Friday, March 15, 2013

Bits and Pieces 2

A few things caught my eye this week:

Check out this video about a model explaining the Hemoglobin A1C test.  It's a 3-D educational tool which shows how glucose molecules stick to hemoglobin.  Being very much a visual learner, I'd love to see one of these on the endocrinologist's desk, so that he could use it to explain the somewhat mysterious number we discuss at each visit.  If you like it, vote and you may see it at your doctor's office soon!

It was great to see Charlie Kimball appear on the Today show talking about indy car racing but also about howType 1 Diabetes shouldn't stop anyone from pursuing their dreams. 

I have found kindred spirits in parents of children with food allergies. We've huddled together at many a birthday party or school event obsessively reading labels or unwrapping the substitute treats we've provided for the occasion. This New York Times Magazine Article describes the results of an ongoing study treating children with multiple food allergies.  One of the intriguing aspects of the article comes towards the end, and involves a ten year old girl who began the study with such severe allergies to so many familiar food items including dairy, wheat, peanuts, nuts and eggs that she had a full-time aide at school.  By the end of her time in the study she was able to eat almost everything she was once allergic to.  Yet she often chose not to.  Partly, there was still a lingering fear.  She also wonders if the people around her would think she had been dishonest about how severe her condition origionally was.  It brings up questions about how diabetes defines those who have it. How would a potential cure or less hands-on treatment affect how people with diabetes are viewed? How would it affect the way they view themselves?

It's always encouraging to be reminded there are people out there researching, advocating and serving as role models for kids (and maybe adults too) with diabetes.

3 comments:

  1. I'm starting to appreciate the food allergy people more and more. A friend whose son was just diagnosed was simultaneously diagnosed with celiac, which she finds harder to deal with.

    Just when I thought I had dibs on the top spot in the food-issues hierarchy!

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  2. I read the article. Wow.

    "Food allergies are a peculiar disease, because most of the time the child is not sick — indeed, she may be bursting with health — but is in omnipresent danger. Statistically the chance of dying is slight. Although the number of emergency-room visits for anaphylaxis caused by food has gone up significantly in the past decade — to as many as 90,000 in a year — only 100 to 200 people die (although statistics are difficult to collect because such deaths are often coded as cardiac arrest). Even for a severely allergic child like Tessa, the mortality rate is estimated at roughly 1 in 1,000, because parents of such children tend to be extremely careful. But food allergies amplify a kind of fear every parent experiences — of a child dashing suddenly into the street and, just like that, being gone. Your child is always playing near a precipice that is visible only to you: you may be able to keep her from falling off, but you can never move her away from the edge." <--familiar!

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    Replies
    1. Very! Perhaps it's another reason we feel a connection.

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