Diabetes and You, Too (University of Oklahoma, 1960)


[Music] [Narrator:] A mother always wonders when her child comes home in tears. What’s this? Kaye’s swimsuit? Now that’s a reaction. Tears help sometimes. For Kaye today, it’s a real tragedy. She’d set her heart on making the high school swim team. Trouble is, she tires so quickly these days. Even the coach sees it. It’s hard to take that kind of disappointment when you’re just 15. Eddie Roberts. She knows she’ll never get to know him if she doesn’t make the team. Too bad Kaye, but that’s the way it is, and even mother-love can’t change it. [Music] Your family… Well Kaye, the women just don’t have the strength for sports and swimming. [Music] What, Kaye? You don’t think anyone should have to feel this way? You’re going to see a doctor? Kaye, that school nurse is talking nonsense. She just doesn’t understand. Money for doctors doesn’t come easy when you’re a widow. Not unless you catch yourself some nice widower, like Mr. Mack next door. So you might just as well accept yourself the way you are. Forget the sports. [Music] Which is it going to be, Kaye, the weak-woman bit or a doctor? [Dramatic music] [Kaye:] Hello, this is Kaye Riddle speaking. I want to make an appointment. I want to see Dr. Harris. [Music] [Narrator:] Name, Kaye Riddle. Sex, female. Age, 15. Primary symptom, fatigue. Diagnosis…well, let’s see now. Oh, the report on the urinalysis. We better have the lab run a glucose-tolerance test on Kaye. Meanwhile though, well, it looks as if Kaye’s had good reason to feel tired. From her urinalysis and symptoms, there’s a strong suspicion she has diabetes. Kaye is scared. So is her mother. Actually, diabetes is just a chronic disease. Kaye’s body doesn’t break down sugars and fats efficiently. They aren’t converted into energy. So, they collect in her system and make her sick. Uncontrolled, it’s a pretty serious proposition. The whole idea still upsets Mrs. Riddle. Her grandmother and her Aunt Phoebe both died of diabetes. That sheds more light on Kaye’s case. Diabetes is hereditary. It runs in families. But all Mrs. Riddle can think about is the trouble Grandma and Aunt Phoebe had with their starvation diets back when she was a girl. Of course, insulin takes care of all that now. But Mama just bears down on how Aunt Phoebe used to go into diabetic comas. Comas yet! There’s no reason in the world for anyone to go into a diabetic coma these days, not with proper care. That’s why it’s so important to put Kaye under treatment right away, before she gets into real trouble, before complications develop. But try to get Mrs. Riddle to pay attention to a doctor. Like she keeps telling you, she’s lived with diabetes, she knows. Trouble is, Mama Riddle knows so many things that just aren’t so. Even worse, she does not know three facts. Key points, all of them. Fact one: diabetes is a disease like any other. A chronic disease you get when a gland called the pancreas doesn’t work right. Fact two: diabetes can be controlled. Diabetics lead normal happy lives, once the disease is detected and properly treated. Fact three, control is fairly easy. Diet, exercise, insulin. That’s all it takes. Kaye’s a smart girl. So, she follows orders. Takes it for granted Dr. Harris knows what he’s talking about. There’s a daily test for sugar. It isn’t difficult. By one method, you simply dip a strip of special tape in urine, then match it to a color chart. Other tests follow other procedures, but they all serve the same purpose. They help the diabetic to keep a constant check on his own condition. Mrs. Riddle tries to go along, though she does think this urine business is well, a little vulgar, maybe? Miss Wiley, the public health nurse, teaches Kaye how to inject insulin properly. The shots help make up for Kaye’s pancreas not working right. And she finds they don’t even hurt very much. To prevent infection, equipment must be sterilized. [Music] Continuing to follow the public health nurse’s directions, Kaye loads the syringe with the correct type of insulin. Air is expelled. [Music] The skin is cleaned with alcohol. Kaye places the shot carefully, in order to reduce discomfort and avoid sores and scars. Finally, she makes the injection.
