“The Day of the Hard Look”

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There was some news this week in the diabetes community and there have been mixed reactions.  Some are excited, hopeful and encouraged.  Others are frustrated, disheartened and even resentful.

I am a little of both.  I am cautiously optimistic.  That’s how I am in general, and I am the same as it relates developments in diabetes research and potential advances.

A friend blogged about her sadness regarding the outlook for a cure for diabetes after hearing the reactions from others to this week’s news.  The fact that a time frame of five to ten years for a cure has been given to people diagnosed with diabetes for tens of years was a little more than discouraging.  I understand and relate to this.

This is my reply to Rachel:

I don’t think people are made much more skeptical than I am.  I have this book which dedicates a page to every day of the year and describes what people are like based upon the day of the year they were born.  My day is called “The day of the hard look”.  It defines me perfectly – anyone who knows me is fascinated at the eeriness of the accuracy of this book as it relates to me.

That being said, I have hope.

I don’t really understand why people (doctors) need to define a time frame to this. I suppose it’s because it’s something we all want to hear. Giving it definition when it is IMPOSSIBLE to define is what makes this situation that we are in. Once the measurement is defined, we have something to look at and say, “well that didn’t work – they were wrong – they lied – it WON’T happen.”

But I haven’t given up. The time frame may be wrong, but the theory, I believe, is right.

There ARE resources – many resources – tasked to tackle this. I don’t have the slightest clue when their efforts will be realized, but I truly believe they will be. It may be 100 years from now, it may be 10. But I believe this puzzle will be solved.

None of us are sitting around waiting for a cure. We are all doing everything we can to keep ourselves or our kids healthy now.

I think of the people who lived with diabetes in the early 1900s who starved themselves to live another day, every day, in hope of a cure. The cure came for many of them.  It was insulin.  It saved their lives.

Now I am NOT saying that insulin is a cure, because I know darn well that it is not. But for these people it might as well have been. From their perspective it was.

I hate what diabetes does and makes us all do as much as anyone. But, I am so very, very thankful (ok, I’m choking up now) that Caleb has the benefit of the advancements that exist today. Even on the worst of days, when I don’t think I can take another second of the crap that diabetes presents us, I remind myself it could be so much worse.

I don’t know when there will be a cure, but I am still hopeful.

More than that, I am hopeful that along the way there will be many more advancements that will make living with diabetes easier and safer. If there are as many in the next 10 years as there were in the last 10 years, living with diabetes in 2020, when Caleb is just 17, will be a very different thing than it is today.

I have read a lot of the responses to Wednesday’s news and appreciate the varying perspectives that have been shared.  Although different, and at times at opposite ends of the spectrum, I am able to relate to most of them.

I am “the day of the hard look”.  No one who knows me would argue this.  But I am still optimistic.  Cautiously optimistic, but optimistic nevertheless.

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9 Replies to ““The Day of the Hard Look””

  1. Lorraine,

    Your comment made me feel so much better! I am so glad that you decided to leave it.

    We all have our ups and downs when it comes to diabetes but your outlook is truly an inspiration to me. Your comment (and other people’s comment) really lifted my spirit.

    For me it’s priceless to have this kind of support! Thank you so much not only for your comment but for being such an inspiration to me and being such a strong support system! 🙂

    Caleb is one lucky little boy to have you in his corner! 🙂

  2. I have such mixed emotions about the latest press release about the artificial pancreas from JDRF. And how can we not? I’ve lived 28 years with the D and would SO love to not live with it anymore. But I’ve personally come to accept I’ll never have that chance. However if they can come up with things that will make it easier & better control my roller coaster BG, I’m ALL for it!! I do agree that now is the best time to have diabetes if there even is a “best” time.

  3. Lorraine: Very well put. I see myself in exactly your shoes (as a 30-year Type 1 since age 5), and I”m sure my D-Mom who’s been living with Type 1 herself since age 5 would voice the same feelings. We were both told “Five Years More” since we can remember, and it almost seems as though it’s been false hope. I’ve really never been disillusioned to think that there will be a cure in my lifetime, but I hope that it comes for future generations so they don’t have to live through this. I understand how people can rely on that hope, especially when it comes from docs at an early stage after diagnosis, but it just seems odd for me to think that people could be so deflated to actually realize that a cure likely won’t be coming in that timeframe. Maybe I’m too cynical, living with this for 25 years and learning much from a D-Mom who’s now been living with it for 51. But, we go on, and welcome greatly the advances and blessings we get every day.

    1. I think my “hard look” nature made me realize within days of Caleb’s diagnosis that the 5 to 10 year prediction was only speculation, hope and helpful words of encouragement in the early days when all the news seems to be overwhelmingly devastating. I just don’t think the “when” can be predicted with any kind of certainty until the cure is actually discovered. We’ll know the “when” when we know the “what”. Until then, I still want people to work toward both goals of finding a cure and making living with diabetes easier. Thanks for your input Michael. It’s helpful to hear from all the “veterans” as, with three years under our belts, I still consider us freshmen. Moreover, it’s hearing from all of you who have grown up with this and have persevered and flourished that gives me hope for Caleb’s future more than anything else.

  4. I’m dying to see the rest of that page…It is really freaking me out! I need a hard look!

    Nice to meet you Lorraine! I look forward to getting to know you better…and Caleb, meeting Nick Jonas, is the greatest thing ever. How cool was that??? The pictures are priceless!

  5. Everyone looks at research from their own angle and that is what makes every ones opinion count. When I read other opinions I often get the, I never looked at it that way feeling and that is great. Please look into what the europeans are doing with adult stem cell therapy for type 1 & type 2 diabetes. They are having fantastic results!

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