The DX regularly features The DX Diabetes Dish, a profile about life and life with diabetes. This month, we dish with Captain Glucose and Meter Boy, a.k.a., The Diabetes Duo, a pair of animated superheroes whose mission it is to educate, enlighten, and entertain people of all ages living with diabetes. The Diabetes Duo was created by Bill Kirchenbauer and Brad Slaight, two professional television actors who have made appearances at diabetes events and created videos and public service announcements featuring Captain Glucose and Meter Boy. The duo was happy to take on the challenge of answering The DX Diabetes Dish’s questions.
What is your state of mind today?
Captain Glucose: I feel in control and ready to take on the evil forces of diabetes.
Meter Boy: I feel diabetically superheroic.
What three words would you use to describe who you are?
Captain Glucose: Animated. Aggressive. Advocate.
Meter Boy: Cartoon. Crusader. Carb-wrangler!
Captain Glucose: Meter Boy, that’s four words.
Meter Boy: I used a hyphen, so it’s legal.
How does diabetes change – or not change – who you are?
Captain Glucose: I was created because of diabetes, and the word “change” is something I encourage all people with diabetes to do. Making a few lifestyle changes can be a giant step towards having better management of your diabetes. When I talk to others living with type 2 like myself, I hear them say that their diagnosis was a wake-up call. Even though they have diabetes, they now feel that they are actually healthier overall because they think about their diet and have started exercising more. Change can be a good thing!
Meter Boy: It hasn’t changed me much because I’ve had type 1 diabetes ever since my character was born, since I was “drawn.” From day one, it has been my mission to educate, enlighten, and entertain people with diabetes of all ages.
If you could take away one aspect of diabetes, what would it be?
Captain Glucose: You mean other than diabetes itself? Well, I would take away the potential unpredictability. There are days when diabetes just does whatever it wants to. It’s a hard enough job managing diabetes, but having consistency in how my body may react to diet, exercise, and medication would be nice.
Meter Boy: I’d take away the ignorance about diabetes. There are a lot of people out there who still believe that you get diabetes by eating too much sugar. Or that people with diabetes can’t eat certain things. The only thing we can’t eat is broccoli!
Captain Glucose: Meter Boy!
Meter Boy: Okay, we can eat it … but that’s one myth I wish would catch on!
Captain Glucose: The good thing is we can all dispel and “take away” those myths by educating people about diabetes!
What inspires you to do what you do?
Meter Boy: I’m inspired by the fact that there is a need for what we do. Spreading diabetes awareness in an informative and entertaining way fills a need in the huge world of diabetes.
Captain Glucose: Other people with diabetes inspire me to continue our mission. We are animated characters, but we represent the best of what is in every person with diabetes. Even though we wear costumes, there are millions of people out there who are quietly living every day as real-life diabetes superheroes.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
Meter Boy: That they don’t text me when I’m flying.
Captain Glucose: I appreciate the fact that our friends are always there for us when we need them. We have lots of human D-friends that we found in the diabetes online community … the DOC.
Meter Boy: Yeah, support is just a mouse-click away!
What would you pack for your favorite vacation?
Captain Glucose: Vacation? What’s that? LOL. But seriously, we travel a lot and before going anywhere I make sure to pack extra D-supplies into my utility belt. I also make sure to have a backup plan in case I either run out of D-supplies or something happens to them.
Meter Boy: Plenty of sunscreen. Oh, and big Hollywood-type sunglasses… when I wear them, girls think I’m Justin Bieber!
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Captain Glucose: Lean meats, veggies, some leftover Chinese takeout, lots of bottled water, whole-wheat bread, the usual condiments, pickles, low-fat cheese, eggs, and fruit juice for emergencies.
Meter Boy: Pretty much the same thing as Captain G, plus my medication. One thing you won’t find in there is broccoli!
What is your favorite way to relieve stress?
Captain Glucose: Working out and getting my sweatabetes on.
Meter Boy: Flying. Wouldn’t you if you could?
What is your idea of happiness?
Captain Glucose: Seeing someone watch one of our videos and hearing them cheer when we defeat the Blood Sugar Maniac before he can do any harm.
Meter Boy: My idea of happiness? Starts with the letter C and ends with the letters U-R-E. I can’t wait to experience that kind of happiness!
What do you most dislike?
Captain Glucose: Not being able to reach every person with diabetes who needs help.
Meter Boy: For me it’s when my blood sugar is either too high or too low. That’s when I turn into one of the Seven Diabetic Dwarfs, “High low, high low, it’s off to test I go.”
What’s your favorite diabetes management tip?
Meter Boy: Three words: Exercise, exercise, exercise. Okay, it’s only one word but it’s that important!
Captain Glucose: Test often.
What words do you try to live by?
Captain Glucose: Okay, Meter Boy let’s say it together…
Meter Boy/Captain Glucose: “Be your own personal diabetes superhero!”
Captain Glucose: It’s our motto and advice to all people with diabetes. When you take control of your diabetes, you can be a diabetes superhero.
Meter Boy: Costume not included.
What is your greatest fear?
Captain Glucose: That there are people with diabetes who are not getting adequate care. Lots of people don’t have health insurance, and with a pre-existing condition like diabetes, it’s that much harder to get.
Meter Boy: I have a fear that I will be like Peter Pan and stay this age forever. Being a cartoon has its disadvantages. I mean, I can fly, but I’m too young to drive. What’s up with that?
What is your greatest extravagance?
Captain Glucose: We just had our Extremely Secret Hideout renovated.
Meter Boy: Yeah, it’s sweet! Mega huge big screen TV and D-Girl designed a gym with all the latest fitness equipment in it, as well as a rockin’ sound system. Staying in shape was never so much fun!
Captain Glucose: D-Girl (a.k.a. Dee Dee) is another diabetes superhero, and part of our team. She is a type 1 pumper and proof that people with diabetes are good looking, tough, and naturally sweet!
On what occasion do you lie?
Captain Glucose: We’re superheroes; we’re not designed to lie. It’s kind of a curse, really, but we took a vow when we put on these costumes.
Meter Boy: I wouldn’t call it a lie, but sometimes I don’t tell the truth. Like, if I’m at a superhero league meeting and someone asks me, “Do these tights make me look fat?” I’ve learned that the truth can set you free – or get you punched in the nose!
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
Captain Glucose: Since I consider all people with diabetes part of my “extended” family, I would find a way to rid them of this disease.
Meter Boy: My family is Captain Glucose, D-Girl, and D-Oggie, our hypo- and hypersensitive super dog. If I could change one thing I would ask for top billing: “Meter Boy & Friends.”
Who are your heroes in real life?
Captain Glucose: Sir Frederick G. Banting, the Canadian doctor and scientist who discovered insulin. Also, the millions of people who have diabetes and struggle with it every day. They are all my heroes.
Meter Boy: Manny Hernandez, President of Diabetes Hands Foundation and founder of TuDiabetes.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Captain Glucose: My answer here is probably a bit boring and hard to believe, but it’s true. My last meal would be similar to the meal I just ate: Healthy and nutritious. I’ve learned to really like food that is good for me.
Meter Boy: Pancakes. Pizza. Cupcakes. Ice cream. And NO broccoli!!!!
All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the interviewee and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience