Yesterday we kept stuff in, so today let’s clear stuff out. What is in your diabetic closet that needs to be cleaned out? This can be an actual physical belonging, or it can be something you’re mentally or emotionally hanging on to. Why are you keeping it and why do you need to get rid of it?
I have a confession to make: I am not dreaming of a cure.
*Everyone collectively gasps. WHAT? Is she completely out of her mind?*
Before you start throwing used pods at me or stab me with a million syringes, allow me to explain.
Cure: something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
A cure would make diabetes go away completely and permanently. Life without diabetes would be grand. We could keep all the healthy habits we picked up, deposit thousands of dollars in the bank instead of spending them on diabetes supplies, and discard illness, worry, fear, pain, stress, frustration, sleepless nights, advanced math, bionic gadgets, 504 plan, and many other unwanted things diabetes brings with it.
Do I want it? Yes, of course, more than anything! I just don’t think it will happen anytime soon. When V got the diagnosis two years ago, I pounced at every article or news that talked about a possible cure in the near future. I got very excited about the next “breakthrough”. I was filled with hope that the cure was just around the corner.
The reality quickly caught up with me and hope turned into skepticism. “There will be a cure within 10 years”, is what supposedly the diabetes community has been hearing for a few decades. Mice have been cured, those lucky rodents. Humans have not been so fortunate. Promises, shmomises…
Instead of dreaming of a cure I am dreaming of better treatments and technology. Now, advances in technology and treatment are indeed developing rapidly right in front of our eyes. Only 1.5 years ago, when we were just starting with the pump and Dexcom, we were talking about how amazing it would be to monitor V’s blood sugar remotely. Today it is a reality, thanks to new Dexcom Share and Nightscout Project. We’ve been dipping a toe in the waters of dosing by CGM instead of finger stick. (Shhhh, don’t tell our Endo. We only do it once in a while.) I dream of a time when V does not have to prick her fingers and I believe that time is only a few years way. My biggest dream is that of an artificial pancreas – a device that will fully, automatically and reliably regulate blood sugars without needing any manual input about carbs, activity level, barometric pressure or planet alignment. I dream that it will be available to V by the time she turns 18. However, take note: artificial pancreas is not a cure. While it will provide for effortless management, it will not make diabetes go away.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe my bigger problem is that the dream part of my brain is broken? You know how when normal people dream about winning the lottery, they picture themselves rolling in cash, taking exotic vacations, buying all kinds of nice things, becoming philanthropists extraordinaire, and doing all kinds of other exciting things? Me, when I dream of winning the lottery, I dream of winning just enough money to be able to pay off all our debt. That is it. Pathetic, huh? In my dreams, we pay off the debt and move on with our lives as usual, unburdened by debt, able to build up savings and college accounts for kids, taking un-extravagant family vacations once or twice a year, but working and living as if nothing changed. Except I would definitely gut the kitchen and update it, but I would want to stay in our modest happy home, thankyouverymuch.
OK, I digress… What’s my point? I guess my point is that I’m dreaming of things that have a realistic promise of materializing in the near future. (Although how the heck winning the lottery fits into that is beyond me!) A cure is nowhere on the horizon, as far as I can tell. When the next new breakthrough makes it into Phase 3 HUMAN trials, let’s talk. Until then, I’m letting it go. You’ll find me fantasizing about the artificial pancreas and finally getting rid of that stupid breakfast bar in the kitchen.