While ancient diabetics like Alison and me (Alison is especially ancient) are at least moderately clued up about diabetes, teenage diabetics are often thought of as a neglected demographic with little decent information aimed at them.
Attempting to redress this balance, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals have recently recorded and made a whole load of podcasts for young diabetics available for download from their website.
They must be good as diabetic god Sir Steve Redgrave says they’re wonderful on the hospital’s press release. However, being a Redgrave atheist, I downloaded them for myself and had a listen.
I was half-expecting them to be somewhat patronising, but was pleased to hear that they’re not (however, saying that, I am in my thirties and what I think isn’t patronising might differ wildly from what a teenager might think is patronising, but I digress).
I started off with the wildly depressing podcast “Diabetes, Sex and So On”, which details the nightmarish and sorry tale of a diabetic who didn’t control their glucose levels during their pregnancy and so gives birth to a crippled baby who then promptly dies. Cheerful stuff.
However things looked up from there, with the “Nights Out” podcast being an entertaining and somewhat sordid story of a bunch of lads getting seriously boozed up on beer, vodka and Red Bull and going out clubbing. Inevitably the diabetic in the party has a hypo and starts getting aggressive and mouthy with a bouncer; everything gets fractious and they all get arrested, receive a mild beating from the local constabulary and spend a night in the cells. All good wholesome stuff!
This particular podcast did however contain my favourite practical (and somewhat earthy) diabetes tip. If you’re out clubbing, try and pull so you’ve got someone to take back to your room. Said pullee (if there is such a word) can then make sure you’re okay if you have a hypo. If only I used that line back when I was single…
Anyway, the podcasts continue with a range of useful experiences and tips in a very accessible format. Diabetes information can generally be a bit dry but, aside from a safe-sex message that was shoehorned into one podcast, I thought they were a good attempt by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals to put across useful information in a non-patronising way. Good for them!