Parents Save Your Children From Honey Boo Boo and Type 2 Diabetes

The other day as I watched Honey Boo Boo slurp down spaghetti and eat cupcakes on some show or other I nearly threw the remote at the tv. Not just because I hate seeing a child exploited to satisfy our insatiable desire for train wreck entertainment, but also because Honey Boo Boo and Mama June are both overweight. It’s embarrassingly obvious The Learning Channel’s (TLC) latest breakout hit show’s popularity stem mostly from mother and daughter physical attribute.

It was pointed out the two were at a fancy restaurant. After the meal, perhaps before too, I didn’t see the whole thing, Alana signed autographs for other little kids who apparently look up to her. I don’t have a problem with Honey Boo Boo being a role model. What I hate is obviously no one cares about the child’s diet. The mother admits to giving her “Go Go Juice”, a potent elixir of Red Bull and Mountain Dew that supposedly contains as much caffeine as two cups of coffee, to get her pumped up for pageants.

Normally I’m of the opinion parents should be their children’s role model. However, speaking from the perspective of a Type 2 Diabetic, and knowing that childhood obesity is fast becoming an epidemic in these United States of America, TLC’s offering of Honey Boo Boo only perpetuates the problem.

It is a highly recognized fact that obesity is linked to Type 2 Diabetes, hence the reason it’s often referred to as ‘adult on-set diabetes’. People tend to exercise less as they grow older. The weight gain and other mitigating factors eventually cause the chronic disease to manifest later in life. Believe me I know from whence I speak.

Now days due to a high carb high fat content diet, often accompanied by a sugary beverage, and plain old lack of exercise, Type 2 Diabetes has become more prevalent in children. Type 1 Diabetes, something a child could be born with is one thing, Type 2, is a totally avoidable boo boo.

To make matters worse, recent studies are finding the disease is much harder to treat in children. Often their bodies quit responding to oral medication. Then if it hasn’t already, the big gun, insulin, enters the scene. Make no mistake, diabetes is chronic and must be managed. Type 2 diabetics of the mind they only had a ‘lil taste of sugar’ have suffered the consequences of their naïveté.

Health issues ranging from heart disease, eye problems, nerve damage, amputations, high blood pressure and kidney failure have schooled many a naïve diabetic the hard way. The longer a person has the disease, the greater the risk. So theoretically, people who develop diabetes as children may suffer its complications much earlier in life than previous generations who became diabetic as adults. The thought of children suffering such ailments earlier in life is sobering indeed.

A lot of folks are of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ school of thought when it comes to diabetes. Not me. Knowledge is power. If someone had sat me down and had given me the cold, hard facts, I would’ve fought harder to avoid getting diabetes in the first place. As disease goes, diabetes is chronic – I know chronic sounds so doomsdayish – but diabetes is controllable.

While Honey Boo Boo chugs ‘go-go juice’, sucks down garbs of spaghetti, and eats cupcakes, parents realize you and not TLC must be a positive guiding force for your children. Type 2 diabetes in children is an avoidable boo boo. Encourage children to eat healthy foods, get plenty of physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.


Uncle Drew – Funny

What a way to cap off a l-o-n–g hot Fourth of July. Sitting in front of the laptop  I swore not to open today right before midnight. Finding this little gem forwarded by a friend makes a broken promise to myself seem okay.  Missed it during the NBA finals.  Well worth the wait. Still wiping tears from my eyes.

The below message came with the email. The video was presented by Pepsi Max.

When you get a few minutes watch this video its very funny:
Kyrie Irving (rookie of the year from Cleveland that played at Duke
2010) is one of my new favorite players.
They dress him up in movie make up and make him look like an 80
year old man and he goes to the street basketball courts in NJ and
gets in a pick up basketball game with all these young guys. at the
beginning playing terrible and then starts playing for real and its

TIP O’ THE DAY: Kids not eating veggies. Here’s a good way to sneak some in:

1 kiwi(peeled), 5-10 strawberries(depending on size), couple chunks of cantaloupe,1 pitted peach, 1 small banana, toss in fresh spinach, kale, romaine

Toss all into blender. Child will be none the wiser.

Note: Feel free to use your fruit and vegetable of choice. I recommend freezing the fruit. It makes a better smoothie and you won’t need to use ice.

The U in Jesus and The Second Coming by Yeats (Blend-Up)


Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son..

And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true,

You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.

You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s true

That I love them all – Just like I love U.”

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know, But it all starts with U.

This poem was emailed to me by a friend. Thanks so much for making my day, by the way. Don’t know who authored it. Not a poet myself so I really love it when someone gets clever with a poem as is the case above.  This poem got me to thinking about the first poem that touched me deeply.  A classic by William Butler Yeats.