Good girl, Kaye. You’re an apt pupil. The very thought of a needle gives Mrs. Riddle cold chills. But Kaye figures Mama feels more real pain just plucking her eyebrows than anyone possibly could suffer from insulin injections. Another thing that bothers Mrs. Riddle is the way Kaye has to watch her diet. Poor girl, she has to deprive herself of so much. No more double-dip helpings of mashed potatoes. No more ladles of thick brown gravy. No more rich cream sauces. No more drowning vegetables in butter. Actually, Kaye doesn’t like all such gooey glop. She doesn’t feel as if she’s starving, either. Breakfast? Kaye’s certainly wasn’t skimpy. Her luncheon didn’t leave her weak. Dinner is satisfying too. And yes, Kaye can have mashed potatoes, within limits. Butter, biscuits, french dressing. Even luscious fresh fruits for dessert. But you can’t convince Mama. She’s sure Kaye is starving to death, and she eats twice as much herself to make up for it. [Music] Between meals, even more so. It helps soothe her nerves when she gets to worrying over the cost of Kaye’s diabetes. Why should the child have to keep running to the doctor and forever buying insulin? Of course, Mrs. Riddle’s going to spend more money needlessly today on glassware than Kaye’s medical expenses for a whole month. But Mama still wants Kaye to ask Dr. Harris if she has to come so often. But Kaye thinks health is worth a little money. She does what Dr. Harris tells her. Soon, her tests are negative. A diabetic out of control is thirsty all the time. Before treatment, Kaye put a pitcher beside her bed every night. [Music] You drink a lot? Well, excessive urination is another major symptom of diabetes. [Toilet flushing] [Music] But that’s all past now. Kaye sleeps straight through. Her weight goes up the way it should for a growing girl, diabetic or not. And once she’s on target, all she has to do is hold her own. Energy comes with control, and that shows up on a girl’s report card. Kaye feels fine, too. Soon she’s right back in the swim…with Eddie Roberts. Miss Blake, the swimming instructor, notices how she’s improving, and so does Miss Wiley, the public health nurse. [Music] There’s even a compliment from Mr. Mack. Kaye learns that the country has nearly two million diabetics, and a million of them still don’t know it. Mrs. Sorenson’s case was detected when public health officials checked birth records. Mrs. Sorenson’s oldest son weighed 11 pounds two ounces at birth. A child that heavy indicates to doctors that there may be diabetes in the family. At the County Health Department, a screening blood sugar estimation showed it was likely Mrs. Sorenson had diabetes. So, she was referred to her family physician for diagnosis and treatment. Her doctor recommended that she attend a Health Department class for diabetics. Kaye soon learns that in the young, diabetes is a matter of life or death. If it isn’t detected and controlled, the victim dies. In the older diabetic, the uncontrolled disease may bring complications. Hardening of the arteries, blindness, gangrene, heart attacks, and strokes. Where Kaye’s underweight, the older diabetic frequently is overweight, and because symptoms build up slowly, often the older diabetic doesn’t even know that he’s in trouble. That’s why diabetes is so dangerous in the middle years. People just won’t believe they have the disease ’til too late, after complications may have done damage that can’t be repaired. Can diabetics have children? Mrs. Campbell’s healthy, happy family gives the answer to that question. Mrs. Lawson offers living proof that diabetics needn’t die young. Mr. Groves built up a big, successful business. Frank Hoover has a different kind of job. But even on the road all the time, doing heavy work and eating at restaurants, he still keeps his diabetes under control. It all helps Kaye to see how important prompt action and proper care are to a diabetic. When she suddenly feels weak while shopping, Kaye realizes that extra exercise has brought on a mild insulin reaction. So, she doesn’t waste time, gets to a drugstore for a glass of orange juice. [Dramatic music] Good work, Kaye. But what if you hadn’t been near a drugstore? What if you’d passed out? Maybe it’s time you filled out your diabetic identification card. Carry hard candy to help counteract insulin reactions. Be sure to get the type of insulin prescribed. Diabetes affects circulation, so, to avoid gangrene, proper care of the feet is important. But Mama is Kaye’s biggest problem. She likes being fat and happy, she says. She’s not about to waste time on a check for diabetes. Heredity, familial tendencies, that’s a lot of nonsense. What if Grandma did have diabetes, and Aunt Phoebe…Cousin Sam, too. Symptoms? Mama isn’t bothered by excessive thirst and urination. She doesn’t feel so well sometimes. To Mama, that’s just the woman’s weakness she claims runs in her family. Well, yes her weight is up, just a little. Is it any wonder? The fact is, in diabetics over 40, symptoms often don’t show up clearly enough for the patient to recognize them. But Mama won’t listen to such talk. No siree, that’s not for mama, not while there’s still syrup left in the pitcher. [Music] Kaye herself makes steady progress. There’s even some slight chance she may not need to take insulin too long. Diet alone might hold the line, as it does for many older diabetics. Kaye is reaching top form in the pool, too. Miss Blake wants her to swim in the chorus at the water carnival. And Eddie Roberts himself is going to coach her. Later, when Eddie asks her for a date, well, the Riddle house is hardly big enough to hold her. Only somehow that just seems to upset Mrs. Riddle. All she can think about is how her little girl is growing up. Well, Kaye’s got her own ideas on that. Mr. Mack’s sitting right next door, and could be that he and Mama… Kaye, that’s ridiculous! Mr. Mack’s never given Mama a second glance, that way. Well, after all Mama, the way you look now, Mr. Mack probably figures he couldn’t pay the grocery bills. Kaye, that wasn’t the thing to say, really it wasn’t. No, Kaye, no, you’re only making it worse. Don’t you dare tell your mother that no man wants to try to support an elephant these days, especially not a sick elephant that maybe got uncontrolled diabetes. Now Mama, Kaye didn’t mean anything. She loves you. She’s just worried about your health. And besides, Mr. Mack really is a pretty nice fellow. [Music] [Mrs. Riddle:] This is Maude Riddle, Kaye’s mother. I want to make an appointment with Dr. Harris. [Music] [Kaye Riddle…Carol Wilson, Mama Riddle…..Jill Harris, Dr. Harris…Sherman P. Lawton, Ph.D. Miss Wylie..Mary E. Duncan, R.N., P.H.N., Mrs. Sorenson……Thelma Sherman, Mr. Mack…Glen Pool, Miss Blake…..Marcia Wilson, Eddie Roberts……Bucky Bollman, Mrs. Campbell…..Shirley Mix, Mrs. Lawson…..Frances Coleman, Mr. Grove…..J.G. Keeling, Frank Hoover…William M. English] [also, Mrs. L.W. Anderson, Mrs. E.C. Butler, Mrs. F.P. Sterr, Berene Epp, R.N., Judy Nelson, John Nesom, Mattie Commons, R.N., P.H.N., Members of the OU Ducks Club, Personnel of the Seminole County Health Department] [A University of Oklahoma Production, General Services, Extension Division] [Distributed by International Film Bureau Inc.]

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