Blog, Commentary

Two takes on ‘Midnight Three and Six’

Two interesting takes on a New York Times video, “Midnight Three and Six.” The video, published on line last month, is about the family of a Texas teenager named Grace whose parents check her blood sugar three times each night, hence the title.

On the one hand, the video highlights the plight of some people with diabetes who need constant monitoring. On the other, some folks are dismayed at the video’s focus, that diabetics are on the brink of death because of an unexpected late-night drop in blood glucose. Over the past few days, two bloggers have offered thoughtful comments about MT&S.

Kelly Close at diatribe.org wondered why the video failed to discuss a continuous glucose monitor. She applauded the Times for covering one family’s life with a child with a complicated disease. However:

“I ask you to engage with many more patients to understand not only the trials of living with diabetes, but also the triumphs. Many of us not only survive the disease, but also have learned to thrive with the confidence to manage it and the hope that things will improve even further.”

At asweetlife.org, blogger Katie Bacon used the Times video as a launchpad to discuss other concerns — diabetic horror stories she had seen online as well as the difficulties of managing her daughter Bisi’s Type 1 diabetes.

“But we don’t live our lives the way that Grace’s family seems to, with the intense fear of diabetes and its ultimate complication shadowing our every thought and deed. … [Bisi] even told me the other day that sometimes she forgets she has diabetes.”

The video does seem to be preoccupied with fear, or rather the mother and daughter seem preoccupied with the fear that Grace’s death is imminent. I wouldn’t judge the decisions they make.

But as a work of journalism, I was hoping for more detail, at least enough to understand why they choose their thrice nightly ritual. They say her blood glucose isn’t under control, but the video doesn’t show any numbers to warrant such drastic actions.

After seeing the video, I’m glad I read Baker’s blog. Like Bisi, we hope we can all forget we have diabetes.

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