This poem is so deep even to this day it’s taught in psychology classes. If you are a smarty-arty in high school, chances are this bad boy has manifested itself in your existence and could be standing between you and college. I, Mary Brown, am even considering using ‘Things fall apart’ as a possible book title. All over the net and beyond you can find some reference to this poem. And yet, put it together with ‘The U in Jesus’ and you still have a beautiful mix or blend of words. Words that may make you think and feel, oh, I don’t know. However, you end up thinking and feeling.

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Diabetes, the monster within


Lately I’ve been so busy juggling so many things I forgot to include the necessity for my own wellbeing. Monday night I took the last 31 units, my daily dosage, of insulin betweeen 10:00pm and 10:30pm, as usual. Unfortunately, I didn’t know it was the last pen. I’m on the Lantus by the way. I take it once a day and truly don’t think it’s working for me anymore. I also take a glimepiride, oral medication I no longer feel is working as well. It was late yesterday when I noticed all the insulin had been depleted. In an attempt to tide me over, I took half a pill and went on my way.

This morning I woke up feeling rather cocky and rebellious. What if I just got off the damn stuff like my son has been telling me for a while now. He wants me to eat ‘raw’. Just try it for a while, along with my walking regimen to see what happens. At least he doesn’t seem concerned about finding me in another diabetic coma. So this morning I’m up early after going to bed late and I’m feeling good like I can take on the world. I usually don’t feel that good until after I’ve done my hour-long walk/jog. But as I was saying earlier I felt like I could kick a little diabetes butt.  I became the grandmama in Eddie Murphy movie, ‘The Nutty Professor’ when they were sitting at the dinner table and she said, “Come on Cletus! It aint nuthin’ but a short walk. You might walk over, but you limpin’ back! I aint no easy win, !@#$%!”

Well, guess what. I’m no David and this monster diabetes inside me sure isn’t Goliath. I took my blood sugar reading. Yikes! A whooping 237. Okay, okay, I’m thinking ain’t nothing but a thang. I ease into a pair of old white capris. It’s already warm at 9am. I slipped on a t-shirt given to me by a long ago co-worker. A young graphic designer running his own t-shirt business from out of his day job. He was a killer with Photoshop but punctuality, getting to the job on time, just wasn’t his forte.  Point is I gear up all set to do battle with this monster. In my haste, instead of going to the park, I walk out my patio door and return to my old stumping ground.

Down the street, on to the dead end road. I walk it fast and jog until the muscle on the side of my left leg starts aching something awful. ‘Damn you monster,’ I want to scream as I slow it down and continue to walk at a fierce. I walk past the house of a lady who used to walk with me. Thankfully the driveway is empty because the muscle is screaming so loud I can’t go on. Sweat dripping, I remove my Nascar racing cap and towel my face dry as possible. Surely the universe is conspiring with this monster against me. I check my cell phone. I’ve walked about 40 minutes. It will have to do.

I wait 30 minutes then check my blood sugar again. Holy, moly!!!! My blood sugar, if the meter is accurate now reads 247 and is blinking at me with malicious glee. Good thing I’d called in the prescription yesterday. Hungry and defeated, I cook two slices of turkey bacon, tear it into bits on top of a plate of heaping kale, throw on some vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and gobble it down. Breakfast is done. There’s still a little ache in my head so I’m sure the monster is still having it’s way with my vital parts.

This battle is not over. In the meantime I’m going to behave like someone who doesn’t believe in miraculous healing and go get my insulin. Since I skipped a day already and my shot isn’t until bedtime, I’m not sure what I should do. Fellow diabetics, if you can hear me, could you just throw this struggling David a lifeline.


Steppin’ up the pace

Recently opened Whole Foods Market

June 21 will be exactly a year I walked out my patio door and kept on steppin’. I’d only been out the hospital a few days after suffering a diabetic coma. At the time, I was injecting 20 units of slow-acting insulin first thing in the morning and again between 7 and 8. Depending on my blood sugar reading, I also injected the fast-acting stuff before each meal. Anything over 121 meant injecting the appropriate amount of the fast-acting stuff to keep my blood sugar from going through the roof.

Tired of feeling like a human pin cushion, I took a friend’s advice and strapped on a pair of sneakers. Diabetes, get thee behind me. It would be just a matter of time before triumph was mine. I’d heard how diet and exercise had weaned many off the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I just knew in several months time I would be counted teat-free. Today, I promise you, I can walk five miles at a brisk pace without breaking a sweat. Today, I am still suckling and my weight has barely changed.

I hear you saying, “she probably hasn’t changed her diet.” Well let me stop you right there. I cut out all sugary beverages, pork, fried foods, white bread, white potatoes, white rice, butter, and pretty much every food considered ‘bad’. My main food staples now are: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vinegar, baked fish, roasted chicken, whole grain bread and rice, and lots and lots of kale, romaine, cabbage, cucumbers, collards, etc.

