Diabetes PSA in the Making

Type II diabetes has been a leech of a companion to my grandmother for years stretching beyond my existence. Spending the night with Nan, as I call my grandmother, I would watch as she reached for the glass vials in the refrigerator and sucked up their liquids into plastic syringes. Sometimes she would ask if we wanted to “give Nanny her shot.” After watching her press the syringe to her plump belly my entire childhood, I thought nothing of grabbing the shot and injecting the insulin into my grandmother’s stomach. I have seen her shots, but I have also seen her pain, seen her in the hospital after seven heart stints, two open heart surgeries, the failure of her liver and the dawn of dialysis. The disease now haunts and torments my mother as well, and as I watch my grandmother’s health decline, so I watch my mother walk down her own mother’s path, suffering emotionally and physically as so many plagued by diabetes do. And the thing that gets me is, we can stop this. It is genetic, but we can help ourselves.

I am currently creating an audio PSA about the effects of diabetes on the body and on families, and how to prevent the disease. I was inspired to inform the public about diabetes because of my ongoing experiences with type II diabetes. I am also considering writing a personal essay on this topic for my advanced expository writing course.

My PSA is directed at adults with children or grandchildren. I warn about the effects diabetes can have on the body, claiming that it is more than a disease cured by a shot. I also warn about the effects on families, noting that children repeat the habits of the adults they watch. Finally, I propose a healthy diet and excercise and direct listeners to an informative diabetes website.Throughout the PSA, children’s voices ask questions like “why do you have to take shots?” and make pathos filled statements “Grandma’s in the hospital again,” or “I don’t like when my mom is sick.” My first and second drafts have been rather rough sketches of the final vision I have floating around in my head. As I continue to learn the in’s and out’s of Audacity, I think I will come closer to that vision.


3 thoughts on “Diabetes PSA in the Making

  1. this immediately becomes more interesting because of your personal story; i wonder if that is something you will integrate into your psa or your essay? keep up the good work, i know you have been diligent with not settling for a less than your best product—good job taking ira glass’s advice 🙂


  2. It is so powerful that you’re doing this because you do have personal experience with the issue and see the effect that it has. And I completely agree with you. Americans have so many health issues and yet so much information and resources to avoid them. Great to see this addressed and people hopefully challenged to take action.


  3. What a great idea to extend this research project to your expository writing class. You could even use your audio PSA somehow in your paper–perhaps by referring to the link in the text or by submitting it with your paper. I don’t know, but I think it’s a great idea!

    And this topic is one that needs to be at the forefronts of our cultural discussions. Thanks for teaching me about this disease. I really appreciated how vividly you reflected on your own story.


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