HAPPY DIABETES! And may the odds be ever in your favor!" – Effie Trinkett, your endocrinologist.
You have diabetes! Welcome to your life which will now closely parallel Katniss Everdeen’s in the Hunger Games. If you haven’t read it – I’ll hopefully fill in all the gaps for you here. And may the odds be ever in your favour!
For those who haven’t read it or seen the movie I’ll give you a quick synopsis. It’s the future. There’s a totalitarian nation called Panem that’s divided into 12 Districts, ruled by the Capitol. Each year two tributes from each district are chosen by lottery to participate in the Hunger Games – a televised fight to the death against the 24 other tributes in the arena. Yay! Fun times! Katniss Everdeen heads in to replace her little sister Prim because she’s protective and noble and stuff.
Doesn’t sound anything like diabetes? I have proof…*
- You’re selected at random to win the crappest lotto ever … Sound familiar? Congratulations! You are the tribute! You’ve been selected to have diabetes!
- The Capitol represents diabetes. There is no political representative from any of the districts 1-12 (your arms, legs, brain, pancreas, or heart). You live in a totalitarian state and just do what diabetes says, or pay the price.
- Food in the Districts is scarce, foraging and hunting not uncommon. Hmmm… Bin diving. That sounds an awful lot like me – rummaging through the garbage for the carbohydrate information on a packet I’ve thrown out earlier.
- You are now Katniss Everdeen – a girl who has random mood swings, screams at strangers and the people she loves on a regular basis, and hates cats … I’d blame high blood sugar (though they claim in the book that this is just her personality). Poor Katniss. It’s like she’s living a whole life of HI readings. She’s the ‘girl who was on fire’. I’ll say. If her levels stay that high her internal organs will be cooking with ketones. GIVE THAT GIRL SOME WATER. And insulin.
- Except, of course, when she acts like she’s low. Her mother tells her she “eats like [she’ll] never see food again”, and when she eats breakfast on the train she stuffs down “every mouthful [she] can hold.” Kinda like the way you attack a fridge when you’re coming up from a low, really. Mmmm whipped cream on bread? Noice.
- If you go into the woods and hunt for food with your bow and arrow (translation: go to the cupboard and sneak chocolate bars without an injection or a bolus) you WILL be found out. You will be whipped by the Peacekeepers from the Capitol. I mean… your HbA1c will be a bummer.
- Speaking of hunting, those with Type 2 diabetes, you’d better be pretty good at it. Now that you’re tributes, your future life depends on your abilities – hunt it, kill it, cook it, measure it in the palm of your hand for portion size and only THEN think about putting it on a plate. And run around the block while you do it.
- On the topic of stew… STEW FOR BREAKFAST. Wha?? Is everyone in the Hunger Games on a low carb/paleo/weird new Type 2 diet or something?
- In the Capitol are people called morphlings – people addicted to a drug called morphling – who wander around glassy eyed, whacked out and speaking in tongues. Don’t be offended, but that could really be anyone during a really bad hypo, right? Except morphlings always just need more morphling, instead of less insulin, more sugar, and sometimes more insulin, no carbs…. Ahhh. Life would be so much more simple as a morphling!
- The tributes all get trackers inserted into their arms so the gamemakers don’t lose them in the arena. Just like kids whose parents pop a CGM in their bellies before sending them off for sleepovers at their friends’ houses…. Ahhhh Nightscout. How we love thee.
- In the Mockingjay, Katniss and everyone else who matters lives in District 13, where their whole lives are scheduled in every respect. 10.00 hours: BEDTIME! FINGERPRICK! They live a largely diabetic life – with all their food meted out in strictly measured and controlled food portions. Just add the scales and measuring cups and this house could be District 13.
Here comes the good news …
- There’s a genius guy in the books/movies called Beetee (geddit? Betes??). He invents ALL the technology. He designs gadgets and weapons in the fight against the Capitol (diabetes, remember), and armour to make their lives safer as they wage the war. Thankfully in the real world we have more than just one genius designing all the technology to make our lives easier in the fight against diabetes, but the GREAT news is (and sorry for this… spoiler alert!!) with the help of Beetee and all his technology, and the groundswell of support from the army in the Districts, by the end of the Mockingjay (book 3) the people of Panem defeat the Capitol. Diabetes is no more.
You may not believe me (which is fair enough!), but I don’t mind Diabetes being The Hunger Games (without all the killing, throwing of plates and eating of mice stew) if it has a similarly awesome ending. We’re storming the Capitol.
* Please note – this article is written in the spirit of good humour and is not to be taken too seriously. Any attempts to do so will result in failure to find any actual facts or proof.