March DSMA Blog Carnival: My Superhero

On March 21, 2013 by Stephen Shaul

This month’s DSMA Blog Carnival is taken from a recent Twitter Chat and asks:

Disney just gave you funding to create a character with diabetes. What type of character would you create? What would you want your character’s message to be for adults and children living with diabetes?

When I looked at this topic, I realized that I needed some kind of special assistance to complete my project.  I’ve never been good at creating things like this.  So I went to the ultimate source of knowledge in the world… the internet.  I mean, hey, if it’s on the internet, it must be true, right (he said, tongue in cheek)?

I typed “How to create a superhero” into my search engine and found multiple sites that list complete how-to guides on how to create a superhero.  Some even provide software to let you piece together how your superhero will look.

Most of the sites I checked covered the same ground in their online tutorials.  So let’s take these tasks one at a time and apply them to our super Diahero.

  • Origins:  Where does your superhero hail from?  What about this makes him or her unique?
    My superhero is born from a single healthy beta cell, originating in the obscure Islets of Langerhans, home of other insulin-producing beta cells in our pancreases.  Being able to escape from this land of origin prior to the destruction of all of his fellow beta cells, he’s able to uniquely empathize with similar individuals who have suffered the same fate.
  • Special Powers:  This is delicious.  What kind of superpowers does your superhero have?
    My super Diahero has an amazing mind that can deduce insulin on board, current blood glucose, and the amount of carbohydrates on your plate.  Then, factoring in insulin to carb ratios, exercise, and future basal rates too, he provides the precise measurement of insulin for any scenario.Also, my hero has a great ability to educate and slay those troublesome diabetes myths.  Don’t even try to mislead, or misrepresent facts:  “You can’t eat that”, “You brought this on yourself”, and “You can’t have children” are all eradicated with split-second, persuasive action.  Complete enlightenment is our hero’s hallmark.
  • Weaknesses:  What is our hero’s kryptonite?
    Alas, our super Diahero is susceptible to the evil twin demons known as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.  The hyperglycemia that makes him sluggish and irritable, thirsting for water but searching for the demon’s lair so BGs can be brought to mind at a healthy level.  And the hypoglycemia that tries to turn his brain to mush, dulling his Special Powers until he is able to find the right combination of fast-acting carbohydrates (occasionally administered by his trusty sidekick, who sometimes takes the form of a Parent or Spouse, or another member of the League of Super Diaheros.  Hey, it’s my superhero… I can create whatever I want, right?).
  • Mission:  Of course, our superhero needs a mission.
    My superhero travels the world searching for other healthy beta cells in an effort to prevent those of his kind from being destroyed.  And where they have been destroyed, his hope is that one day, new, healthy Islets of Langerhans can be reborn in a Perfect Pancreas World that can live within all of us.
  • Finally, our superhero needs a name.  What’s your name?

No, really… what’s your name?  Because if you’re living with diabetes, you know that living a meaningful life requires superhuman effort.  You also know that it’s possible.  And I hope you know that you can do it.  To all my fellow People With Diabetes:  You are my carb-counting, insulin-adjusting, educating, myth-busting, hypo- and hyperglycemia surviving, AWESOME Super Diaheros.

Mission accomplished.

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