Welcome?

If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Finding Gratitude In The Diabetic World

Last weekend we celebrated American Thanksgiving. Every year the same 25 or so children and adults come to our home for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Although I am the only one that grew up in America among the group, we are all always very thankful for this gathering and the special things in our life. 

And while I am not thankful for diabetes, I am thankful for many things it has given me - appreciation for health, the amazing people I have met as a result of this journey, those who are working diligently to find a cure, and I am thankful that we have access to the current technology to manage it.

When my son was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I was overwhelmed. I worried that he would miss out on a typical childhood experiences - having fun, playing with his friends and doing all the other things kids do that we often take for granted. I think every parent of a newly diagnosed Type 1 questions if their child will have a “normal” childhood.

As I learned more about diabetes and became less anxious with the daily routine of care, I realized that it is a manageable condition. Life saving insulin coupled with available technology allows my son to have a normal childhood.

So while I am very thankful for insulin, I am also incredibly thankful for that technology and the flexibility his insulin pump has given us. I am also thankful for how far the insulin pump has come.

This invention is a little older than I am, and has drastically improved over time. The first one was was the size of a very large backpack. Today’s insulin pumps are about the size of a pager (Anyone remember those?) and they have made diabetes management easier for many people.  

Pumps have many advantages including the elimination of several insulin injections a day and the delivery of insulin more accurately. There are also some models that when coupled with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), suspend insulin delivery to avoid life threatening low blood sugar. 

However, many people think an insulin pump is a cure. It is not. 

It still requires several blood glucose checks per day, changing of the insertion sites every 2-3 days, plus the need to accurately count carbohydrates and determine appropriate insulin coverage.  The diabetic, or caretaker of the diabetic still has to be supportive and vigilant.

Recently in the U.S., a new pump was approved that the media labeled as an "artificial pancreas". While it was a significant advancement to help patients maintain normal glucose levels, intervention and diligence will still be required.  While it is not a cure, it is a significant innovation that will make life easier for diabetics to manage.

I am thankful that the future is bright for diabetics.  Diabetes will continue to present its daily challenges, but at the present moment, insulin pumps and other technology have provided my child a flexibility not seen by previous generations of diabetics. 

I am thankful we are living in this time of research and scientific development that have allowed my son and others like him to be kids. I am thankful that in their lifetime they will (hopefully) continue to see much more advancement.

The First Insulin Pump - Invented in the 1960s



5 comments:

  1. Wow! I had no knowledge about the first insulin pumps being the size of a backpack! I really enjoyed my mini education today from your blog post. I love your thankful attitude towards a very challenging situation for mother and son. This is such an important subject for so many people living with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. You're an inspiration to mothers of children wanting their kids to have "normal" kid lives.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My mom was in a pump trial in the early 70's and the pump was actually placed on a cart that one wheeled in front of them. We could not imagine ever having one. today of course i wear one on my belt.

    I think diabetes has also given me many blessings. I am appreciative of the wonderful things that life gives me. No i do not want diabetes and I can live very nicely without it. But all in all things could be much worse.

    This item has been referred to the TUDiabetes Blog page for the week of November 21, 2016

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Rick! What a rock star she was. You sum up my feelings about diabetes pretty much in 3 sentences :) Thank you for the referral.

      Delete
  3. Super interesting post Pam. I have a friend with Type 1 and a friend whose young son is also Type 1. I've seen my friend's 'pager' style pump and was really impressed at how small it is but had no idea about the backpack size. That photo really made me stop and think. What a blessing that technology has come such a long way.

    ReplyDelete
  4. what an informative post. thank you, pam, for sharing your knowledge and insight. (and i can't believe the size of that first insulin pump!) i am so happy to hear that, thanks to medical advancements (and a loving and conscientious mother), your son is enjoying a happy and full childhood.

    ReplyDelete