Famous Fridays: Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) is best known for two roles. As Mary Richards on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Now days she is an  advocate for Type 1 diabetes and an author.

MTM was diagnosed with diabetes when she began filming her hit television show The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was in her early thirties when the doctor told her she had Type 1 diabetes. A late bloomer is you ask me since most people who are diagnosed with Type 1 are diagnosed in adolescents to young adulthood. MTM mentions that in her younger years of diabetes she wasn’t as cautious with her diabetes as she is today. It was too hard having a busy career, social life, and being a mother. But over a period of time she learned she needed to take control of herself in more ways than just her diabetes.

MTM doesn’t use any of the newer devices that are out there for diabetics. She sticks to finger sticks and injections rather than an insulin pump. She doesn’t even excuse herself from the table to give herself an injection she just does it right there in the lef through her clothing! Can you believe it? I kind of have this feeling of MTM being a total BA (those of you who listened to Dane Cook back in the day know that reference).

One of her gripes about the disease is the lack of spontaneity. She has to plan her evening out with friends to make sure she gives herself the correct amount of insulin, and that the restaurant brings her food sooner than later. She seems to always be one step ahead of her disease now days. For example, she carries a prefilled syringe in her purse in case she eats more than she thought she might.

Unfortunately, not taking care of her disease when she was younger has caused some nerve damage in her eyes and poor circulation. She has lost most of her peripheral vision causing her to have to give up some of her favorite things. When diabetics have poor circulation they have to be extremely cautious if they hurt any of their extremities. Poor circulation means longer healing time with amputation sometimes being the only option.

MTM recently wrote a book called Growing up again: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah Diabetes. A few of the book reviews have said that when you read it it’s like talking to another diabetic. They definitely recommend the book the other people with diabetes and their family members because it gives great insight to living with the disease. Check it out!


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