics. And that’s because it must come at you like this woman described like you’re almost being assaulted with all these different things that completely conflict with each other. And I think that in the beginning, one of the reasons that I was able to build somewhat of a confident foundation for my family after my daughter was diagnosed 23 years ago, is that there was no internet. And so I read books, you know, Merck medical journal, and the Pink Panther book and things like that. But most of my information came from the most reliable source you can have. And that’s a qualified medical team. And so before we talk a little more about, you know, how you figure out what’s right, and what’s wrong with people, I just want to say that it has to be incredibly difficult. And I actually strongly believe that that environment is one of the reasons that studies are now showing that parents are more concerned and more afraid than they were 20 years ago, I think it’s the the overflow of information coming from every direction.


Stacey Simms  26:17

I agree. Oh, absolutely. It’s, it’s like, it’s always like drinking from a firehose, when you learn about type one. But it has become, you know, like trying to drink the ocean. Because it’s not just information from the medical community, it’s, I’m going to put this in quotes. It’s, quote, information, and judgmental advice from the community. What I tell people is, same thing as you try to stay off the internet, try to join a local group. Interestingly, this question was posted in one of the largest diabetes Facebook groups that I am in, and it is full of people at different stages and ages. And it’s type one, kids and type Well, it’s type one parents, you know, and adults with type one, it’s just it’s an enormous group. But it’s funny when you mentioned staying off the internet for a little while, you know, I have an I promise, this is not a book promo. But with the world’s worst diabetes Mom, I have a program called the book to clinic program, where I’m able to give pediatric endocrinologist to read the book and are okay with the worst, you know, the world’s worst moniker, they can give it to families for free. And we’ve decided that it’s probably not a great idea to give this to newly diagnosed families and to wait until at least three if not six months, in, not because the information is too complicated to comprehend. But because they’re getting enough, they need to focus on insulin dosing, and checking blood sugar and getting routines in place. And then they can branch out more information and these other things that just come at them. I mean, we have a program here in Charlotte, where they put technology on these kids in the hospital. And I know everybody loves that. But then you come into my local Facebook group, and everybody doesn’t love it, they are overwhelmed. And so


Moira McCarthy  28:02

another time, exactly. I was going to interrupt you when you’re talking about your book and say, I want to suggest that you not give them to the give them out till three or six months after diagnosis, and you already are. So here’s what I think. I think that when you’re delving into that kind of anecdotal, sharing, everyone is right, and everyone is wrong. Because some things speak to some people and some things speak to others. And so my advice is, if you read something online, that makes you feel uncomfortable, or makes you feel judged, or makes you feel like you’re doing it wrong, share exactly what you read with your medical team. Like say, I just want to run this by you when and and let’s say it says I don’t know I’m gonna make something up so that no one’s offended by it. Let’s say it says, You absolutely have to keep a pink bow on top of a helmet every day or your blood sugar is never going to be stable. So then you call your endo your CDE. Or you send them a note you say, Hey, I just sometime the spine because we don’t have a pink bow on a helmet on our son. So can you let me know if this is true? And then they will say, either? Yes. I can’t believe we haven’t shared this with you. You need to do it or Now’s not the time or pay no attention to this. Find the medical team you trust and let that be your true north


Stacey Simms  29:31

Yeah, right. Oh, without a doubt and I love love love that every everyone is right and everyone is wrong. Yeah, that I may have to put that on a bumper sticker to be able to offer stickers. Yes, it


Moira McCarthy  29:43

applies to much more than diabetes right now, doesn’t it? But but so so what the way that I was already far into diabetes by the time Facebook and the internet existed, but I have a group of friends that I’ve made through that. And what I found was, you just sort of noticed these people That kind of fit in harmony with you, you know, and then you’re like, Oh, I think I’ll message them and see if we should be Facebook’s Facebook friends. And then you figure out, you know, most of my, I have a diverse group of friends, but most of my very close diabetes mom, friends and adults with diabetes, subscribe to the same philosophy that I subscribed. And so I’m nada. Had my daughter on low carb through her childhood person. I don’t have any problem with those people, they can do their own thing, but it wouldn’t be someone who was really into that I’d probably be like, yeah, that might not be a good fit, just because, you know, yeah. And of course, you might like someone and they’re funny and nice. You just disagree with their diabetes care, that’s fine, too. But I guess what I’m saying is, don’t take it all. So seriously, it is just boats shoot the breeze. It’s anecdotal. You don’t know there’s this old New Yorker cartoon I love we should try to find it or in we should put it on my page. It’s two dogs, and one of the dogs is on Facebook. And he’s saying that the other dog The great thing about Facebook is no one knows your dog. And and what that means is you don’t you don’t know what’s real, and what the whole story is behind that. For me, it was always everyone was always doing perfectly with their teenager except me. And he come to find out when you dig down that that’s not really true. Most people struggle a little bit most years or don’t do it some other time. And so, if I had, if I had Facebook back then which they didn’t, and my daughter was struggling and I had gone on and all these people were just saying, you know, take her to take her to a dialysis center and show it to her, she’ll, she’ll change I might have bought into some of that, when it might not be what’s best for my child. So again, my best advice with for anecdotal advice is they’re all right, they’re all wrong. Talk to your endocrinology team about what’s right and wrong for your child or for your family.