I admit when I get tired of whole grain cereal for breakfast, I eat a couple of eggs and a couple slices of low-sodium turkey bacon with a slice of toast or a packet of instant grits. I hardly eat any ice-cream. Dessert  is now some type of fruit eaten alone or with cottage cheese. I’ve eaten so much non-fat yogurt, I can’t even eat it anymore. If I eat a cookie or candy bar it’s the whole grain stuff, no Snicker or Heath bars, Oreos, or even Vanilla Wafers. Okay, maybe an occasional Graham Cracker, yuck.

Because of the carb counting I sometime snack on pork rinds. Last time I ate pork rinds I got sick. Salt is my achilles heel, of which I’ve cut back considerably. One good thing. I’ve saved more money than ever since I hardly ever eat out. Most restaurant meals have a high-sodium content. After enduring the pain, I don’t understand the lack or very little gain.

Why the walking hasn’t shown any results continues to be the bane of my existence. Feeling exhilarated and  on top of the world after getting back from an hour-long walk/jog today, I asked myself why the weight JUST WON’T BUDGE. The insulin and oral medication I’m on states the side effects of use is a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. At first I just blew it off thinking long as I walked and kept the ‘bad’ stuff out my diet, the weight would come off. Well, guess what? The joke’s on me.

Last year this time nobody could’ve convinced me I would still be suckling on the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I’m still taking high blood pressure pills too. Nothing has changed. It would be so easy to just give up. My son started walking around the same time I did. He has lost over 30 pounds and insist I go ‘raw’. Which basically means vegetarianism on steroids, far as I’m concerned. But after swinging by the pharmacy to pick up more drugs, I started to give it serious thought. The pharmacy is inside a large grocery store. I came out of there loaded down with veggies.

The idea of going ‘raw’ swirling in my head, I checked my emails. Scanning what to read and what to discard, right before my eyes was the answer. An article that read: ‘The Right Way to Walk Off That Belly Fat’. Divine intervention if ever there was. You best believe it became a ‘must-read’ quick fast and in a hurry. It read: Okay…two women go walking. One finishes quickly; the other takes her time. They each burn about 400 calories. So who sheds more belly fat? The answer, according to a recent study, is the person who walked  fastest. The article went on to say by incorporating three shorter walks at a fast pace with two walks at a more moderate pace per week, more belly fat would be lost.

Whew, I dodged a bullet on that one. The thought of eating ‘raw’ flew right out the window. Hopefully I get at least six hours of sleep tonight. Tomorrow I’m gonna do the darn thing. The thought of going ‘raw’ will be all the incentive I need. With a little luck and divine intervention, my next post won’t be about my knee going out.

Here’s a picture of the park where I’ll be trotting along. Wish me luck. Or, feel free to join me.

Get outta the way ducks. Mary B. is on the trails.

You Just Might Have Type II Diabetes If…

I started this blog intending to establish a platform upon which I would stand and say, “HELLO WORLD, MY NAME IS MARY B.  AND I AM_____. Then beneath the hot spotlight of your scrutiny, I would fill in the blank with tidbits about myself. My ‘don’t get me started,’ musings on things being discussed around the water cooler and my own personal observations; bore you about my writing aspirations, and stuff like what I’m about to do, which is tell you about this diabetes business.

If someone close had schooled me at least a little about the viciousness of diabetes, I like to think I would’ve altered my lifestyle. Hopefully I would’ve watched what I crammed into my mouth. And would’ve paid some attention to physical fitness, and tried to stress less. Although those things don’t guarantee immunity against the disease.

Unfortunately, and I know it’s not fair one little bit, diabetes could zero in based on genetics. African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, are among those most susceptible to the disease. But other racial ethnicities shouldn’t be lured into a false sense of security because diabetes doesn’t discriminate and is quickly becoming an epidemic in this country.

There is no such thing as a ‘lil sugar diabetes.’ Diabetes is monstrous and tricky and will wreak havoc on every organ in your body. When your body doesn’t properly handle insulin, and the cells that nourish those organs can’t do so properly, you are in for a world of hurt. Similarly, when your pancreas is doing one thing and your liver another. How the medication can often make your blood sugar or glucose level too low and that’s just as dangerous as being too high.

Anyway, this blog is geared towards those of you walking around and don’t even know this monster’s inside you literally trying to kill you. And if it doesn’t kill you, will battle you for such things as your eyesight, kidneys, liver, pancreas, even your appendages – fingers, toes, feet, legs. Mess with your blood, keeping it high, working the heck out of your heart. Likewise for the gray matter encased within your skull.

Usually if this monster’s inside you it has already manifested itself. Please pay attention because you just might be on the way to being a type II diabetic, known as prediabetes, or may already be there. Awareness is key to battling this monster and hopefully living to tell. Here are some of the signs. They seem so mundane, so tied to our everyday existence, what with us ripping and running, no wonder they fly under the radar.

