There’s a lot of research going on right now in the diabetes world. There are new blood sugar meters coming out that let you scan a thing on your arm and give you your blood sugar (this link explains that much better than I just did: http://www.freestylelibre.com.au )
There are studies into what virus might have triggered type 1 and there are studies into whether the beta cells in the pancreas are just dormant rather than dead.
All very cool stuff! Anything to make management easier is awesome in my book. I want a machine or app thing that lets you take a photo of food and gives you a carb count that’s 100% accurate because my maths is dire.
But a lot of these research projects talk about a cure. This elusive cure is brought up a lot. When I was diagnosed there was talk of it happening in the next ten years. We’re on year 6 now. I’ve heard from others in the DOC (diabetes online community) that they were told that as well. Thing is, they were diagnosed decades ago. It’s always another ten years, then another, then another.
I’ve read a few posts on where people stand on this and how they feel about a cure. I think my views have changed over time.
When I was diagnosed I was in denial about it all and thought that they had the diagnosis wrong. I had this little idea in my head that they had the wrong type of diabetes or the wrong disease. I thought that whatever I had could be cured. No one ever said that! But I just couldn’t quite get my head around it at first and that made me feel better. When you’re 14 finishing high school seems like an eternity away. The rest of your life is just too much to think about.
Once I did accept that no, I did in fact have type 1 and that I would have it forever, my ideas on a cure changed. When you’re at that age you’re shifting around a lot, or at least I was. I wanted to know exactly who I was and this new diabetes thing gave me a label. Sounds a bit crazy, but I liked having a label. Did I like my diabetes? Of course not. But I used to wonder if a cure came around, would I accept it straight away? If I lost my diabetes, what would happen to the rest of me? I’d kind of connected myself to my condition because that was a clear and simple thing to do.
Now I’m a bit older I’ve got a better idea of who I am. We’re still not quite concrete on everything, but who in their 20s is certain about every aspect of themselves? Who is 100% set in stone at any age? We change constantly because we learn constantly. But with those few years and a little more idea about myself, I see myself as a lot more than a diabetic. Yes, I’m diabetic. I’m also a whole lot of other things! I do think my diabetes has a part in quite a bit of my worldview and personality but it definitely isn’t the key factor. So now if you ask me about a cure I can say two things.
1) If it happened I’d take it in a second.
2) I don’t think it’s going to happen.
I think technology will continue to improve. I think that this technology will make management easier. Maybe one day there will be some kind of implant that basically functions without me being too involved.
But I will still have diabetes.
I think they will find a prevention, or at least I hope they do. I think they will be able to diagnose people at risk much earlier through genetic markers.
I think they will be able to even stop new cases occurring.
But I don’t think they can cure me. Maybe there will be some transplant, but that will probably have to be maintained and one medication will be substituted for another. It’s also far more profitable to treat a condition than cure a condition.
Sure, maybe I’m just a cynical pessimist. I don’t know what science will look like next year, let alone in decade’s time. But right now I think “the cure” isn’t something to hang out for. I hope they prove me wrong.