If there is one video that I could show that captures the daily agony … and hope … that I feel as a parent of a child with Type 1, this is it. Please watch. And if you can, donate, not just to the documentary, but to Viacyte. This is the game changer the T1D community has been waiting for.
MLB player Sam Fuld was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 10. In the blog post linked below, he shares his experiences playing baseball in the major leagues and counseling camps for kids and teens with T1D. Thanks to Riding on Insulin for sharing!
Type 1 Diabetes Camp Changes a Major League Baseball Player’s Life
Researchers recently conducted a 180 day trial of an implantable sensor for continuous glucose monitoring. Adult participants had a small incision cut into their upper arm where the sensor, a small cylinder less than half an inch long, was inserted. The incision was closed with sterile tape and a transmitter was worn in the arm where the sensor was inserted.
The results of the trial showed promise. The CGM caught 80% of participants’ low blood sugars. Only 10% reported discomfort with either insertion of the sensor or wearing the tube. And most liked the convenience of going three months between insertions. You can read more here.
This kind of technology is not a game changer by any means, but it does offer a step in the right direction–that being to make medical care for Type 1 as unobtrusive as possible.
Last year, I wrote about the insulin smart patch being developed by researchers at UNC. Stay tuned for an update on that soon!
Over the weekend, my dog Ivy swiped a “just-opened” vial of insulin and promptly deposited it outside in a hole she dug. By the time I realized the vial was missing and went looking for it, I was too late. The insulin was outside overnight and the vial was upside down in the grass and dirt. There was no way I could draw insulin from it without the possibility of contamination. What really stinks is that we don’t have an extra stash of insulin, so I’ve had to call the insurance company, explain the problem and get approval for an early refill. I am pretty fortunate. Others in my situation may have had to purchase a vial of insulin without coverage from the insurance company, which could potentially set them back almost $300!
There has been a lot of media attention given to rising drug costs and insulin is no exception. The cost of Humalog, the short term insulin my son uses in his pump, has increased 150% since 2009. It is not unusual for adults living with type 1 to use three or more vials of insulin a month, especially if they are pumping and rely only on the short acting insulin. But, as a Washington Post writer discovers in her investigative series on the cost of insulin, weighing the cost of insulin against the benefits of new formulas suggests the increasing cost may not be justified.
Read more about this issue in the Washington Post.
Thankfully, I have six more years to adjust to my son starting college. Six years to stop hovering and to get used to the fact that he is growing up and can’t live at home forever. As a mom, it’s hard to let go, but as a Type 1 mom, I harbor a lot of fear–what if his BG goes low overnight and he doesn’t wake up? What if his roommate hates him and tosses out his insulin? What if he has to take back to back classes and can’t get lunch? What if his professors are jerks (trust me, I know they exist)? What if this or that? A million things can go wrong when you are diabetic.
This evening I came across this article about applying for disability services at college if you have Type 1. It in no way eases all my fears, but the article does help to know that my son can have at least some control over the many unknowns of going away to college when you live with Type 1.
Read the article here.
Turns out, when BGs drop, the body produces a chemical that dogs can detect through smell. This discovery is predicted to change the way those living with Diabetes diagnose and treat low BGs. Cool discovery and good news for the diabetes community.
Yesterday, United Healthcare, one of the largest insurance providers in the country, struck a deal with Medtronic, making the latter’s insulin pump the preferred pump of the insurance carrier. This means that diabetics who are insured by United now have no choice in which insulin pump they use, as United will cover only Medtronic pumps and supplies. This is unfortunate, as not everyone (including my son) want to wear a pump with tubes–tubes mean less freedom and less glucose control, as any pump that uses tubes for insulin delivery must be disconnected before bathing or swimming. I am thankful our insurance provider is Anthem, but I fear Pandora’s box has been opened and it is inevitable for other insurance companies to follow suit. If that does happen, diabetic patients are the real losers in a game played at their expense. Here’s an article commenting on the decision.