My Take on the Hub-bub About the Bio Hub

Yesterday there was a huge buzz in the diabetes community about the release of something that would bring a cure for diabetes within our reach.  People were excited, nervous and anxious.  Could we really see a world without testing and injecting? 

Late last night or sometime this morning (I only saw it this morning), the story broke. The Diabetes Research Institute announced that they were pursuing the concept of a “mini-organ”  that they were calling the BioHub

I have read a bit about it.  I have heard people complain that other groups are already investigating this idea.  Others asked, until we find the underlying cause, how can we “cure” anyone?  Finally there are those who say that another 5-10 years is the same line that they were told at diagnosis 5 years ago. 

I respect all of these opinions.  Personally, I am becoming more optimistic that a cure or something that will see my son live a life without testing and injecting may well happen in his lifetime.  That is something that I would not have said five years ago. 

This month marks 13 years that we have lived with diabetes.  We were never promised a cure.  We were promised a better life.  I believe that we have seen that in a lot of respects. 

When my son was first diagnosed, we had a meter that took 30+ seconds to count down and required me to cover his small finger completely with blood to have enough for a reading. The process was painful on many levels.  When we were first given a Freestyle Mini meter, I thought we had died and gone to Heaven.  The glucometer used very little blood and gave me a reading in five seconds! I would instantly know if my child was high or low.  I was so excited! 

Today we have all sorts of meters that don’t just read quickly or use a small sample size–they now show us trends, send readings to phones and other devices.  They can be downloaded without all of the cords and such we once had to order.  Even pen and paper people like me are finding it easier to upload a meter and see what it has to say. 

Insulins have also changed.  We no longer are reliant on NPH or regular insulin that require specific schedules and meal planning.  My son was lucky in that we started out on the relatively new “humalog” and I learned how to be more flexible with it and our NPH.  Today we have three rapid acting insulin choices as well as a variety of long lasting “peak-less” insulins. 

Insulin pumps have become “smarter”  and now “talk” to Continuous Glucose Monitors.  When I first heard of a CGM, it was a blinded device that was cumbersome and only available through your doctor.  You wore it with no idea if it was actually working or what it had to say.  The machine had to be returned to your diabetes clinic to be reviewed and interpreted.  13 years later, CGMs are commonly used devices that work in conjunction with some pumps. 

I have no idea if we will have a cure in 5-10 years. My best guess is that the Hub will change.  The artificial pancreas projects will be altered but we will see something amazing.   We have seen amazing changes already.  100 years ago, my son would not be living with diabetes it would have killed him.  50 years ago he would not have been using home blood glucose and ketone meters.  20 years ago he would not have been carrying around a tiny insulin pump to keep him alive.  20 years from now that pump may be sitting on his fireplace in a glass case with a sign that says “Remember when…”

Today there is more hope than we have had in previous years.  We are making progress. Slow and steady, I finally believe that we will win the race. 

Get a letter from Santa AND help Diabetes Research!

I love Christmas. It is my favorite time of the year.  My mom was and is huge about Christmas.  She passed this love affair onto me.

Its not about the shopping or the gifts. Its the lights, the decorations, the tree.  Its time with family and friends. Its little faces lighting up.  Its tasty treats and delicious egg nog. Its Christmas songs and a light dusting of snow. I have been wrapping presents and playing Christmas music for a week now. So imagine how excited I was when I saw the latest fundraising idea from the DRI?

Its letters from Santa! For a small donation, you can have Santa send your little elf a personalized Christmas letter and help fund diabetes cure research.  It sounds like a win win event to me! We would all love for Santa to deliver us a cure for diabetes, this is one of the best ways to help make that wish come true!

Go to Santa Claus’ donation page now.

The time for a cure is NOW

Last night I lay in bed wearing my DRI “Cure” t-shirt and wished for a cure more than I ever have. 

We were headed home after two weeks on the road.  Diabetes had kicked us pretty hard as I will explain in upcoming posts.  We were on a boat and had a 14 hour crossing ahead of us.  I brought up insulin, an infusion set, and syringes.  I thought we were all set. 
A site change was past due. When we settled into our cabin for the night, I had my son do a site change.  A few hours later I awoke to him getting up to use the washroom.  Either we had yet another bad site or he didn’t bolus enough for his earlier snack. I rolled over and went back to sleep confident that he was taking care of things.

An hour or so later, I could hear my son up yet again.  I knew that things were not good. I got up to hear the splash of him vomiting into the toilet. CRAP! This was not good.  I dug through our supplies and quickly realized that I had left my glasses down in our vehicle.  Squinting, I looked for syringe and insulin. I also tried to find a new site…there wasn’t one.  Crap was quickly upgraded to another four letter word!

I injected a correction and my son began to apologize for waking us up.  I wanted to cry.  I told him that it was not his fault.  It was diabetes.  It sucks but there was nothing we could do to prevent the site failure.  He said that he had tried to creep around but had banged about a few times. Again, we said that there was no need to worry about it. We would worry instead about getting his readings down.

We all finally nodded off back to sleep. I could hear my son breathing across the room from me and knew that he was finally resting. He had said that he was coming back down before the injection so hopefully between the two he would be good to go. That’s when I laid down and thought it was ironic that the shirt I was wearing to bed that night said “CURE”. 

I have never held out a lot of hope for a cure.  My son has.  After two weeks of diabetes doing all it could to curtail a lovely family vacation, I really want it gone. We have put in our time. I can only imagine what it keeps doing to my son’s body. Its time to check out this guide and find a cure. We have waited long enough.