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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweet Summer Movies

I love going to the movies!  Especially during the summer.  I love the smell of buttered popcorn in a dark room, sitting next to my hubby while sharing a large Diet Pepsi.  Our first movie we saw together was Hidalgo (2004).  It was an 11:00 PM showing, and he learned then that if he wanted me to make it through a movie awake, we better stick to matinee showings.  However, I still have that stub, though slightly faded now.

And there are several movies that I'm looking forward to this year:
  • The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse (June 30th) 
  • Iron Man 2 (seen it:  awesome!) 
  • Robin Hood (seen it:  Meh, I liked Robin Hood better as a fox) 
  • Eclipse! 
  • Shrek Forever After (May 21st)
  • Eclipse! 
  • Buried  (October 8th, Yay Team Sparling!) 
  • Did I mention Eclipse?  
But I'd like to take this opportunity (or blog post, however you see it) to mention some famous movies featuring diabetes and how (in)accurate they are:

Let's start with the biggie and obvious:  Steel Magnolias

Julia Roberts' character Shelby is a diabetic bride who loses her life due to complications from a kidney transplant from her mom, M'Lynn played by Sally Field.  The scene that really gets me is the beauty parlor scene on the day of the wedding when Shelby suddenly experiences low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.  Shelby's face says it all.  She goes from a blushing bride to pale white and immediately begins to lose it.  M'Lynn notices and reaches for juice and begins to feed it down Shelby's throat, even though she tries to fight her.  I love how patient M'Lynn is even when Shelby is saying horrible things to her.  She knows it's her low blood sugar talking, not her daughter.

Personal opinion:  the low blood sugar scene was pretty dramatic but, hey, it's a movie.  I've certainly felt paralyzing lows like that before, most all of them insulin induced.  I cried my eyeballs out when Shelby dies (hello? who doesn't?!).  The only thing I don't like about this movie is a LOT of people get the wrong impression about type 1s being pregnant.  With so many advancements like meters, pumps and CGMs, "diabetics have babies all the time".  If someone tries to quote SM to me when I'm pregnant, I will say "Pregnancy doesn't kill diabetics, diabetes kills diabetics.  And mine is just dandy, thanks!"

Good Movie, Bad Diabetes Reference:  Con Air

Oh Nicholas Cage, you can retrieve my diabetic supplies anytime. *swoon*

Nicholas Cage plays Cameron Poe, a prisoner being released to go home to his wife and daughter.  His bus and plane are hijacked by some deathrow inmates planning for a life a freedom.  His friend Mike "Baby-O" O'dell is a diabetic prisoner (hey, aren't we all? *sigh*) who expects to receive his insulin shot at the inmate transfer, but the hijacking inmates take over before he can get his syringe.  When the inmates make a stop at Carson City to change planes, Poe searches the area for a first aid kit in hopes of finding a syringe for O'Dell.  Once he finds one and O'Dell administers his insulin, all is peachy, until O'Dell gets shot.  Then, Poe spends the rest of the movie trying to keep him alive until the plane crashes in Las Vegas.

Personal opinion:  O'Dell's reaction to not having insulin is 100% WRONG!  He begins to sweat and shake, much like hypoglycemia.  If he were experiencing high blood sugar, he would have been peeing all over the place and vomiting.  Then, when he does get his syringe he administers the insulin in his arm.  WTH?!  The arm?  Ouch!  Any shot given in a muscle hurts like Hades!  If I put my pump site too close to ab muscles it feels like I have a huge splinter in my stomach.  Butt or thigh for me.  And O'Dell's immediate recovery is also inaccurate.  Experiencing extreme high (or low) blood sugar takes at least a day to fully recover.  So, this movie is a great action film, but totally inaccurate when it comes to diabetes, except that insulin goes in a syringe.  Nice try, Hollywood. 

Haven't seen yet, but sounds interesting:  The Panic Room

I'll be honest and say that I haven't seen this movie yet, but I plan to for our next visit to the video store.  So, for a full synopsis, go here.  But the general story is this girl and her mom are locked in a safe room while burglars invade their house where the daughter, Kristen Stewart, has a hypoglycemia attack and passes out.  The movie ends with someone barely getting to her in time to administer a glucagon injection.  You can tell me if the movie is worth seeing or not.

Personal opinion:  The only thing I do know about this movie is that Kristen Stewart has become a celebrity advocate for type 1 diabetes, often seen at JDRF runs.  And with her recent Twilight fame and all the latest researches for a cure, I'm glad.  Advocacy is best to come from a familiar face.

So there are the big 3 movies with diabetes in their plot line.  Also, for anyone who's seen Iron Man 2, did you see his blood toxicity meter?  I leaned over to hubby and said, "Wish they made glucose meters like that."  Seriously, it was a pump-size meter with no coding, lancing, or stripping.  Just insert your finger and 5 seconds later get a blood glucose . . . er . . . toxicity reading.  How awesome!

"Mr. Stark, your latest blood work is in." 


  1. I haven't seen Panic Room either, but I can tell you this. If I had a panic room in my house, it would be stocked with low supplies for my son.

  2. In panic room, she has this watch that is her CGM which I thought was pretty nifty. I know a few years ago I read about some developments on something like that, but haven't heard about it since.

    I thought it was a good movie. But on one part her mom says to her "You know what happens when you over-exert yourself" or something like that. She was just digging through boxes... Then later she has a seizure. I've never (thankfully) had a low so severe that I had a seizure.

    Anyway, you should watch it and let me know your thoughts. I just recently saw it for the first time. I didn't like the ending.


  4. Having just had a baby (as a diabetic), Steel Magnolias IRKS me!!! So did allllllll the comments while I was pregnant from strangers and idiot acquaintances. My fav? "So you aren't supposed to eat while you are pregnant right?" Ummmmm yeah. I'm never supposed to eat while I'm pregnant. Moron. So if and when you decide to do the diabetic pregnancy thing... be prepared for stupidity. However it's totally worth it in the end!!!!

  5. I think every diabetic who saw Iron Man's Toxicity meter thought it would be awesome - it was like we all probably had a collective "THAT WOULD BE AN AWESOME BLOODSUGAR METER!" thought at the same time.... which it would be 1000% awesome to have it!
    As far as Panic Room, nope, I haven't seen it. I tend to see if there's anything diabetes-related in the movies so I can avoid them... mainly because of the way SM ruined it for us.


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.