In Honor Of

November 4, 2013By 0 Comments

images55In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, in honor of all the huge leaps and bounds that technology has made this year alone in making our disease just a little less daunting and more hopeful, and for my little piece of heaven (Clara Barton Camp), I was inspired today enough to make me cry.  I was feeding my daughter her bed-time bottle, I was perusing Facebook on my phone (I try not to do this too often and just enjoy the sounds she makes and the smell of her hair…but lately she has been a fussy eater and taking her sweet time…ahh, independence begins this early).  I saw a video posted by many of my diabetes friends on Facebook and when I watched it, I thought to myself; Yes! This is exactly how I wanted to share this information with my readers…simple, concise, to the point, with no confusion; this folks, is exactly where we are at in our fight to make this disease hopeful for all the Children who are still being diagnosed every day and for those of us who have had this disease longer than we can remember, this is what it all means.  I cried at the end, smiled, and squeezed my baby girl until she squealed in annoyance for me to shove the bottle back in her mouth. Here is the video (watch it at the end of the blog to truly understand why it is so impactful). http://redfitz.com/until-there-is-a-cure/

Because I no longer work directly in the diabetes industry, previously having been tied to both an insulin and a pump company for many years, I feel that I am slightly out of the loop on the ‘latest and greatest’ with technology or what is coming down the pipeline.  I was at a place in my life where it all just got too close for comfort and I had to remove myself from the emotional career that I loved because I was too vested in the mental and physical health of other people with diabetes and I had put myself on the back burner.  I needed a break, and so for the last few years my day job has had nothing to do with diabetes, and I am still able to get my fix by writing my blog and doing some speaking on the side (something I hope to do more of).

Yes, the fundraising efforts and awareness that organizations such as JDRF have brought to our cause have continued to grow beyond what I ever could have imagined 23 years ago when I was diagnosed.  Yes, technology is astounding…almost incomprehendable.  That only 3 years ago when I left the pump company that I had worked for did they have a somewhat (not really at all) accurate way of sensing interstitial fluid so that I could gauge if I was in need of a juicebox or a bolus, and this piece of equipment helped me get through a stellar pregnancy.  Yes, prior to getting pregnant I myself was begging at the chance to be a part of any, and I mean anything that didn’t involve cutting off my leg, but pretty much any type of research study for the cure.  What do we have now…coming toward the end of 2013?

  1. More awareness then I could have ever dreamed about.  I can’t even KEEP UP WITH IT!   Every time I read a post from one of my diabetes comrades on Facebook, I end up getting sucked in to a link to an article, a YouTube video, or some viral message about the most current buzz in diabetes (some positive and some negative).  It’s everywhere I turn, and obviously someone who lives with it is going to notice it more.  But still, it is awesome!  People are talking, people are educating (or putting others in their place when ignorance rears its ugly head), and I don’t feel nearly as alone in my quest to get people to ‘get it’ as I did so many years ago.
  2. Something I so frequently rolled my eyes at years ago when I worked for the pump company, was the years of endless promise of the Veo being approved in the US.  The all-encompassing magical first phase of the closed-loop pancreas.  This was going to be the literal lifesaver for so many people with this disease that suffer from hypoglycemia unawareness, who were afraid to sleep alone at night, or drive, or go to the gym, or have a baby.  We waited, and waited, and waited… and wait… It’s here!  The Medtronic 530 G now has the ability to not only give us a more accurate blood glucose estimation, that multiple testing and mounds of FDA red tape are saying it’s so accurate it will allow the insulin pump to automatically shut off when it senses a set low blood sugar threshold.  This has brought tears of joy to so many people I know who suffer from the paralyzing fear of not feeling their low blood sugars.  I have yet to try it out myself, but I am hopeful I will soon.
  3. Having the first half of the closed loop pancreas up and running on the market, the auto shut off of insulin when a low blood sugar is coming on, is like sending a man to the moon, he’s there, he’s built his first house, but just doesn’t have any grocery stores near by.  Seriously, this is huge!  During the last 8 months of my post-baby coma and cave-man like environment, I loved going on Facebook to see not one, not two, not three but MULTIPLE people I knew well, being chosen to participate in the Bionic Pancreas project.  I was overjoyed!  I’m not going to lie, I was also slightly jealous, as the person I was pre-baby I probably would have gotten wind of this opportunity so long ago that I would have fought tooth and nail to be one of chosen ones.

So now, here I sit, allowing my new primary cause, being a mom and learning how to give myself a break (so that I don’t break), take the front seat.  I watch, I ponder, I cry, I get angry along with my friends who are out there on the front lines walking the walk and talking the talk everyday for our cause.  I thank you and honor you.  I thank and honor the charitable trusts who allow places like Clara Barton Camp to continue growing, sharing their gift with newly diagnosed kids, and for being the bubble where the Bionic Pancreas can be tested, while kids still get to make macaroni and cheese come out their nose.  Now that is awesome.

I am officially renaming 2013 National Diabetes YEAR…too much has happened to pack it into one month!  Also, November 14 is the anniversary of when insulin was discovered…almost 94 years ago.  Where would we be without insulin?  Not writing blogs or having babies, I know that much, and I am thankful.

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