Dear readers, I need your assistance in making a profit-for-science decision involving diabetes research. This would especially apply to other people who have lived with diabetes for fifty or more years. Hear me out. Help me to decide.
To begin, after having applied for and received the rare and renowned bronze “Victory Medal” and Certificate this past January, my boasting capacity is limited. Through the Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC) in Boston, Massachusetts, these specifically recognize “the remarkable achievement of a successful life with insulin-dependent diabetes for half a century.” Okay, fine. I am alive with most of my original parts, excluding my appendix and my virginity.
Now the JDC would like me to participate in a study. My succumbing to this ‘study’ would assist the JDC to receive funding for a special research project from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They have demonstrated that there is still insulin being made in [the bodies of] several 50-year medalists. Furthermore, this would allow the JDC to gain a “grant (money) to examine factors protecting against complications and complete destruction of insulin producing cells.”
Of course the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is involved along with “international leaders” and “experts from Europe and the United States.” It is a study. That word worries me.
If I submit and fly to Boston, the one-day, 8-hour, study “will include studies of the amount of blood flow in [my] eyes associated with protection from diabetic neuropathy, continued evidence of insulin production in the [my] pancreas, auto-immune diseases, and…”
The tests that they perform involve a “mixed meal tolerance test that would challenge my pancreas to excrete any insulin that is there.” Something about C-peptides and islet cells. Blood tests every thirty minutes are also necessitated. So far, their studies “suggest that there is a mechanism preventing the immune system from destroying all the cells with insulin. This makes identifying individuals who are like this crucial to finding how to resist auto-immune destruction.” Hmm.
Those are most of the facts that I have been told. Sure, my flight expense would be re-imbursed, a one-night stay at a nearby Holiday Inn re-imbursed along with the taxi fare to the hospital.
My negations involve #1. Coming up with the fares in the first place; #2. Traveling alone, which I do not like doing, especially cross-country; #3. Affording a rent-a-car to visit family and friends while I am there – if I go. Why can’t “they” come out here and do their testing?! Does not California have state-of-the-art scientific diabetes study facilities and capabilities of its own? I guess Joslin wants to shine.
All in all, this study does not claim to procure a cure. That is the end-product I would like to parttake in. From what I am to understand, “they” want to find out how come I lived so long with this disease. I can answer that: I take care of myself. I’ll just have to have them read my book. This whole medalist thing will be mentioned in one of my next books as well!