Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Sometimes I think back to the days before insulin. I think about parents watching their kids waste away. I think about the crazy diets and the outrageous drinking plans designed to slow an inevitable death.

Then I think about the 20 units I waste every three days, just thrown out with my tubing. Or more frequently, if I see bubbles in my tubing. Or the insulin bottles I throw out that are "almost" empty. Or the almost full bottle of Lantus I threw out a few days ago because it's been open since April- when I started the pump, and is probably about as useful as saline now in lower blood sugars.

I think about the fact that my doctor prescribes 6 bottles of Novolog as a three month supply, even though 4 would likely suffice. "Just in case!" she declared, when I told her 6 was in excess of my needs.

I think about how much good this insulin would have done back in 1920. The amount of insulin I waste in a week could have saved a few people back in 1920.

And I realize, I have come to take for granted the hormone my life depends on. Then I see visions of Katrina, and it's aftermath. And I shutter.

But I only think about this sometimes. Because the fact remains that while a complex genetic process can use bacteria or yeast to grow virtually unlimited amounts of a slightly genetically altered form of a hormone my own body faithfully made up until last year, there is no way to go back 86 years and help the prior suffers.

And this gives me new hope for the continued improvements in diabetes care I have yet to see. But in the mean time, I shall appreciate that piece of plastic technological wonder glued to my waist just a little more.

"It eluded us then, but that's no matter -- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. ... And one fine morning ---- So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."


Minnesota Nice said...

Lovely. I really liked this post. I continue to try to focus on gratitude each and every day - I've seen a ton of improvements in my 32 years with db and know there will be more to come, even if the cure doesn't.

Kelsey said...

You're so right Megan.

We're very lucky.

Great post :)

Johnboy said...

Well, it's not everyday that Fitzgerald is quoted, but this is a fine phrase indeed.

Things WILL continue to get better!

bethany said...

as kelsey said ... we are very very lucky...

what would we do if we couldn't afford our insulin or we didn't even have insulin?