Showing posts from September, 2016

Way Back When... Insulin Was Cheap (And Then It Wasn't)

In light of all the outrage over high insulin costs these days, we thought it would be interesting (to say the least!) to take a "Wayback Wednesday" walk through the history of this topic in the US... In the Beginning Remember those guys who actually discovered insulin back in 1921? Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best were the main two, along with Dr. James Collip -- all three had their names attached to the patent awarded in January 1923 to their method of making insulin. Well, did you know that their original intellectual property rights were sold for just $3 in Canadian money? That's right. When the researchers were ready to turn over the patent of their discovery to the University of Toronto for production purposes in 1923, they agreed to receive only $1 each (the equivalent of $14 today) in compensation.  Here's an excerpt from a 2002 article chronicling this: "For $1.00 to each, the three discoverers assigned their patent rig

Our Wedding Engagement Newspaper

As I do every year, I sit back on this special day and re-read the newspaper I created to propose back in March 2003. This full eight-page broadsheet is the one I spent about three months creating many months in advance. It was quite the task, writing my own stories, editing and designing, selling ads to pay for the whole thing, and recruiting a roll of writers made up of family and friends. All of them keeping the upcoming marriage proposal a secret, of course! I still remember staying out late at night, telling you they were late nights in my real paycheck-providing newsroom job when in fact they were spent at my old college newspaper stomping grounds putting this paper together. It was tough, but it all paid off. This is really a place to post the full newspaper, to keep it alive in digital form online. Sure, I have a couple dozen copies left over from the 1,000 created for that night and beyond. And every one of those eight pages has been framed to display in ou

Diabetes UnConference Hits the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Even a few weeks after the Diabetes UnConference in Atlantic City, I'm still having a tough time getting my head around how my heart feels about the experience. There was quite the tidal wave of emotions there, and many of us were blinking back what we called "BoardWalkDust," referring to the tears it all brought to our eyes. This was the third Diabetes UnConference -- a unique opportunity for adult PWDs (people with diabetes) to share their experiences and learn in a participatory format -- organized by the non-profit Diabetes Collective. It was held Sept. 9-11 for the first time ever in Atlantic City, stepping beyond Las Vegas where it's been held twice before. What, Who and Why? You may wonder what makes a conference "Un"? The idea is to break down the tenets of traditional conference format, to create a free-flowing atmosphere that "allows participants to create and moderate the agenda, allowing for a wide variety of topics and viewpoints that mig

An Aching Tooth and Diabetes Stigma

I sat silent there in the dental chair, listening to the new dentist ask an array of basic questions about dental history and overall health. Of course, diabetes came up. Earlier, in the waiting room, there were the new patient forms to fill out everything about me. All the health and medication issues, and that typical checkbox for "diabetes." I checked that box, but wrote in "type 1" on the line almost by instinct. I questioned that even while writing it, because I wondered if it somehow implied I was saying, " Not Type 2, or that kind of diabetes ..." Was I fueling misconception? Was I feeding into the daunting cloud of diabetes stigma that exists in the world? Deciding it was over-thinking, I ignored my concern and wrote it on the form. And then went about completing the rest of the paperwork before seeing this new dentist for the first time. Nice enough lady, and I was eager to get to the meat and potatoes of why I was there in the dentist

Which Don To Respect?

Remember how I used to occasionally reference the "Don of Rage Bolusing?" You know, that was mostly a term of endearment for my insulin pump. Even though sometimes, I used it to describe myself from time to time. In those times when I saw stubborn High blood sugars that wouldn't budget with normal correction doses, via my insulin pump. So, I would click a couple pump buttons and dose a wave of insulin... a rage bolus , as it were ( hat tip to Kerri ). Since I liked to be silly and named my insulin pump " The Don ," thanks to my love for the Godfather movies and TV Show NCIS where Mark Harmon plays the character Gibbs. Yeah, it was all in good fun. A way keep my sanity while keeping up with this wondrously exciting life with diabetes jam-packed with device juggling, management tasks and mental gymnastics. Well buh-bye, Don of Rage Bolusing. I've been on a #PumpHiatus for the past four months. There was never a certain date, and as of now I'm n

The Human Cost of Unaffordable Insulin and Diabetes Supplies

 On a recent sunny afternoon in Southeast Michigan, I witnessed ugly proof of the extreme circumstances many in our Diabetes Community are being forced into thanks to the escalating cost of diabetes medications and supplies. It all happened in a parking lot outside my endocrinologist’s office in Metro Detroit on a weekend, when he was actually hosting more than 100 patients and their families for a “Patient Appreciation Day.” It was a simple summertime gesture, allowing us all to step outside the clinical setting and casually interact with the healthcare staff, other patients, and about a dozen diabetes vendors. I had marked this on my calendar weeks before, and was excited to attend the first such event any of my doctors have ever hosted. No co-pays were required at the entrance, and there was free food and cold drinks, along with a raffle offering multiple prizes. Even though this was meant to pull us all away from the typical doctor’s office setting, there was still