We want. And want. And want.
Better accuracy. Cheaper supplies. Closed loop. Artificial pancreas. Easier diagnostic tools. Doctors who get the “whole picture” and not just numbers. More awareness of the differences between Type 1 and Type 2. More awareness of diabetes overall. A gag order imposed on the Diabetes Police. No complications. No deaths from diabetes. A cure. Heck, fast acting glucose flavor options that don’t make you gag would be nice.
We’re a greedy bunch, aren’t we?
We deserve all of these things. (Some things more than others…) We don’t just idly sit back and wait for them to come to us. We fight for understanding, for support, for encouragement, for community. Some brave souls fight long after their family members have lost their own lives.
I’ve always believed that nothing worth having ever comes easy, but sometimes I wish it wouldn’t be so hard. The financial aspect of diabetes alone is enough to drive one crazy. (And in my case, it’s a short drive.) According to the latest statistics updated yesterday (Did they know I was coming? They could have baked a cake!) from the American Diabetes Association, $245 billion dollars was spent on diabetes in 2012 between direct costs and lost productivity. 25.8 million people in the United States have diabetes (T1 and T2) from the 2011 stats… so, with my mediocre math skills, that comes down to…
Oh, forget that. I do enough math counting carbs and basal adjustments. It’s a lot. And I’m sure that’s not taking into consideration the cost of trying to eat healthier. (Hat tip to Kerri for the great post about food costs.) The cost of parents driving to and from schools to talk about the 504 plans for their children or to check a blood sugar or give an injection or change an insertion set. It’s not taking into consideration that we are bound to the ideal that we should take good care of ourselves now so we don’t burden our families years from now because we’re not eligible for long term care insurance. The costs of choosing between a needle that hurts a lot and a needle that hurts less. Ripping out an insertion set after two
days hours because it’s occluded. The cost of choosing between accuracy and expensive and not so accurate but you’ll be able to buy other supplies.
We’re greedy. It’s not just dollars. It’s sense. (Yes, I know it’s actually cents. Work with me here, please.)
A sense of feeling good. Healthy. Not looking over our shoulders for the ever present creep of a low or the sledgehammer of a high. Not being second guessed by our medical team or the people we love or… by absolute strangers who think they know all about diabetes because they watched a Lifetime movie or Steel Magnolias or (insert grim face here) a relative.who.is.now.dead. Depression runs amok amongst us. Fact. (If you want to get depressed, feel free to read this scholarly account.) I don’t know about you, but when I’m depressed, I am less likely to fight for what I need. I’ll take what I can get.
Cue the DOC. I definitely got what I wanted when it comes to that. A group of people who come from all walks of life, with different opinions and ideas, and varying levels of potty mouth to keep us all going forward. One person alone can make an impact, groups can make an impact, but oh… the DOC. Be still my heart.
For me, my DOC showed up in the mid 1990s with my discovery of a wonderful man…. David Mendosa. Know him? If you do, then you understand. If you don’t, then take a gander at “The List”. Put it this way, David was my gateway drug when I was jonesing for knowledge and feeling very alone. (Truth? I did not go to “diabetes camps”. I didn’t know a lot of diabetics. Like, I could count them on less than five fingers.) The Insulin Pump Forum helped me make one of the most important decisions of my life in 1999. I couldn’t have take a giant leap forward without their insights and support.
These days? Swing a cat. (A virtual cat, please. No kitties should be harmed in the name of this post.) Bam said the lady. Blogs. Groups. Conferences. Chats. A single phone call from the ER to one T1 friend connected me to a woman in Texas who had the same issues. Bam.
I found out that you want what I want. We want. And want. And want. Together.
Greedy? You bet. And we won’t stop until we get it.
(But until then… suggestions for fast glucose options that won’t break open in the bottom of a purse or glop everywhere and doesn’t taste mindnumbingly bad? I’m all ears. I’m certainly not all pancreas, but I am all ears.)