Showing posts from 2019

10 Milestones That Defined the Decade in Diabetes

Wow, what a decade the 2010s have been in the world of diabetes! Social media exploded to new levels and our Diabetes Online Community evolved along with it, as did the data-sharing from mobile devices and the throngs of Do-It-Yourself techies embracing a #WeAreNotWaiting mantra. Fueled by these patient voices, regulators opened up pathways to the first-ever commercial closed loop "Artificial Pancreas" systems. We saw the emergence of new forms of glucagon and insulin that have been years in the making. Our choice of diabetes gadgets changed dramatically, yet we saw scientific evidence that across the board, health outcomes are not improving as hoped. Meanwhile, a controversial healthcare law that was supposed to be a boon for people with chronic conditions ended up deepening the divide between the 'Haves and Have-Nots'. Politics, rising costs, and a culmination of unchecked corporate policies boiled over into an Insulin Affordability Crisis unlike anythi

Diabetes-Themed Holiday Gifts: Should You Buy These Or Not?

The holiday shopping season often brings a perennial question to mind: What's the etiquette for giving diabetes-related gifts to people who live with this condition? Maybe the song Twelve Days of Christmas could help us navigate that issue... given its chirping about all the alternative gifts “my true love gave to me.” But it's never that easy in the real world, is it? One person's true love has an apartment that's too small for a tree. Or he or she is lactose intolerant or has celiac disease. And pears are pretty high-carb anyway. Yeah. Holiday gift giving can be challenging. But wait a sec, should diabetes even come into the holiday gift-giving thought process at all? Well, there’s no shortage of people saying that our diabetes, while not defining us, certainly defines what we ought to receive. From the dawn of Black Friday right up to the wire, we see a barrage of social media sites posting diabetes gift guides. They include everything from diabetes c

How a Family Business Has Buoyed the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI)

A business making plastic bottles may not be the most obvious connection to diabetes cure research, but in fact a family-run company has a 25-year history of supporting the Miami-based Diabetes Research Institute (DRI). In fact, much of the DRI's work is supported by Biorep Technologies, run by a family impacted by diabetes, that makes essential equipment for the diabetes research community. Biorep is actually a spinoff of the original plastic bottle company established by Florida diabetes dad Ramon Poo (pronounced Poe), and it's now one of the leading medical equipment suppliers in the world. You might be fascinated to learn that one of the key pieces of equipment created by this company and used by the DRI (and in islet research worldwide) made an appearance in a Grey’s Anatomy episode a few years back. The DRI connection was fueled by Poo’s daughter Cristina, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 3 in the mid-70s. Not long after her diagnosis, Ramon and his wife Tin

One Man's Journey Combatting Diabetes Burnout

For the past several months, I’ve had a (yet another) case of diabetes burnout. It’s been a semi-constant itch that I ignored and tried not to scratch for a while, but eventually it became unavoidable. This is probably a byproduct of dealing with diabetes on both the personal and professional front. To me, the balance is always a challenge. When I’m at the top of my game professionally, my own D-management isn’t great, and vice versa. When I'm thriving on both ends, that only lasts so long before it's too much "diabetes all the time" and eventally there comes a boiling point. I imagine that for all of us, no matter what job or study course or set of responsibilities we're dealing with, there can come a time when we feel like the diabetes is "spilling over the wall" and drowning us. This is a fitting time to address the psychosocial state I’ve been spinning around in, and how I’ve begun addressing it. I'm working on some specific tactics to for naviga

Jim Turner: Actor, Comedian, and One Fun Diabetes Advocate

  Remember when one of our own in the Diabetes Community ran for president? OK, it was a joke, but a great one by none other than Jim Turner, the actor diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teenager in the 1970s who's had many memorable roles over more than three decades. Jim starred in a live comedy show on NPR and appeared in vignettes in 1980s movies like The Lost Boys and St. Elmo's Fire. He's also been on shows through the years like Grey’s Anatomy , Castle , and Criminal Minds , and even got a mention in Stephen King’s updated book The Stand. Jim's been in numerous TV commercials and played Larry "the boss" in the 2005 movie version of Bewitched . On top of all that, Jim co-hosted the CNBC D-Life diabetes TV show for many years before that series eventually ended. And he ran for president! Sort of... That was part of his shtick as his signature persona Randee of the Redwoods , a fictional MTV character in the 1980s that went viral and

Experimenting with Baqsimi Nasal Glucagon

  Puffing a brand new form of rescue glucagon up my nose to treat a low blood sugar is everything I thought it could be. No kidding. With just a two-click press of a plunger and surprisingly forceful blast of powdery mist up into a nostril, Lilly's new Baqsimi nasal glucagon began circulating into my bloodstream. Within 10 minutes I could tell it was working, boosting my blood sugars that had plummeted into the 40s and were still dropping. Not long after, my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) graph started showing the rise. After monitoring the Baqsimi effect for two hours post-low, my wife and I were convinced that this first-ever intranasal glucagon, approved by FDA in July 2019, is indeed a game-changer. It is worlds apart from the traditional mix-and-inject glucagon kits we PWDs (people with diabetes) have been forced to endure as the only emergency glucagon option since 1961. Unfortunately, most patients will struggle to access this great new product, as Lilly

Diabetes Advocate Forces Police Arrest at Insulin Vigil

Minnesota advocate Nicole Smith-Holt, who lost her son due to insulin rationing, was taken into custody after defying police orders about blocking traffic during a Sept. 14 insulin rally in Indianapolis. Grassroots group T1International is organizing protest rallies and vigils for victims of the Insulin Pricing Crisis around the country. T1International also held a dynamic workshop to teach patients how to be effective advocates with Pharma, lawmakers and more . A new documentary film, "Pay or Die," will highlight the human cost of outrageous insulin prices in America. Even before the candlelight vigil and rally protesting high insulin prices began, advocate Nicole Smith-Holt from Minnesota planned to break the law as an act of civil disobedience. She knew she would be confronted by police, and likely end up being taken into custody.  That’s exactly what happened in front of the Eli Lilly headquarters in Indianapolis on Sept. 14, as Nicole gathered with more than 100 others i