Stacey Simms  32:06

I absolutely agree with that. And I always say, you know, we all parent in our own way. So we’re going to parent with diabetes in our own way. There’s only a couple rules, you know, put insulin in and know where your blood sugar is. Everything else is fair game. So if you you know, if you want to do a sleep over, and your friend on Facebook says that’s the worst thing you could possibly do. It’s okay to disagree. I think what happens sometimes, though, is people will post with such conviction, and such surety in their method that it comes across, like an information source. And I this might get uncomfortable, you’re much nicer than I am with the pink bow on the helmet. I don’t mind getting a little specific.

I’ll talk I’ll put some examples out, you know, when I when I do Diabetes Connections here on the podcast, if you’re a longtime listener, you know, we have talked to people who manage diabetes in so many different ways, super low carb, you know, keto super athletes, super laid back. You know, we’ve had a lot of people on the show, and I try, you know, when I’m editorializing or sharing my experience, I really try to give a platform I mean, I’m not gonna put anybody out who’s not safe. But or you know, who’s i think is not reputable. But we do give a platform here for many different types of management.

And I’ll give the example because I know they can take it the Mastering Diabetes guys, these are the guys, Moira I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, they have a book, they’re very popular. You see them they’re holding like giant baskets of fruit. I’m not going to explain it well. But you can go back and listen to the episode or read their book, their whole thing is, if you eat tons of calories that come from fruit, tons of carbs that come from fruit, your insulin sensitivity will go down and you’ll be able to eat enormous amount of food as long as you eat this type of food. And you can hear in the interview, I am having none of this, I can’t imagine a more miserable way of living. It would never work for me. There are people who love it, who are happy with it and are thriving on it. So that’s a bit of information in a way of living that I would suggest you as you listen, dismiss or embrace like Moira said, everybody’s right. Everybody’s wrong. That may work for some people. It doesn’t mean it is factually the thing to do.

And I think that’s what makes me crazy about this well meaning community, you may be great. At 85 you may be great setting your Dexcom alarm for your kid at 120 I can’t think of a better way to ruin my relationship with my son. It would never work for me. I have friends who text their kids six times a day and they say they have a great relationship with their kid. Mazel Tov wonderful, never would work for us in a million years. That’s the kind of stuff I’m talking about is contradiction. Well, because if it works for them, why wouldn’t it work for us? Because it doesn’t.


Moira McCarthy  34:54

So So advice that pops into my head is if someone says something to you on line like, you’re harming your child, if you’re not doing it this way, or I love my child enough to make this effort, maybe you don’t, or ever, your child’s going to have complications, I would shut that person down immediately. Because that’s not a rational way to look at the diabetes sphere in general, because we are all so unique. And one of the things we know about diabetes is it’s very individualized. It’s one of the big challenges for it. So if someone if someone is writing something, or sharing something online with you, and they tell you that if you don’t do it their way, you know, there’s trouble, I would dismiss them immediately as as not a good source. Other than like, you know, I don’t know, don’t club baby seals, and don’t, don’t tie your children to the bumper and drive them full speed. I’m talking about semi reasonable things.

Of course, it makes me sad when I see certain groups who believe certain things, being aggressive about it, because I’m sure that it comes from the right place, and they feel like they found an answer. But they, they’ve only found an answer in this moment for themselves. They haven’t found an answer for everyone in the world. They haven’t even found the answer themselves forever. They don’t know what’s coming down the road. I’ll share a funny story too, when you say about the other parent saying their kids are fine with it. When my daughter was a teenager, I said to her CDE one day, can you please tell me why every other 14 year old on earth with diabetes, A1C is like 6.9. And my daughter’s isn’t, and I’m struggling and no one else’s. And the CDE said, because the rest of them are all lying. I know because I treat them. I can’t tell you details, but trust me that they’re not sharing. And you know what? That’s not all wrong. It’s not It’s not that bad to put a rosy picture out for the world. But don’t push it into advice and and be aware of that, too. Like, if someone tells you everything’s perfect all the time, I would just be like, yeah, good for you, and then maybe cross them off your list. You know, because I don’t know of a person who raised her child with diabetes, or who’s had diabetes who does not have bumps in the road?


Stacey Simms  37:22

I can’t  believe you would say that to my face.


Moira McCarthy  37:27

You the world’s best diabetes mom, everybody else has problems with that just because you love anymore. If my daughter, she wouldn’t have like spikes, post meals or have done phenomenon, right? You’re


Stacey Simms  37:41

just gonna try harder. I would also add, and I do this, and I really have to stop because I’m on my phone way too much. You know, this this year, especially has just been difficult for people who enjoy information. But But I post all the time in diabetes groups, when I see something and in my group as well. Interesting, what’s the source? You know? Or what? Where did you read that? Where did you find that out? And if they don’t have one, then you know what, you can ignore it. You don’t have to internalize it, you don’t have to act on it. If someone posts something that just seems weird or off base or brand new, unless there’s a source of study a medical professional behind it. Um, you know, I wouldn’t recommend you fight. I mean, let’s not get crazy. It’s okay to walk away. It’s not a real conversation. You know, you can you can say No, thank you. But I always ask for sources. And I’ve learned a lot from people posting the sources. I didn’t realize that or people posting the source and saying, No, but you know, that that blogger was discredited A long time ago. So just, it’s okay to ask for that. I think it’s also a really good way to get more information.


Moira McCarthy  38:53

Yeah. It’s also okay, that, lets say not just anecdotal, chatting back and forth. But if you read a blog, or you listen to a podcast that’s giving medical advice, I think that it’s perfectly fine to reach out to them and ask them what their medical background is. And if they don’t have a medical background, then you really shouldn’t take medical advice from I know, you know, hey, I want to just wrap back to the beginning because I just had an email come in, sorry, but while we’re chatting, I’m I’m on a deadline. And it’s from my boss said helpline, and it says, Hey, more your important formative story on Blank is on the site. Now, on advice of your fact checker, I took out the paragraph on the notion that blank blank while you did show us a study or two there are conflicting research on those points. It looks great without it so don’t worry about it. So I think that shows that when you when that people should trust real news sources, that’s what happens. You know, I researched I found studies but they researched a little further and found a Couple conflicting ones. Since we want to go with the story, we’ll take out the studies that I did that I’ve got a good illustration, right?


Stacey Simms  40:07

I do. That’s great. Thank you for sharing that. That’s fantastic. Just came in. Oh, hot off the presses.


Unknown Speaker  40:15

Um, so Stacey, where are you traveling to to speak, he’s coming


Unknown Speaker  40:21

out of the family room, I’m in the living room. Now, my


Stacey Simms  40:25

family will say, Oh, my gosh, I never took all the stuff off my calendar. So I was supposed to be all these places, you know, this month in the next couple of weeks that I’m like, gosh, I gotta take this off my calendar because it’s


Unknown Speaker  40:38

  1. Oh,


Unknown Speaker  40:40

so I’m like, stop it. I’m not going there. But I did


Stacey Simms  40:43

go, Benny. And I went to the endocrinologist this morning. So actually put on real pants.


Benny  40:50

And they said and makeup.


Stacey Simms  40:52

Yeah, it was very funny. It was very funny makeup. I know. I know. I didn’t mean but who puts lipstick on anywhere where he’s wearing masks? No, it was great. It was great. And I did, I did get to ask our endo. I always have a list of questions even after all this time. And it’s so great to have him as a resource. You know, to answer the questions. I mean, I know we’re harping on it this whole time. But really, as you listen, and I think, you know, podcast listeners, you’re We know you’re smart. You’re looking for information. share this with your friends, post this in Facebook groups where people are concerned about the information they’re getting teach people, let’s help each other be smarter. And fact check stuff about diabetes, because then there’s so many we already we deal with it for people outside the community, we want to talk about okra and cinnamon. Right? We don’t need to deal with nonsense within the community. We just want to help each other.


Moira McCarthy  41:41

Right. And and like I said in the beginning, I think this is a good time for us to talk about this because we all need going forward to know how to understand what is news, what is opinion, if you read a headline, how to dig down in it that, like you said so eloquently at the beginning. I mean, journalism is a pillar of American democracy. And I know it sounds all Whoa. But it really is true and, and weak. We journalists care about what we do. And we want people to be able to trust what they read. But unfortunately, the way the world is now that means the reader has to do a little more work.


Stacey Simms  42:21

Moira, thank you so much. As always enjoy your trip to the living room. Be careful. You know,


Moira McCarthy  42:25

I will I’ll send you a postcard


Stacey Simms  42:27

navigate the traffic. And we’ll talk again soon.


Unknown Speaker  42:31

All right, talk to you soon.


Announcer  42:38

You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  42:44

How would you have answered that question from that Facebook group? What are your sources? What are your go to sources of information? I’m going to put that question in the Facebook group this week, because maybe we’ll learn some new great ones. Maybe we’ll learn about some pitfalls. I’m curious where you get your reliable information. And if there are people in the community as well, that we should be looking at that we haven’t found so far. And if you have a question for ask the D mom’s just a regular diabetes question, feel free to shoot me an email Stacey at Diabetes Moira, and I’d love to catch up with each other these quote unquote interviews usually go for about half an hour longer than what you hear because we spend the time catching up as well. It’s amazing, isn’t it? How many of us makes such good friends because of stupid diabetes? It’s the only good thing that comes out of this condition.

