Bah humbug NPR

September 7, 2006 at 9:54 am | Posted in Home, Sweet Home?, The Sweet Life | 10 Comments

I am sitting at home waiting for the furnace repairman to come and do our annual fall tune up (sad, sad, sad) and, for the third year in a row, tell us that our furnace is Very Old and Will Not Last the Winter.

ETA: And bah humbug furnace as well. I had to run out the door to go to therapy, so I only got to go through the first half of the annual exam with my friend, Mr. I Can’t Believe This Thing Still Runs (and did you know how much money you’d save if you put it in a new $3000 high efficiency furnace?). I thought we had passed the danger point of the exam, so I left him to let himself out the garage door and went off to therapy to whine about my life. Two terrible things happened

1) As I was leaving therapy, a car pulled up. It was my good friend, Ms. Hippie Sunshine. Who is going to see MY therapist. Ick.

2) I came back to a oddly quiet furnace and the following note on the washing machine. “Checked and cleaned furnace. Measured over 400 pm CO in furnace flue at top. Furnace is not safe to operate. I shut off gas and electric to furnace. Do not turn this furnace on.” I’m glad we won’t be gassed in our bed, but oh crap. Crap, crap, crap. Three crappy thousand crappy dollars crappy.

So, NPR:

So I happened to be listening to NPR and hear this story about diabetes. Honestly, NPR, I expected better. Touting inhalable insulin like it’s going to revolutionize treatment, and never mentioning (on air) the downsides to it? And of course, the inevitable type2/type1 confusion. They start out like this:

Glucose control — keeping blood sugar as close to normal as possible — is vital for diabetics. Patients must prick their fingers several times a day to monitor blood-sugar levels. They must also watch their diet, exercise and take pills. And most of them ultimately must use insulin, which is typically taken by injection.

Halfway through they mentioned that they were talking about “type 2 diabetes, the most common kind.” No other explanation of differences between T1 & T2. And a real emphasis on non-drug treatment as a sign of maximizing control: “A daily workout could mean that a patient like Kittredge might be able to cut back on the drugs he takes for his diabetes. So old-fashioned exercise is still one of the best treatment plans around.”

Grrr. And I have to leave the house in an hour and no furnace dude in sight.


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  1. Send a complaint. I’ve done it before, when I heard a local NPR affiliate do a crap report on diabetes.

  2. I heard the same report this morning. I arrived to work and my educated co-worker jumped to tell me about the story she heard on NPR… My grumpy response probably wasn’t what she was expecting.


  3. I can’t say it’s the worst report I heard- I have heard way worse. But, I do get fraustrated when they don’t differentiate the two types. Exercise does help glucose control in both types though.

    When they were talking about the 40 point drop after exercise I was thinking- yep, that’s the problem! For me at least. Start off the work out in range, end low.

  4. This kind of thing just infuriates me.

    NPR, no less.

    I don’t know which makes me more angry– that so few people understand the difference between the two types, or that so many don’t make the effort to find out.

  5. I wish people would realize that drug therapy is a good thing. Without insulin, us type 1s would be dead. So why is going on insulin seen as a bad thing for type 2s? I’m with Julia–send a letter to your NPR affiliate.

  6. When non-diabetics talk to me about it, I remind them that I’m a minority within a minority because I’m a Type 1 pump user. I read somewhere that only 10% of diabetics are Type 1, but that number may be off these days.

    I also agree that “having to take insulin” should not be looked at like it’s a failure over pills.

  7. Oh that sucks about the furnace! Our furnace dates from the 50’s and each year we have the same fear…

  8. I had a somewhat extended conversation with the COO of my company today about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Im hoping the more I educate the people around me, the less people around and close to me will get this diabetes thing so wrong wrong wrong. It may be a far-fetched hope, but it is a hope nonetheless

  9. Hello, Michele sent me. I’ve never visited here before, I don’t think. I agree with you about the NPR piece.

    As to the furnace – *wince* – so not fun. I’ve been there.

  10. Michele sent me, Art-sweet.

    When I first bought this house 3 years ago there was a problem with the furnace that they couldn’t fix and so most of the winter I went without heat. It’s not a course of action I’d recommend! Brrrr! I had an electric space heater one bathroom and several down comforters in rooms to huddle under. After that experience, I consider a working furnace to be a godsend, Art-sweet.

    Good luck with the furnace and I hope you can avoid buying a new one. Is there a market for used ones? Sounds odd but people do upgrade from working ones–so why not buy one of the ones that’s been sidelined?

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