Most of my day yesterday was spent using Google to research whatever came to mind about Type 1 diabetes. The whole thing started because I wanted to know more about the camps I had heard of.
At the conclusion of my day, I felt the the Type 1 diabetes camps are a huge deal, a must. I found a bunch of them, all over the country, and a lot of them are provided at no cost to the attendee or the parents.
It seems that Type 1 is one of the most psychologically and behaviorally demanding chronic illnesses facing Americans today. I found many estimates that speak of higher than normal suicide rates, of the patients, and much higher than normal divorce rates, among the parents. Another estimate spoke of maybe as high as 70% of insulin overdose was on purpose. Even yet, more research suggest that siblings of Type 1 patients have more problems to work through, later in life, than siblings that have no diabetes to contend with. To that, some may say “no duh” but I never thought of it, so others may not have either.
I found a Dr. Denise Faustman M.D. , PhD that is a couple of years into the second phase of a clinical trial that may hold a cure of sorts, it’s a vaccine. The research center is at the Massachusetts General Hospital. I read that Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Lee Iacocca Foundation has donated money to the project. Her work centers around the BCG vaccine, and it has been around for over 80 years.
I came away from this day with a feeling, and I think I’m right, that Type 1 requires constant management, no letting down. One other thing I read was that children that have their levels checked less than three times a day, it is again, estimated, cut down on their life expectancy by possibly as many as ten to twenty years.
One other thing about the camps, and I sure see their value, it’s noted that the camps are usually for the patient to attend and this may give some parents time for a brief rest, if needed. What I’m getting ready to type here sounds horrible, but we are human. It was noted that many parents and siblings, of the patient, over time, build some resentment towards the disease and it may manifest itself in their behavior towards the Type 1 patient.
I can say this, I’ve never dealt with anything like Type 1 Diabetes, not even close. My heart goes out to all involved.
P.S. I also think we have lots of folks working to make things better for Type 1 diabetics, and I believe that may also make life easier for their families