ABC's "Missing" Missing Something About Type 1 DM!

Anyone catch tonight's episode of ABC's new show Missing? I did, and needless to say, I was not a happy camper. And I am NOT talking about Ashley Judd!

The basic plot of the show is that Ashley Judd is a former CIA operative whose college-age son leaves for a term in Italy to study architecture. Soon after his arrival, he is abducted and it is up to Judd to find him. By the third episode, Judd has learned enough to find her son as he was loaded onto a plane and taken to his next location. When he arrives at his new location, a girl around his age who appears to be another hostage is ordered to take care of the young man. They start to develop a relationship, but (naturally), this is likely a ruse, as she appears to be in the employ of the men who have taken Judd's son hostage.

At the start of tonight's episode, the girl, Oksana (played by Tereza Voříšková), tells Michael she is diabetic and when he sees her trying to give herself an injection in her arm using a banged-up hand, he offers to help her with the injection. It was at this point that I started having problems.

First, the syringe. I don't know about anyone else, but that thing looked MASSIVE. The syringe and needle looked like one they'd use for an intramuscular injection -- not a subcutaneous injection like we take.

Then there was the amount of insulin supposedly in the syringe. Ok, though I am not sure the syringe is one that we'd use, if it were, it certainly isn't a 3/10cc syringe like I use. My guess is that it was a 1cc syringe or at least a 1/2cc syringe. And the barrel appeared to be half full. If that is the case, the young lady would be taking anywhere between 25-50 units of (presumably rapid acting) insulin! While yes, all of us take different amounts of insulin, if I were to take 25 units of insulin in one sitting, I would have to eat around 475g (1900 calories) of carbohydrates at JUST that sitting! Most type 1s I've known generally don't take that much insulin.

Finally, there is the injection itself. The boy gave it to the girl in her upper arm. Ok, not a problem with the location; the upper arm is a standard location for insulin injections. What bothered me, though, was his technique. After he inserted the needle under the skin, he started rotating it this way and that, sort of like what happens when you have blood drawn, not when you inject insulin from a syringe. It didn't look comfortable and my first thought was if I were that girl, I'd be screaming.

IMO, this was one of the worst portrayals of type 1 diabetes since...well, since I don't know when. Of course, I could be wrong. Did anyone else see the show and have an opinion?


I watched the Bulls' game...

Probably a good idea! If they were going to have a character with type 1 diabetes in the show, they should have taken followed Army Wives' example and gotten some advisors on the show who actually have T1. IMO, having an accurate depiction of T1 would have helped the plot line by making it that much more intense!

I didn't see the episode, but since they replay each one I'll catch it. Sounds like that was done purely for dramatic effect, not that that's an excuse for blatant inaccuracy. Suggest we write & register complaints with the network

Sounds awful to me, and my first reaction is, how will it affect people who may have to go on insulin in the future? Portraying an insulin injection as gross and scary is the last thing a responsible TV director should do. Especially when there are so many people who could have advised. I think I'll write to the website Gerri posted. :-(

and they 'beat tha heat', yahhh!

Yes, I saw the show and thought, what the heck? I have been a diabetic since the days of peeing on a test strip and boiling glass syringes. I have never in my life seen an insulin syringe like the one the girl in Missing uses. I thought, well...maybe I am being culturally insensitive and people in Dubrovnik (which is a beautiful place to visit) ...I think that is where they are?...anyway, perhaps the syringes are different there for some reason?
Then, I just loved how Michael finds the vials of insulin and proudly proclaims that now they can both escape...of course, I am thinking ...great, where is the food, the test strips, the glucose monitor, the water, the syringes…
Yep, just grab that insulin and go…
I have to admit, I like the show, but it seems that either no one has done their research or perhaps, we are all wrong...maybe episodes to come will show her in trouble for not remembering all her other supplies.
However, I frankly am really tired of TV depicting all people with diabetes as one foot away from the grave and somehow always end up dead due to some dreadful medical mishap.
Anyway, enough, I need to go check my blood sugar. I hope whoever is writing this show will check theirs…I think it is a little low!

I just went to the site and added my response to this blog. Good points, Natalie!

I've noticed that a lot of TV shows, even books, like to portray the insulin injection part of diabetes as some kind of horror show. I think it's for shock value. Meanwhile, all of us ACTUAL diabetics are rolling our eyes. I use it as an excuse to lean over to whoever's next to me and say "See? See how tough we are? Now go get me some more popcorn."

I've taken 25 units of insulin my I:C is 4 to 1. I took 25 units tonight for dinner for 88 carbs i took a few more just to cover and carb count mistake that i may of made

Angela...I just watched the most recent episode of Missing and quickly got out my laptop to Google whether anyone else noticed how bad of a job they are doing depicting a diabetic person. The first thing I found was your post :) It's unbelievable! Did they even bother to ask anyone before they wrote this stuff? I, like you, noticed the problem right away with the shot scene. I mean, if you're injured, why try to give yourself a shot in the hardest spot possible? Put the thing in your stomach and be done with it!

In this episode she goes without insulin for a while and he holds up a vial of insulin that would last me a few days and says "Not even enough for one dose" Huh? What kind of insulin do they have there? Then they are running away and he grabs some grapes for her to eat! If she hasn't had insulin in a while, chances are she's sick because her blood glucose is HIGH, not low.

Anyway, I do like the show a lot, but every time they try to work the diabetes thing into it, I cringe.

Thanks for the post!


It's a drama tv show. I have seen many unlikely dramatic shenanigans on tv and even in the movies. I don't expect fact checking on fictional tv shows, I expect to be entertained.