A family living well with type 1 diabetes.

Posts tagged ‘dare to dream’

Health Time Capsule

For the month of April I am participating in the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. This means I shall attempt 30 straight days of blog posts–one for every day in the month of April. I’m not going to lie to you, I have my doubts that I can pull this off. In fact, I’m already off to a less than stellar start, given that I’m a day late with my first post.

But that doesn’t matter. I will give it my best shot and aim to make a quality contribution to this event rather than push for quantity that may be lacking in interest and passion. I enjoy the challenge of writing from prompts but if I’m not feeling it, I’m not going to post something that I’m not proud of or pleased with. So on that note, here’s the first prompt and my humble submission follows:

The prompt: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?

Hello people of the future. I am the mother of a child with type 1 diabetes. I’m sure you have heard tell of this disease of the past–a heartbreaking, life-long sentence of finger pokes, injections, blood draws, doctor’s appointments, high and low blood sugars and the ever-present fear of devastating complications. It most often struck our young children, suddenly and without warning. But no one was safe, really. You are very fortunate to live in a time when this disease is merely a part of human history.

Type 1 diabetes was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting for the people who lived with it every day. The demands of diabetes were at times immense. Imagine having to check your blood sugar by poking your finger and summoning a drop of blood anywhere from 8 to 12 times a day or more. Imagine having to count every carbohydrate you consume and calculate the dose of insulin needed to inject to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t shoot to the moon. Imagine having to have access to a considerable arsenal of medical paraphernalia at all times to stay healthy and alive. And imagine that no matter how diligent you work, no matter how hard you try you often don’t get it right. High and low blood sugars were a given–a part of everyday life. That’s just the nature of this beast.

I have included in this time capsule a copy of the blog I started and kept for years after my daughter’s diagnosis so that you might know more of what this disease was capable of and how it affected entire families. I have also included all of the items type 1 diabetics required to be at their disposal 24 hours a day, every day to live. They include:

  • blood glucose meter
  • blood glucose test strips
  • lancets
  • lancing device
  • carb tabs
  • blood ketone meter
  • blood ketone test strips
  • urine ketone test strips
  • insulin
  • insulin syringes
  • insulin pump
  • insulin cartridges
  • infusion sets
  • batteries
  • sharps container
  • continuous glucose monitor

We lived in an age that saw technology propel forward at a dizzying speed! It was incredibly hard to keep up with the latest technological gadgetry pertaining to communication and entertainment. One could go broke trying. Yet the diabetes devices and pharmaceuticals of our time were shamefully behind the times.

For the last 30 years of the 1900’s a cure was repeatedly promised to be “just steps away” or “no more than 5 years down the pike.” Finally, doctors stopped making these promises with such reckless abandon. People got wise … and maybe a little cynical too. The focus started to shift more toward treatment and prevention–not solely on a cure.

To be personally affected by type 1 diabetes is to experience a full range of emotions to their most extreme degree. It isn’t easy to cope at times. It is difficult to trust that those in the business of finding better treatments and cures are really committed to looking for that which will ultimately put them out of business.

But at the end of the day, it’s all that the people living with diabetes and those who love them have.

We must believe.

I must believe.

This is why I have written this with optimism and hope. You must know what a world without type 1 diabetes looks and feels like. In 100 years, surely the break-neck speed at which wireless communication advanced in our day finally found its way to the treatment and curing of chronic and deadly diseases such as diabetes.

…all the walks, marathons, fund raisers, the billions of dollars raised…

We as a species must have gotten our priorities in order by now … haven’t we?


There’s a saying that goes, “If you can imagine it, it can be achieved.”

I invite you to join me in daring to imagine a cure.

They’ve done it! Those scientists who have been accepting our steady flow of hard earned donations and working tirelessly for many, many years have finally done it! A CURE for our babies — our children, young and old!

It wasn’t easy, and the faith of many faltered along the way. Promises were broken time and time again and it wore us down. How could we continue to believe in a myth that only served to disappoint and deflate our spirits. And as children with diabetes grew into adults with diabetes and learned by necessity to live with this ruthless disease, their dreams of a cure became as distant a memory as their diagnosis stories. The repeated disappointment was too much to endure. They watched as more children were diagnosed and given the same promise of a cure. They knew better, but they couldn’t crush the spirit of the newly drafted recruits. It was all they had to help them through those first few years after diagnosis. Besides, they’d find out over time.

But the headlines read “A CURE AT LAST!” on the papers today and told of hundreds of thousands of people rejoicing in the streets all over the world, planning the parties to celebrate their new freedom — freedom from the injections, finger pokes, site changes, carb counting and the constant, never ending struggle to regain and maintain blood glucose homeostasis. Freedom from the fear of losing our precious, precious children in the night as they sleep. Freedom from the worry about long term complications, some of which are too horrible to mention.

Indeed, the road has been long and fraught with set-backs. Years of hurting families gathering together to walk for a cure, struggling to stay positive but each year without a cure casting a little more shadow of doubt on their already broken hearts.

But no more.

No more walks are necessary. No more fund raisers. No more funerals for children stolen by an invisible bandit known as “Nocturnal Hypoglycemia” or the more macabre name “Dead-In-Bed syndrome”.  The goal has been reached! The cure will be made available to humankind and this relentless, ruthless, lawless disease will become extinct — a part of our history. We will be teaching future generations about the age before the great cure. It will be known as the second dark age. Because along with the cure for type 1 diabetes came a better understanding of the human immune system and set in motion a chain of events that would make possible, more than ever before, a cure for many other auto-immune diseases, including cancer.

Type 1 Diabetes is no more.

A cure.


Let’s get the job done. Let’s do this for all of our children and for all those we have lost.


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