Hey, tell me something good is coming up in just a moment. We’re going to talk about the amazing race. One of my favorite shows the Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And when Benny was very little and in the bathtub or at the pool, I always noticed his fingertips. I mean, you know what I mean? Right? They were poked so much. They were just full of little pinprick holes that you could really see when they got wet. He’s 15. I don’t see his hands much anymore. But at the end, oh, earlier this month, they always check his fingertips and it’s amazing. We’ve been using Dexcom for almost seven years, and Benny’s fingers look completely normal that I cannot believe it is such a visualization. I wish I’d taken a picture seven years ago. But you know the latest generation, the Dexcom G6 eliminates finger sticks for calibration and diabetes treatment decisions. Just thinking about doing 10 finger sticks a day in the past makes me so glad that Dexcom has helped us come so far. It’s an incredible tool. If your glucose alerts and readings from the G6 do not match symptoms or expectations. Use a glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. Learn more go to Diabetes and click on the Dexcom logo.


In Tell me something good this week. If you are not already a fan of The Amazing Race, I think you’re going to be quite soon. Now a couple of years ago I think it was 10 years ago a couple like it was yesterday. Nat Strand Dr. Nat strand won The Amazing Race. We’ve had her on the show before I’ve talked about this because the media Race is one of my favorite shows. I started watching it when I was pregnant with my daughter, Lea, who is going to be 19. A couple of weeks. I’ve been watching the show for a long time. I actually haven’t seen it in a couple of years. But I just last week said, I gotta start watching again. Maybe I’ll start from the beginning. I don’t know if I want to do that, or where am I going to jump in? But I got my answer, because this season of The Amazing Race features somebody with diabetes. I was watching the promo. And you can see this little clip of Leo Brown, he’s got a Dexcom on his stomach. He is part of the team with his girlfriend, Alana Folsom. Everybody in The Amazing Race gets little nicknames because there’s teams have to sort of keep them straight. Because you don’t know anybody’s names. They always boil them down to the essence. So you know, baseball bros, brother and sister longtime dating, which is what Alana and Leo are. So here’s a little clip of them talking about getting ready for the race.


Leo  46:02

We’ve investigated past participants on Instagram.


Alana  46:05

Leo has a manual transmission car which came in huge I think the main thing we’ve been doing is CrossFit.



Oh, we also did a ropes course basically for the last six months, it’s been our primary activity trying to gain new skills.


Oh, we also got to buy prescription swim goggles or team



prescriptions from goggles. Realty.


Stacey Simms  46:26

I have reached out to Leo, I am really hoping that he will come on the show and talk about the experience. Because not only do I want to know about being a person with diabetes on an event like this, which Nat has shared before how she did it, but that was more than 10 years ago, and the technology has changed. So be fun to find out what what helped Leo and maybe what did not. I was also laughing because I saw the preview of the show. And DeAngelo Williams is on this season. Now I know maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you, but I’m in the Charlotte North Carolina area. He’s a former Carolina Panthers. But he’s one of these community guys. Like even if you don’t know football, you know, D’Angelo, it’s gonna be a really fun season to watch. I haven’t seen the first episode yet it aired out last week, as you are listening to this show. I don’t know maybe they got voted off. Maybe D’Angelo got voted off as well. But I really hope I can get Leo on the show to talk about his experiences on The Amazing Race.

We are coming up on diabetes Awareness Month. And this is a year like no other Can I sound like every commercial you’ve ever seen. But I think this diabetes Awareness Month is going to be very different as well. We’ve got to get through the election before anybody’s gonna pay attention to anything else. And I always say diabetes Awareness Month is for people outside of the community, not necessarily in I mean, you’re kind of aware of diabetes already. So I’m going to be doing my usual news push to see if I can get some news out there to people who may need it and don’t really understand about diabetes. But I’m also going to be doing a little something for us because boy, we need a little something. I’m going to be running a contest through the month of November. I’ve got some fun prizes. I’ve got some great companies, we just want to make you smile a little bit. So that will be going on in the Facebook group Diabetes Connections, the group and on my Instagram account over at Instagram. I’m just Stacey Simms, so follow me there or jump into the group. If you’re not already there. We’re going to have a good time. We’re going to give away some stuff. And we’re going to keep it kind of low key because I don’t know that I have the wherewithal to keep it any other key right now.

Thank you, as always to my editor John Bukenas from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much for listening. I’m Stacey Simms. I’ll see you back here next week. Until then, be kind to yourself.


Benny  48:38

Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms Media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged

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