Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke out this week about her Type 1 diabetes, calling attention to the issue—a condition that as many as 3 million Americans know well. The pinpricks for blood, the glucose monitors, the insulin injections… Daily life isn’t easy, the Supreme Court justice told a gathering of children with diabetes. An online diabetic community would seem to agree.
This from the blog Cure Moll:
“When I was 10, my mom and I were used to shots, we knew the perfect amount of insulin for everything, from a small piece of pizza and cake at a birthday party to simply cereal for breakfast. Yep, we had it all down to a science. Then came the big Fed-Ex Box. It had been sitting in my room for months. I was scared. I’m not into “change.” It was my first insulin pump.”
A recent post on Diabetesaliciousness illustrates the anxiety of making it through an airport security line:
“Do I dare to hide my pump and try to avoid the pat down in security??
Will I run into THIS experience when the security person finds out I’m a PWD?
Or will the fates be kind to me like they were last time when The TSA rep at Philadelphia airport was incredibly sweet & kind?”
LifeAfterDx highlights the impacts of controversies about diabetes medications:
“Once, many years ago, I found myself in the position of calling my wife to tell her I was in the Emergency Room.
Ummm…. Hi, Hon. It’s me. Uh, I don’t want you to worry or anything, but I’m calling you from the ER…
And the conversation went pretty much downhill from there.
Now imagine making thirty calls like that. That was my day yesterday, after the FDA announced an ongoing safety review of the type 2 med Actos.”
Meanwhile, the author of the diabetes blog Six Until Me has this to say about improvements in diabetes technology:
“A cure is something I don’t think much about. It’s something my heart has protectively hardened me against hoping for. I know that reversing my body’s inclination to attack its own islet cells could be a long time in coming. What I do know is that I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for almost my entire life, and I’ve battled hard to keep my body healthy and strong. And now, I’m expecting a baby and have even more incentive to stay healthy for my child, so that I can be part of her life for a long, long time. “
DiabetesMine offers a roundup of diabetic bloggers and parents of diabetic bloggers alike.
And the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation quotes a 12-year-old reflecting on the disease:
“This disease controls our lives with all the pricking of the fingers, shots, high and low blood sugars; it’s like being on a seesaw. Without a cure, we will be stuck on this seesaw ‘til the day we die.”
People with Type 1 diabetes can’t produce enough insulin because their immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin—these diabetics have to get insulin through injections or pump. Type 1, which is often diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, is permanent. Type 2 diabetics, on the other hand, can make insulin but become resistant to its ability to reduce blood glucose levels; the disease is often linked to diet, lack of exercise and obesity.
Though there is no cure for Type 1, research to understand the disease is being conducted in labs and in humans—clinical trials can be found here. And new technologies to manage the disease are in the works, including an “artificial pancreas,” a device that monitors blood glucose levels and dispenses insulin.
Meanwhile, the life of a diabetic remains a balancing act.
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