The Big D, by Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs

Elayne Riggs is the creator of the popular blog Pen-Elayne on the Web. She was a founding member of Friends of Lulu, an organization dedicated to increasing the involvement of girls and women in comics, as readers and creators. She is married to inker Robin Riggs, with whom she shares two cats, and has odd love/hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.

You may also like...

14 Responses

  1. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    I oughta should loan you the PSA video that Stephen Furst (late of (and in order) Animal House, Freakazoid! and Babylon 5) did about diabetes after getting diagnosed. He was diagnosed between seasons of Babylon 5, and he did a complete 180 in his diet and personal practices. He'd lost so much weight when he returned for the new season of Bab5 that for the first couple episodes they could only film him from the front, as his costume was massively pinned up in back to make it fit."My goal never has been and never will be to lose weight"Well, to be honest, you might not have a choice now. Or at the very least you're going to have be cautious not to GAIN weight. It's the most common side-effect of diabetes meds. I'm quite proud of the fact that after three years or so I've not needed anything but the smallest dose of one of the least powerful meds, and haven't added any pounds to my consistent panda-bear shaped frame.

  2. Martha Thomases says:

    Elayne, sweetie, the most important thing is to take care of yourself.It is certainly true that our society (which includes doctors) is prejudiced against fat people. Our standards are unreasonable. However, every individual person is unique, and has unique needs. My father is really thin, and he has to watch his blood sugar. That's his unique body. I have friends who swear by eating lots of protein and few carbs, because it makes them feel energized. That kind of diet makes me feel sluggish and cranky. That's my unique body. You need to do what's right for your unique body. If that means losing weight (in a healthy manner), that's what you should do.

  3. Neil Ottenstein says:

    Good luck. Yes, please take care of yourself. You have our support.

  4. Mike Gold says:

    The diabetes epidemic is astonishing. I blame it on Tony The Tiger.I'm not kidding. Kids raised during or before World War II had limited access to pre-packaged sugar-laden foods. But the Baby Boomers and subsequent alphabetically-named generations were raised on this shit. Kelloggs started introducing Sugar Frosted Flakes, Sugar Pops, Sugar Smacks et al around 1950 and these products — and their counterparts in other sections of the supermarket — dominated children's diets within a decade. And it takes about 30 years for adult-onset diabetes to percolate.Sugar addition has been a far, far greater threat to our society than heroin. Why do you think that when they redressed Sugar Smacks, they first called it Honey Smacks — and now simply call it "Smacks!" Damn, how blatant can they be?

    • Jonathan (the other says:

      Mike, that can be a factor in Type II diabetes, in which the body has developed a resistance to its own insulin – but that hardly factors into Type I, in which the Islets of Langerhans, the famous "B cells" of the pancreas, have simply stopped manufacturing any insulin at all. (Insulin, for those who haven't been forced by circumstance to research this, binds blood glucose to fat cells; its production is also related to the production of glucagon, which releases the glucose for the body to use. If the insulin doesn't do its job, the glucagon is forced to start using the muscle tissues, as well as the fat tissues, to fuel the body.)One of the causes of the increase in diagnosis, I suspect, is that doctors are more willing to diagnose diabetes today. It was less than a century ago, after all, that diabetes amounted to a death sentence to all except the wealthy, as the appropriate treatments were very expensive (and few if any understood the dietary restrictions that would make it possible to live without treatment). Who wants to look a patient in the eye and say, "Unless you have a rich uncle, you're going to lose your vision and your limbs, and then die of cardiac trouble"?

    • Vinnie Bartilucci says:

      The Book of the Sub-Genius has a passage that maintains that if sugar were only discovered fifty years ago, it'd have been declared a controlled substance. The rush, the crash afterwards, the craving for more…and still so cheap. wonderful.And the fun part about the breakfast cereals is while the names changed, the level of sugar never did. Classic american thinking; don't solve the problem, just change the name.I remember when I was diagnosed, lots of people tried to identify with me."Oh, my brother was diagnosed with diabetes…rest his soul."

  5. Russ Rogers says:

    Whew! Your mention of the first half of Wings' "Venus and Mars" saves this column from not mentioning comics! After all, "Magneto and Titanium Man" is the greatest Rock song based on minor, supporting comics characters. Not even "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" revels as much in singing about comics trivia. OK, Crash Test Dummies' "Superman's Song" does mention Solomon Grundy, but that's just in passing. Magneto has since become a major player in comics. But Titanium Man? Crimson Dynamo? Are they dead? "And the Crimson Dynamo, just couldn't cut it no more! You were the LAW!"Seriously, it's nice to see that you are taking the initiative on getting informed and improving your own health. So, I will drink to you, drink to your health. Rock on!

    • Elayne Riggs says:

      "Whew! Your mention of the first half of Wings' 'Venus and Mars' saves this column from not mentioning comics!" Er, except for that whole paragraph where I talk about comics (Friends of Lulu, Raina Telgemeier, diabetes depicted in comics)… But of course the 'Venus and Mars' mention takes care of my obligatory Beatles reference for the column. :)

      • Russ Rogers says:

        You are SO right! I just got so excited and started singing "Rock Show" and "Magneto and Titanium Man" to myself, that I went off on a silly tangent. By the way, why don't YOU write that "diabetes comic"? Obviously you have some interest in the subject and you have the comics writing experience!

        • Elayne Riggs says:

          I also have a full-time job which isn't yet allowing me to keep up regular blogging, much less comics writing. Hoping things will equalize somewhat by the end of the year…

  6. Alan Coil says:

    I don't have diabetes, but know a few people who have family members who do. I'm told Chromium Picolinate is very helpful in controlling blood sugar.

  7. R. Maheras says:

    My thoughts are with you and I wish you the best as you deal with this challenge.

  8. ed zarger says:

    Just a word of encouragement.Two of my karate instructors — both masters in the art, and fine people — have had to deal with diabetes in their own lives. (And given how martial arts students occasionally tend to work out to the nth degree — you can imagine difficulties on that side.) So I look at it as though every person dealing with their own diabetes can be a hero in the fight — just as you would think of a karate triumph or comic book battle.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oddly enough, my mother had to lose weight in order to get her hip replaced. I forget if the concern was the mechanical loading on the hip, the surgical problem of the excess flesh, or both. So she did a modified diabetic diet — modified because she wasn't diabetic, so she allowed herself the occasional treat. Lost 90 lbs. on diet alone.