There may be a monster, not underneath your bed but rather inside of you.  SIGNS YOU JUST MIGHT HAVE TYPE II DIABETES:

Excessive thirst and appetite
Increased urination
Weight loss or gain(especially when losing weight without even trying)
Fatigue(can barely put one foot in front the other)
Nausea, perhaps vomiting
Blurred vision
In women, frequent vaginal infections
In men and women, yeast infections
Dry mouth
Slow-healing sores or cuts

Itching especially in the groin or vaginal area
Itching and often dry skin

After you’ve been checked, I pray there is no monster. But if it turns out there is just ball your fists, and crack your neck side to side way they do in the movie right before a fierce fight scene and face it head on.

I woke up after four days in a coma. The doctor came around and started telling me how high my blood sugar was. It was like he was speaking a foreign language. When I told him I didn’t even know I was diabetic, it was his turn to look at me like I was an alien. Now that I’m battling this disease everyday, I like to hear other’s stories. Please tell me yours.

Awareness is light.

“Money can’t buy life”

“Money can’t buy life.” The alleged last words Reggae legend, Bob Marley, said to his son Ziggy. But as I listened to an interview on the radio the other morning, I wondered if perhaps his Rastafarian religion may have played a role in his death as well. Ziggy Marley was out promoting an upcoming documentary about his famous father. During the interview it was said more than once that Marley didn’t have to die. Now some might beg to differ and tell you everybody’s days are numbered. If you subscribe to that line of thought, fine, but the words nagged at me all day: “Money can’t buy life” and Bob Marley didn’t have to die.

Marley, an avid soccer player, sought medical attention for a toe injury that wasn’t healing and in fact seemed to be getting worse. There was a malignant growth (melanoma) on the toe. A doctor suggested it be amputated. Marley, a staunch Rastafarian, wouldn’t allow himself to be cut on. To stay alive he maintained his vegan lifestyle, exercised, and allegedly smoked plenty of marijuana, in the belief it would cure him of the cancer. When that didn’t work he sought alternative medicine in Germany. He was cared for in his final days by Josef Issels, a holistic physician. This too was a failed attempt to live.

An ailing Marley left Germany and attempted to head back to his beloved Jamaica but got sicker in transit and ultimately died in a Miami hospital. The cancer had metastasized and the world lost perhaps its greatest Reggae performer. Marley passed away May 11, 1981, after having first been diagnosed in ’77. At the time I was preparing to do an internship at a prestigious newspaper in Charlotte, NC. The news deeply saddened me. Out of all the Reggae singers, I loved Marley most. Anyway, I digress.

“Money can’t buy life.” If indeed those were the last words he spoke to Ziggy, it would appear he didn’t hold himself accountable for not having the toe amputated when there was a chance it could’ve saved his life. Maybe he should have said, “money is too little too late to save your life if you’ve allowed religion, lifestyle, and alternative medicine to get in the way.”

Some say his ‘Redemption Song’, could be his attempt to offer insight into his thinking. I love these lines from the song:

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery
None but ourselves can free our minds
Have no fear for atomic energy
‘Cause none of them can stop the time”

Anyway, we all know great minds, geniuses, gifted folks, are human just like the rest of us. Steve Jobs, Farrah Fawcett, and Steve McQueen, all turned to alternative medicine, with unfortunate consequences. Again, money can’t buy life when it’s too little to late.

Not to berate those who turn to alternative medicine, Patrick Swayze reportedly went the traditional route. When chemo was offered, he went ahead with it. Usually the survival rate is five months. He battled the disease for 20. It should also be noted that Swayze had already reached stage 4 of pancreatic cancer which had already spread to his lungs. During an interview, Swayze said he wasn’t going to chase staying alive by turning to alternative medicine. “If anybody had that cure out there like so many people swear to me they do, you’d be two things: you’d be very rich, and you’d be very famous. Otherwise, shut up,” he said during an interview with Barbara Walters back then.

So, did Marley, Fawcett, McQueen, and Jobs contribute to their own death in not taking the traditional route of surgery and chemo? Did they die because they shunned the norm and chose to do things their way, due to religious belief or what have you? Do you think having money made them pursue options they might not have ordinarily? Swayze chose the traditional route but his cancer, one of the deadliest, had already metastasized to his lungs by the time he was diagnosed. He lived longer than most but also died in the end.

Maybe Marley was right. He, McQueen, Fawcett, Swayze, and Jobs had money and access to the best medical care the world had to offer. They still succumbed to the disease. Perhaps it’s true when your number is called and your time is up, no amount of money can save you. Of course IMHO, when it’s too little too late, “Money can’t buy life.”

During your walks don't bypass the stress-relieving view.