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The Evolution of Type 1 Diabetes Treatments

On July 7, 2014, Madelyn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

I know I begin plenty a post on this topic with that same line, the reason being I suppose is subconsciously – I still carry a bit of disbelief over it.

Insulin wasn’t available for supplementation until the 1920s.

At the same time, if Madelyn were destined to be diagnosed with T1D, I am grateful it happened now and in the United States.

If you’ve been following our journey since its inception, then you’re aware of her numerous transitions since her diagnosis. The immediate being one from syringes to insulin pens, because even though a shot was still a shot – the pen was a lot less scary.

In the summer of 2015, we transitioned from insulin pen to insulin pump. The largest takeaway has been less shots for our little girl, though she still endures far too many pokes from needles. Her meal boluses are pushed through a cannula with a form of technology similar to an IV, but it requires fresh equipment every 3 days. Also similar to an IV, a needle is required to place the cannula under the skin.

Soon after we transitioned to the insulin pump, we also activated her first Continuous Glucose Monitor – a valuable tool to help us track her glucose trends with the added benefit of catching her “events.” She currently uses the Dexcom G5, truly a game changer, though I will admit; trying to replicate a human pancreas is imperfect at best.

In September 2016, the FDA approved the artificial pancreas for use in this country.

And in October 2016, at one of her quarterly follow-ups with her endocrinologist, we started the dialogue with Madelyn’s endocrinologist about this emerging technology. I get the impression it’s geared to work with a diabetic’s “background insulin” when partnered with an insulin pump, which would be essential overnight when Madelyn is sleeping.

It hasn’t even been 100 years, and look at how far diabetes management technology has come.

For Madelyn, it’s only been just over 2 years and I marvel at the improvement at her health and well-being.

Imagine it’s the 1920s, and your child is in a coma due to diabetic ketoacidosis. You and your husband are helpless to comfort, helpless to make better your baby who is unresponsive to your touch. Then, a doctor enters and one by one, injects the children suffering from DKA with the insulin that has been isolated for supplementation. By the time the last child is injected, the first child wakes up. Imagine now, how immense the change in the mood felt in that room. Imagine the hope. Imagine the gratitude.

I can identify with those parents.
Only, for me, it’s such advancements like the artificial pancreas.

Imagine what a 1920s parent of a diabetic child would think of the technology available today. I cannot help but feel eternally grateful because our common experiences are woven into the fabric that is diabetes management, that is caring for a child with T1D, that is praying that a cure can be found. And in this tapestry, the first helps the rest.

The story has come so far already, but it is not over. The momentum I feel is inspiring.

Keep going. Keep moving forward. Keep doing what we’re doing. And a cure will soon come.
 
#DiabetesAwarenessMonth #NDAM

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