Diabetes worse than HIV?

Today I went for my annual physical, and as you can see, even got an EKG. While discussing my adventuress with alcohol and wounds from dancing with toro El Tamarindo my doctor, Dr. Bruce S Rashbaum, said I have a heart murmur. I was stressing about it until he told me to chill and said I am HIV-free.

Discussing my joy to be virus clean, Dr. Rashbaum took an odd tangent. He said that HIV today is not like it was 10 years ago. Now it’s more a chronic disease than a killer, diabetes not a death sentence. Wait, check that.

He said that if he had to pick between the two, HIV would be easier to manage and live with than diabetes. That somehow a blood sugar deficiency is worse than an immune deficiency.

Now that is a novel statement, what with all the sex = death hype that HIV gets in this town. Might Dr. Rashbaum be on to something here, or should I be worried about that murmur more than he let on?

9 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    I have a heart murmur too. It really depends on the classification and the degree as to whether or not it’s something to worry about.

    When I was diagnosed back with I was sixteen, they told me three things: exercise, no caffeine, no alcohol. Yeah, that really sank in…

    I’m sure you’re ok though as you’re a triathelete, no? Cardiovascular strength really helps keep any adverse effects of the murmur down. So chill, baby!

  2. wayan (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 9:49 am

    Oh, I’m not worried about the mumur – if it was serious, I’d be dead already from my drink & run lifestyle.

    I wonder about the diabetes worse than HIV commentary.

  3. jen m. (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 10:36 am

    i wouldn’t presume to comment on the HIV/diabetes comparison, but type I diabetes is a really serious disease that significantly shortens one’s life and significantly impacts one’s quality of life, often resulting in amputations, blindness, and other serious conditions.

    i think people are so used to hearing about type II diabetes, which is often a fairly mild condition, that they don’t realize how serious type I diabetes really is.

  4. Stop_smell_the_Potomac (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 10:45 am

    I’d rather be HIV free – though my understanding of diabetes as a disease is that one has to have injections (or the latest news, inhalations) of insulin, keep up your fitness program and eat right. Sounds pretty easy to manage than being HIV where your immune system is weaker (constant cell counts) and thus being exposed to any other infectious disease or flu / pneumonia could mean possible death. It depends on your perspective, maybe your doc’s commentary is from a doc’s perspective, not a patient perspective.

    Glad you are healthy, esp. today when you can be outside to enjoy this awesome weather!

  5. Stop_smell_the_Potomac (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 10:53 am

    In response to Jen’s comment, that might be true IF you don’t maintain exercise regimen and watch your diet. I know two friends who have diabetes and as long as they manage their lives that is conducive to keeping their condition in check, those results you wrote about are extreme.

    Damn, that Mary Tyler Moore chick is still breathing and got all her appendages, and she is 70 years old. And not to say that neither diseases are without risks but I’d say that HIV has a bigger impact on not only you but other people you would infect if you are not careful.

    Again, if I really had to have a disease, diabetes over HIV any day.

  6. Stop_smell_the_Potomac (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 10:55 am

    P.s. Also, diabetes doesn’t render me sexless. :)

  7. wayan (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

    See, this is what so shocked me about the doctor’s comments. That somehow its easier to manage your immunity than your insulin.

    Odd if you believe the HIV = AIDS = Death hype in Washington, especialy in international development. Would that mean that Ben & Jerry’s is more dangerous than barebacking?

  8. scribler (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

    I can’t comment on whether Diabetes is worse than HIV or not. However, I did want to comment on Jen M’s comment, which shows how little she knows about Type II diabetes. Many people with Type II diabetes also take insulin. And many Type II diabetics suffer from complications such as blindness, amputation, early death, etc. The two types of diabetes are different, but one type is not less serious than the other.

  9. Michelle (unregistered) on April 1st, 2006 @ 8:13 am

    We all have to leave this earth WITH SOMETHING or BY SOMETHING…… HIV… Cancer, Diabetes, Gun Shot wound, hit by a Mack Truck…..stress…. whatever… we all will leave this EARTH ONE DAY!!!!!!

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