Blog Entries With Tag: pancreas


Posted: Jan 27, 2015

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.  

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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

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Posted: Apr 27, 2013
Hmm, should I have eaten that piece of bubble gum that my BFF Wendy pulled off the road when I was about 6 years old?  I remember watching her pull out little rocks - and wondering - yuck - as she stuck into her mouth (she really enjoyed chomping on that piece of "who knows where it had been before" wad of pink sticky goo with the odd bit of rocks).  Even at that age - I knew it was not the right thing to do - and luckily for me - I never followed her example.  Last time thing I heard about her - about 20 years ago - she was working as an airline attendant - with a tan that screamed tanning bed whore (and I worked in the tanning place she came too - ouch!).
So, why am I talking about eating crap off a road - it is full of gems - who knows what you could get from it!  I mean, yuck, the person before might have had some sort of disease.  Well, according to some researchers - the reason for Type 1 diabetes becoming more frequent (and increasing 3% annually over the past 10 years) has something to do about residing in a rich nation along with less exposure to infectious diseases aka pathogens.  Are we living in too clean a world?

Some of the theory's are that we humans are supposed to be dirty - that we are over protected.  Yeah - I can vouch for that with seeing my Mum friends - constant cleaning of door knobs with Lysol, or not allowing their child to pick up a a penny from the dirt - DON'T TOUCH THAT!!!   If we don't build up immunity - how can we fight off the even more nasty things that attack us that are worse than whatever you might have contracted from a previously chewed by someone else piece of gum off a hot sticky summer road?  Hmmm, maybe I should of partaken in the chewing routine with Wendy now ....

With Type 1 diabetes - our immune system somehow gets mixed up - and decides that healthy beta cells are just as bad as the evil cells that invade our body.  This then causes our pancreas to become destroyed - or at least that's how I - as a nonmedical person has come to understand why I got diabetes.  According to the the report from Medical News Today (see link below) - young children don't develop the proper antibodies due to being too clinically clean.  They state that by being this way - that we don't build up immunity with the help of germs that build up our resistance to fighting off even more evil things that may come our way later in life. The one good thing though is that Swedish scientists have managed to stop the immune system from destroying beta cells in animal experiments.  

To read more about other factors/theories that are linked to the uprise of Type 1 diabetes you can check it out at Medical News Today.  

NOTE:  Prior to getting diabetes as a child - I had chickenpox - what a load of itchy/scratchy fun .  There has always been a theory that having an infectious disease can sometimes lead to Type 1 diabetes (I've spoken to others that have mumps or measles - and they became diagnosed later).   Now, if that's the case - than doesn't this scientific report go against what we've thought  perhaps caused us to get diabetes?
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Posted: Feb 5, 2010

 

Bag of Blood with Blood Sugar written on it

I don't watch daytime TV that often as I'm a working stiff, but yesterday I recorded the Oprah show - which was all about diabetes.  I had read during the week from other PWD bloggers that they were abit disgruntled that probably the show would dwell on Type 2 diabetes.  That doesn't bother me, as I still clump all the different versions of diabetes as being one, we all are having to deal with living with diabetes whether it be with just pills/diet/exercise/insulin.  Below is a comment that I posted at one of the many diabetic forums I belong to which I find seemed to be highly critical of how Oprah / Dr. Oz brought it to the public viewers ...

I found it pretty good.  You have to remember, it's aimed at the average viewer, who may not have much knowledge of diabetes, and what they have is usually based on incorrect info (e.g. you get it if you're fat, yadda, yadda, yadda). Because of it only being an hour show (with LOTS of ads - not used to day time telly) - they could only really cover the basics, but I personally felt the info put forth was well done.  I think it helped my husband understand about what sugar in our systems does to us with the video that Dr. Oz showed on how the food breaks down in our bodies. Seeing how the "shards of glass" aka "sugar" go thru' our blood vessels if it's not been converted correctly due to our pancreas not squelching out the juice made me cringe (I will never look a broken glass in the same way again).  It didn't help that I was sitting down nibbiling on cookies and an espresso (with sugar) for my evening snack.  Yes, I had taken insulin to cover the carbs aka sugar - so hopefully less "shards of glass" will enter into my blood stream, but still I felt abit uneasy.

What got me crying, and I'm started to well up here as I type thinking about it, was Laureen, a 44 year old Type 1 diabetic who agreed to be on the show (bless her heart) telling us what bad management of diabetes can do to you (and she is a nurse).  It was when Dr. Oz started to remove the bandages from her legs that I really started to sob uncontrollably, and I'm not one to cry that often (I think diabetes makes some of us tough to emotions).  Besides that ordeal, she is also on kidney dialysis, which is something that all diabetics hope to never have to face.   It was so hard to watch, and of course, because of of a PWD friend of mine, Lois, having her leg amputated a few days ago due to mismangement of her diabetes (and she admits she f##ed up), it hit me hard.

So, yes, some of you Type 1's maybe disappointed that not more info was done on " our " type of diabetes, but as we've always known, we are a small majority. In the 60's/70's when I was diagnosed Type 1 was only about 1% of the diabetic population - now it's 10% - crikey.

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Just a footnote - the video link above of Laureen may not be for the faint of heart.  I know I found it very difficult to watch as Dr. Oz removed her bandages ... BUT ... it might  jolt you into realising how serious diabetes is and how if left uncontrolled can lead to life threatening conclusions.  

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Posted: Apr 10, 2009

I think I'm going to be blogging with the word "evil" in the title over the next few days.  Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate is everywhere - cute bunnies are tripping me up (oh wait - those are my cats wanting food ... again).  So what is a gal without a functioning pancreas supposed to do? Run and hide away from the evils of the high sugared treats at this time of the year?  Never - just cope as best as I can do.   Warning - this is a long read!

It was my birthday yesterday - I don't really make a big thing out of it.  It's just another year gone by since I made my Mum scream with pain as I popped out of her.  I was a 10 lb baby - born at home - and my Mum being a small women - had to deal with my tonnage coming out of her - sorry Mum.  I'm thankful for having good health, a zest for life and a sense of humour. Now, what more can someone want?  Well, I've had this bee in my bonnet lately  - about wanting a birthday treat yesterday at DQ.  I had made up a nice dinner of scallops in a mango/lime/tequila sauce over a bed of pasta / side salad/ glass of wine - fine and dandy - doing alright there.  Then it was off to DQ - something we haven't done in awhile.  They've been advertising on TV an ice cream treat called the Midnight Truffle Blizzard - it requires no description just from the title.  I had a small one - and figured - ahhh - must be about 40g of carbs - so in went the insulin - and in went my spoon into this very SWEET concoction.  I managed to get through it - while a little girl nearby me - literally inhaled a LARGE one like mine! 

When we got back home - feeling like stuffed pigs, Mike looked up on the Internet as to what the actual carb count was and it was probably somewhere between 80-120 grams of carbs (it's not listed on their website - but we "guesstimated")!!!  I was totally floored - not only by the carbs - but that it basically was about 1/2 the amount of my daily food intake calories wise.  So, with that in mind it explained why my BG was hovering around the 14 mmol/L (252 mg/dL) for the rest of the evening - even with correction bolus(s). Yikeroos!!!

I woke up in this morning still at the same level .  Therefore, no breakfast, just an espresso with another correction bolus.  Now 3 hours later - I'm back to normal (or am I ??) -  BG is at 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dL) - had some food to eat (was abit peckish) - and have now decided next time we will share a Blizzard - in perhaps 2-3 years from now when I feel less bloated.  

Can't wait for Easter Sunday now ....

 

 

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