I saw a few posts over the last few weeks about diabetes and Hollywood and how Hollywood gets diabetes wrong a lot. Well over the weekend I saw another movie that they just got it wrong, another failure. This movie was “Panic Room.” I saw this movie when it first came out years ago and remembered the little girl having some sort of problem that was making her blood sugar go low, but at that time I didn’t know it was her blood sugar or what her problem was.
For those that haven’t seen this movie a mother and daughter are locked inside of a panic room when 3 men are attempting to rob the new house they live in. The little girl has diabetes and her blood sugar is dropping throughout the whole movie. Good thought and plot for a movie, but not the best at the details.
The first thing that bugged me was when they first moved in they were eating dinner downstairs and the girl with diabetes was drinking a regular soda. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t enjoy a regular soda for dinner, actually don’t think I have had one for pleasure in about close to 10 years. How could the director or whoever is in charge of this let this little moment make the cut? Failure number 1.
Second thing was the CGM, or futuristic CGM she was wearing. I had heard of this thing and saw it online, the GlucoWatch, but I haven’t seen anybody actually wear it. Basically it was just a watch she was wearing that was giving her blood sugar readings to her. We all know that it’s not that easy. How about showing her inserting the sensor into her skin and allowing people to see what actually goes on behind the scenes. People are already ignorant to diabetes and don’t know what we go through on a daily basis, so why give them the thought that, all you have to do is look at a watch to see what your blood sugar is? Failure # 2.
Using diabetes in a movie plot can be a great tool and make the movie extremely interesting, but only if it is done in the right way. Add some educational aspects to it. Explain how this person’s diabetes is going to affect them later on in the movie, give hints, just like you do with the rest of the plot. I remember seeing a sci-fi movie, (wait I’m sorry, now it’s Sy-Fy) about a year or so ago that involved these alien looking creatures who lived off of sugar. Without sugar they would die. Of course there was a group of teenagers that were somehow being attacked by these aliens, but there was one girl in particular they really wanted and nobody knew why. Well it turns out she was diabetic and had really high blood sugar and they were looking for some insulin so the aliens would stop trying to attack them. If I remember correctly, the insulin ended up being the killing formula to the aliens.
Although the movie was cheesy, it explained diabetes. The girl explained to her friends that without insulin her blood sugar will continue to get higher and she will not be able to runaway from the aliens because her body will slowly start to shut down on her and cramp up. She also explained what the insulin did and how it lowered your blood sugar. She used the PacMan analogy by saying the insulin eats up the sugar like PacMan. Maybe not the most scientific explanation, but it works in my book.
So today I dare somebody in Hollywood to make a movie that explains diabetes. Put a character on tv that explains diabetes, and no not Brett Michaels. I mean somebody respectful, not washed up, a has been and does diabetes the right way and not keep their blood sugar higher so they can enjoy sex. Hollywood, you have been challenged!
Somebody make this life of a diabetic a happy one and have a great day.