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An Open Letter To My Pancreas

Unemployed pancreas.

Dear Pancreas,

I’m not sure what the hell happened to you, but you’ve taken it upon yourself to stop working.  You did have that job for about six years, where you got up early every day and produced my insulin, but apparently that was too much for you.  You were laid off or fired or something.  Don’t blame it on that virus again.  I think you just slept through the alarm and were let go and you just don’t want to admit it.

All you do is sit around, hiding out behind my stomach, reading smut novels and watching reruns of The Facts of Life.  Sure, you push out the occasional juices and you can sound important when you talk about “trypsinogen” and “chymotrypsinogen,” but you and I both know that you don’t do much.  It’s not even like you empty the dishwasher or anything.  The least you could do, after I’ve been testing blood sugar levels and bolusing all day long, is have dinner on the table when I come home.  Is that too much to ask? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Parenting Suggestions From A Young Woman Who Was Diagnosed With Diabetes As A Child

Last night I had a chance to sit with some parents here in Norwalk and talk about our collective experiences with diabetes.  These parents were taking care of children with diabetes, ranging from the newly diagnosed three year old to the newly diagnosed 13 year old, and everywhere in between.  High school angst, the issues of disclosure, the pursuit of “perfection,” and all those other issues that parents of kids with diabetes, and the kids themselves, are dealing with.

“I was invited here to talk about how to raise a child with diabetes without losing your mind.  But I’m not really qualified to talk about that sort of thing, to be honest.  I’m not the parent of a diabetic child.  I am the diabetic child.”

The parents at this group were wonderful, all actively engaged in their child’s health, just trying to make sense of what diabetes doles out every day.  We were a small group – about 12 of us in total – so the conversation flowed pretty smoothly and comfortably.  And we hit upon some very intimate issues.

Like menstrual cycles and their impact on blood sugars.  (Remind me again why I’m talking about puberty and my female hormones with strangers?)  Or the dodgy things I did as a kid to lash out at my diabetes or my parents or at life in general. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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