I came across a story called Midnight Three and Six on The New York Times website today. I am utterly floored by the short documentary that accompanies the article. It's llike looking at myself (and maybe you will feel the same) in the same story line. This is how many of us live our lives. Though for some of us, I know for myself, it's just always been what I do having had Type 1 diabetes for so long.
The documentary shows a Mum’s efforts to manage her 15 year old daughter Grace's daily struggle with a life-threatening condition. It is something we can all relate to, and watching this made me abit teary eyed at times. It is the fear of the Mum with her daughter going low at night that really struck me. Having the Dexcom now, I can relate - annoying at times ... but it's been useful for me to catch the hypo earlier, and not deal with crazy highs the next day if I have slept through it ... or over dealt with fixing it due to panic.
The goal of this documentary is to show others that don't quite understand the difference between Type 1 and 2. I think it really brings it across very well.
They are hoping to raise funds for Grace to have an artificial pancreas by the time she turns 20.
On top of this story I came across one from last week about a 4-year-old in Australia receiving the world’s first artificial pancreas. Also, Jane Reid, from New South Wales, is going to be fitted with the pump (this may have already occured since the articles publication) making her the first adult to be fitted with the device.
After 5 years of clinical studies a new insulin pump is now commercially available in Australia for children and adults (wonder when it will be available here in North America?). It can mimic the biological function of the pancreas, stopping insulin delivery when glucose level drops, avoiding a low blood glucose. When glucose level recovers, the artificial pancreas recognises this and resumes insulin delivery. I'm sure that there is still human interaction with this, just like there is with the devices I use, but it's a step in the right direction, despite it being yet again another money "Pharma rules" device that some of can or can't afford.
It's still not the same thing as a "real" pancreas, or a CURE - so the title about this little lad having an "artificial pancreas" is a wee bit misleading. That's my opinion of course, as I pat Ziggy (my Animas Ping pump) on my left side of my waistband nd my Dexcom CGMS on the other side.
Now isn't he just the cutest little Superman or what????
Above photo courtesy of http://encomium.ng/
NB: For more insight into the discussiion of "artificial pancreas" - check out Craig Idlebrook's post at Insulin Nation