You know, my wonderful 15 y.o. son has dealt with this lousy disease since the tender age of 3.
I know it intimately, and it is a real beast. If you haven't lived with it 24/7, you DON'T GET IT. I promise you that. You don't get it anymore than I get what it's like to battle cancer. My Mom has battled it. My Dad is battling it now. I have 2 good friends who are battling it. I empathize with them. But do I really
get it? Do I really
understand it? No. As a nurse who taught newly dx'd diabetics in the hospital, I thought I knew about "D." Even after 10 years, I now realize that all I understood were the mechanics. I didn't know crap about D. And I respectfully submit, that unless it lives in your body, your kids, your home, you don't either. For those with type 2 diabetes, you don't get type 1, either. Even if you take insulin shots, YOU DON'T GET IT EITHER. Type 1 diabetes is it's own special nightmare. That's the "preamble" to my response to the article about reversing diabetes with stem cells. Here's my response directly to the article:
As the article clearly states, "THIS IS NOT A CURE." This is good for someone who has had type 1 (used to be termed "Juvenile") diabetes for many years and is suffering severe complications of the disease. They, and ONLY they, will benefit from having normal blood glucose values returen for a period of a year or two. They, and ONLY they, may benefit from being exposed to toxic levels of damaging radiation and losing their immune system and Lord only knows what else in the long-term, in order to save them from what would otherwise be their imminent kidney failure, limb-loss, stroke or blindness. Like most of the other procedures that have "cured" type 1's of their diabetes, the "cure" has been worse than the disease itself, and is, therefore, not acceptable to the vast majority of dear ones who live with this disease every day.
The research team from NW and Brazil are aware of this, and clearly state it in the article. They also state, correctly, that it is a step...a door that has opened, that they hope will lead to another step, another open door. As do my son and I. Will I excitedly show him the article? I don't think so. There are several procedures out there that have led to insulin-independence for a time, but at a great cost and risk to other areas of health and life, and are thus also unacceptable to the majority of type 1 sufferers.
There are only 2 places that we give our "D" research dollars to. The Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, and the Children With Diabetes Foundation. I don't give $ to ADA or JDRF. I won't post why here, as I'm sure it would be deleted. I do hope the staff here won't delete my suggestion that anyone of you who may have a child with diabetes and need a place where you can go for love and support visit childrenwithdiabetes[dot]com, and go to the parents' support message boards. They were my LIFELINE for those early years, and often still are! The conferences they put on...which the best of the best researches attend, sponsor, and speak at...are awesome and life-giving to the KIDS, who get a chance to see hundreds and hundreds of other kids who are just like them.
If you're a nurse with a heart for kids suffering with diabetes, may I encourage you to consider becoming a CDE? Don't do it just for the money if you don't have the heart...we don't need ANY heartless CDE's. Don't do it just so you can work in an office/daytime clinic environment (rather than rotating shifts!) if you aren't sensitive to the emotional ordeal that this desease is...we don't need ANY insensitive CDE's. But if you have a positive attitude, are a team-player, and want to do a great work with your RN career, there's a shortage of CDE's out there and WE WANT YOU!!!
There's my .02 worth.
I'll climb down off my soapbox now.