Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No cure

I recently read a blog that describes how insulin is not a cure so well that I think everyone should read it.

Reyna from Beta Buddies writes:

As my "network" of "D" friends expands, I am increasingly aware of type 1 deaths, diagnoses, and hospital admissions from low induced seizures and loss of consciousness. With each incident, I mutter sadly, quietly, and angrily, and pissed-offly in my head "yet one more reason why Insulin is not a CURE."

I practically spit it, the statement.

I do.

Type 1 Diabetes is difficult, at best, to manage. It does not lend itself to being "controlled". It can kill. The medication used to treat type 1 Diabetes is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone.

Insulin can be deadly if too large of a dose is given. Insulin can cause seizures, coma, and even death. Insulin is the only treatment for type 1 diabetes. Without insulin, persons with type 1 diabetes die.

Diabetes affects EVERY organ system in a persons body. These people look totally "normal" from the outside, while this disease wreaks havoc on their vasculature and organs. Insulin is needed, not only as life support, but to temper the effects of high blood sugars on tissues, vessels, and organs.

Insulin is not a cure. It never will be.

It cannot be taken orally.

The acidity of the stomach destroys the proteins that "make-up" insulin and, consequently, render it useless. Insulin must be injected with a needle. It is give subcutaneously several times daily. It is give with food. It is given with high blood sugars. It is given as "basal", a maintenance dose so-to-speak. This, my friends, is no CURE.

Insulin must be administered to keep persons with type 1 diabetes alive. Without it, they would die. Prior to 1921, the year exogenous insulin was produced/discovered, a person with type 1 diabetes would die a death of "starvation," as their cells would be unable to utilize glucose as an energy source. The death was described as painful and agonizing and miserable between the unquenched thirst, the continual flow of urine, and the insatiable hunger ... to no end... well, there would be an end ... The End. "Life Support", it is. Again, A CURE, it is not.

Dosing is not simple. It is complicated.

It is not a medication where you can just "dose it" and "forget it". You administer it, you check on the effectiveness of that dose a couple of hours later by checking a blood sugar level. Needle after needle after needle is the life of a type 1 diabetic... around the clock ... hour to hour. Insulin is not a CURE.

The balance required in dosing insulin is tenuous.

If you give too much it can induce a low blood sugar reaction called "hypoglycemia" or an "insulin reaction". A low blood sugar is an immediate emergency and must be dealt with promptly. It can occur at any time. A low blood sugar can lead to seizures, coma, and/or death.


If you don't receive enough insulin over the course of several hours you can end up in Diabetic Ketoacidosis; this is a life threatening condition that requires medical attention immediately.


Finally there are the reasons we all do that we do. The reasons, and the list is long, as to why we attempt to keep "tight" control of blood sugars... the long term effects of diabetes... the "complications". High blood sugar levels affect blood vessels, organs, and nerves throughout the body. Retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and all the fucking "opathies" along with cardiac disease, peripheral vascular disease, and dislipidemias...and on and on ... are but a few of the consequences of diabetes. A CURE? Definitely not. Period.

Too much Insulin.... you fall victim to a low. Too little ... you are stuck chasing down a high. Not a CURE.

Activity, monthly cycles, stress levels, environmental temperatures, illnesses, and growth spurts must all be accounted for when administering insulin. Blood sugars are affected by all of these factors and by oh, oh ... so much more. Insulin is far from a CURE.

Insulin is not a CURE.

A CURE it is not.

A day-in-the-life of gratitude for Insulin .... yet hoping for a less laborious treatment regimen for type 1 diabetes. A CURE, this is not.

Diabetes needs a cure and not enough people are rallying for one. Sure, we see things occasionally saying walk for JDRF or ADA, but those are usually overshadowed with pleas for money to cure AIDS and cure cancer. If you know me, you know I'm not against any type of cure. I especially would like one for childhood cancers. BUT(!) as many as 3 million people in the US have Type 1 Diabetes (like I have) and about 80 people (mostly children) a day are being diagnosed. Type 1 is NOT caused by eating "too much sugar". It is not caused by "being too inactive". We are constantly living with the fear of death and, if not death, major complications. We will not "get over it" if we eat certain diets or drink certain waters or do certain exercises. Insulin helps keep all of us alive, but it can also kill us.

So, please, help encourage a cure for diabetes (especially Type 1 aka Juvenile diabetes). When you are considering charities to support, please don't forget about JDRF or ADA. You would be improving and saving lives.

/end PSA

Coming soon...

I semi-participated last year and I'm going to try to participate fully this year. Bring. It. On. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book(s) of the week: Hunger Games Trilogy

I just finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy a day or so ago. Can I just say I lovvvvvvvved it? I'm going to, to the best of my ability, tell you some of my feelings and thoughts about the books, BUT it will be cryptic. I don't want to give it away in case you are wanting to read it (and if you don't, you should).

Book one: Hunger Games

To be honest, this book has been sitting on our bookshelf for months. I knew I wanted to read it because so many people said I would enjoy it, especially a fellow book lover who would definitely know what I'd like. The back cover just didn't grab me. The reviews just didn't grab me. So I just didn't grab it.

Until one nannying day, I needed a purse book and this one was there, small, lightweight and paperback. So I grabbed it. I didn't have a chance to read any of it for several days, but, one day, I opened it, read a few pages and I. Was. Hooked. The sweet(?) background love story. The sweet(?) foreground love story. The tough, yet rebellious female main character. The crazy costumes. The crazy districts. My imagination was/is running wild.

As the book progressed, I found myself more and more unable to put it down. Lucky for me, T was working nights so my evenings were free to read, read, read to my hearts content. The alliances. The betrayals. The expected. The unexpected. The book ended, leaving me wanting more (in a good way).

Almost immediately, I sent out a facebook plea for someone to let me borrow the final two books, a plea that lead to a brilliant suggestion. Did you know that there is a place that you can go to that is filled with books? These places called libraries let you show them a plastic card and you can temporarily take home books to read. For free! So I went online and reserved the next two books to put a hold on them as soon as they came in. #3 was ready within days, but #2 was longer. I didn't want to read them out of order, so I not so patiently waited for #2 to come in. It came in on Wednesday and I was already close by, doing an excellent job of keeping a child alive and happy, so I picked up my two books.

Book 2: Catching Fire

I took this book with me, nannying on Thursday. When he took a nap and I ate my lunch, I started reading (I only read my books during naps and only then if I've finished cleaning up). I got so lost reading that I didn't even mind when the mother got stuck at work and in traffic, causing her to be late coming home. I continued reading that night at home. Book was good! Suspense, romance/unromance, action, disbelief(!). Hope. Nervousness. I couldn't even put it down to go to bed. I finished it that night. Or should I say early the next morning. Around 3 am, it was done and I was wanting more. I also needed sleep. Sleep won (even though I could have stayed up and watched that little wedding that was broadcast all over TV).

Book 3: Mockingjay

The next evening, I chose DVRed footage of le Royal Wedding, but once that was over, I started book 3. Now I did not stay up all night reading again, but I could have. This book had the usual action, suspense, romance, plotting, love and craziness that the other books had, just in different (but somehow the same) forms. I was nervous for the characters. At a couple of points, I actually gasped out loud. At other points, I actually cried at what happened. I was sad that this was the final book. I felt the last few chapters were a little rushed, but it did wrap things up decently, I suppose. I was still upset that it was over. I tend to get attached to characters in the books I read. But this series was definitely worth reading and I can't wait for the movie (which they are filming locally/semi-locally, woot woot!) that should be out next year. I just need more books to read before then! Any suggestions? Any opinions on these books if you have read them?

btw: I'm Team Peeta