November 16, 2012

Insulin Is Not A Cure - Giving Back

My twin knows everything about me. She knows my style, she knows how to push my buttons, she knows how to be supportive, she knows how to provide a little entertainment, she knows how to calm me down, she knows how to be my other half, and most of all, she is helping me in a broader perspective by participating in a Diabetic research study called the Twin Family Study.

She has been participating in this since I was diagnosed. The Twin Family Study is, in part, done by the Barbara Davis Center to help get more insight into the genetic aspect of Type 1 Diabetes. Why do I have this disease and Madison does not? Why am I the only one affected? What genes have been activated in my DNA that haven't been in Madison's? They aim to find out. Genes that give a predisposition to type 1 diabetes are crucial in determining whether or not someone will actually be diagnosed with the diease. Madison and I are fraternal twins, but there are still genetic predispositions involved with this disease. She gets her blood drawn every year to measure for diabetes-related antibodies and to measure what kind of predisposition she has to diabetes and to see if that has changed. This is for close monitoring for early detection of diabetes should she happen to contract it. I hope she never does. Instances in which twins, fraternal or identical, having diabetes is rare. The study helps find environmental triggers for diabetes.

My twin and I...contributing one more step in the research to understand Diabetes.

I have also been involved in a Diabetic study when I was younger. There was a product knows as the GlucoWatch. I remember the study, and I can only tell you a few details. I just remember having to stay overnight in the hospital. It was literally the longest night of my life. I didn't get even an hour of sleep. The study was to test the effectiveness of this GlucoWatch. It literally was a large watch that I wore around my wrist, but the face of it was on the anterior side of my wrist, so you could see the face of it when my hand was supinated (facing upward - sorry, #anatomyterminology). Anyway, it tested my blood sugar every hour or so. I just remember having an IV in my arm for the duration of the study and them drawing blood every half hour or forty-five minutes. I was terrified laying there in the hospital bed that I would unconscously bend my arm in my sleep and mess up the IV, so I literally did not fall asleep. The GlucoWatch was not a success for me. Every time it tested my blood sugar, it vibrated on my skin and was very painful! I got so frustrated with it because I couldn't take it off, I was exhausted, and dreaded every vibration every hour. I was in tears towards the middle of the night because I was so frustrated. The nurse had to come in and massage the skin on my wrist around the face of the watch to help lessen some of the irritation. She wasn't allowed to take it off either, and looking back, I am so thankful for those nurses who were so nice to me and endured my frustrated tears. Towards the early hours of the morning, I remember my blood starting to form some clots around the catheter/needle in my arm for the IV. It was probably because I had my arm in one position for so long. I literally did not move it I was so afraid of messing it up. They ended up having to take my IV out early because the blood just wasn't so efficient anymore. I was relieved when I was able to go home the next day. However, for the longest time, I couldn't bend my elbow because my arm with the IV had sat in one attitude for so long. My muscles were so stiff, it took about an hour to be able to completely bend my arm again. Needless to say, I never bought the GlucoWatch. I learned that I wasn't the only one participating in the study with complaints of skin irritation. They have better monitors and stuff now, but I was able to give back to the community that was trying to make my life easier by telling them I didn't like the product. Sure, it seems a little ungrateful, but they need the positive and negative feedback that patients give them.

It's all a way of giving back.

"One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
 -Proverbs 18:24

1 comment:

  1. Morgan I really loved this post...I really did. It made me think of my sister and how we are so close. But at the same time, that verse that you left at the bottom is one of the most beautiful posts...Jesus DOES stick closer than a brother. How amazing is that?



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