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Diabetes: Be Part Of The Cure

(And no, this doesn’t mean you have to become Robert Smith.)

With more than two decades of diabetes clocked in, my faith in a cure has been shaken with every diabetes anniversary. Each September, I realize that more has been done to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes, but little has been done in giving us the hope that a cure — a real cure — is possible in our lifetime.

Except last year, when I made a trip to Florida to visit the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI), my hope was reignited. The Diabetes Research Institute is functioning solely to provide research for a cure for diabetes. And I have cautious hope that they will be the ones to make great strides in curing type 1 diabetes. If not for me, then for the generation after me.

Which is why I am part of The Cure this month for American Diabetes Month. I made a small donation to the DRI and uploaded my photo to the Cure collage. (You can find me in the bottom left hand corner of that sassy little “E” there.) 

Be part of the Cure!

Camillo Ricordi, Scientific Director and Chief Academic Officer of the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, stated in a recent interview on the Huffington Post: “I started this work to cure diabetes. My goal has not changed. I will keep working until I get the job done.”

I can get on board with that.  Be part of the Cure.

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

Why Is Healthcare Reform So Complicated?

A common question that I get as a practicing physician with a public health background is: “Why is healthcare reform so complicated?” I feel that the question of who’s responsible for healthcare payment is not always an easy one to answer. An example from my most recent weekend on call covering an academic pediatric endocrinology practice demonstrates this point:

“Bill” is a 16-year-old African American male on state Medicaid insurance with type 1 diabetes since the age of 10.  He is followed regularly every three months by another colleague in the endocrinology clinic. Review of his last several clinic notes on the electronic medical record reveal that he has been in moderate control of his diabetes on NPH/Novolog twice-daily insulin regimen. Approximately one year prior he was changed to this insulin regimen due to concerns with missed insulin shots on another insulin regimen that provided superior control but which required four shots of insulin daily rather than the two shots daily on his current regimen. Read more »

“The Thought” Of Your Child Having Diabetes

It wasn’t until yesterday that I thought “The Thought” for the first time.

She had a very wet diaper in the afternoon. And even though she had nursed for a long time and even though she seemed (and is) healthy and very strong, I still thought about taking out my meter and pricking her heel myself. Just thought it for a second.

I didn’t follow through, though. I didn’t let “The Thought” stay for more than a flicker, as I immediately finished changing her diaper and started singing her a song about the power of tiny spoons. (Don’t ask — my songs never make any sense.) I shook “The Thought” off the same way I shake off the thought every time I wonder if my niece or nephew might have dipped into my autoimmune grab bag. I don’t allow my brain to go there. It’s not denial, but feels more like a protective measure taken by my mind, protecting my psyche from letting “The Thought” permeate my daily life. Read more »

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

For Moms And Moms-To-Be With Diabetes

Buy this book!For anyone who has been reading my blog since my engagement three years ago, you know that motherhood has been on my radar for a long time. Longer than marriage. That quest for a decent A1C, that desire for a “normal” pregnancy, and that hope for a happy and healthy baby.

Part of the reason I wanted to write about my pregnancy here on SUM is because there wasn’t a lot of information out there about pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy. There was a LOT of information on gestational diabetes (obviously), and type 2 diabetes got some good press, but type 1 diabetes was sort of swept under the rug. Thankfully, there were a few diabetes bloggers who had chronicled their journeys, and I wanted to add my voice to that hopeful chorus.   

But also thankfully, Cheryl Alkon had taken the topic to her publisher, and she penned the first book on managing pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy. And I’m very honored to have been both featured in her book (as a woman preparing for pregnancy) and to have her contributing here on Six Until Me (SUM). Read more »

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

An Artificial Pancreas For Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University have reported that an “artificial pancreas” has worked in 11 patients enrolled in a study sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The device consists of insulin pumps, glucose sensors, and a laptop with regulatory software. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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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