Friday, July 18, 2014

It begins again

It has been a long time since I have written, and it has been my experience life gets either more complex or more simple as we age. For me, it has come in waves. Just as I think things could not get more hectic, life settles into a soothing flow. And once I've enjoyed that for a while something happens that throws me for a loop, whether good or bad, and the cycle continues. But that's what makes life so beautiful and why we can appreciate all of the good in it. That being said, today I have begun a new journey in my life that will help to positively impact not only my life but the lives of millions. (Yes this sounds incredibly pompous but bear with me)

I once again have the extreme honor of working with the Center for Diabetes Technology at UVA to participate in a phase 3 outpatient clinical study of the artificial pancreas, which is now called the Diabetes Assistant (DiAs), in which I get to take the DiAs home with me!!! If you have been following the press regarding diabetes technology or have been following my blog, you know that this is a HUGE step forward towards improving the lives of type 1 diabetics and towards finding a cure.

The progression of this trial is going to come in waves before I actually get to use the DiAs for 24 hrs a day, and today marks the official beginning, as with the other trials I have participated in.

I went for my health screening with a physical examination and bloodwork, and also signed my paperwork to be allowed to be a part of this trial. I got my dexcom CGM for the trial, and had a ton of safety protocol training to make sure that I stay healthy during the trials.  So I will be wearing the trial CGM for 3 weeks to gear up for the next phase which will have me using a new insulin pump in preparation for using the DiAs at home (!!!!!!).

I dont think that the reality of how immense what I am doing had set in fully until this afternoon.  I've been wide eyed since I got the email this past Tuesday asking if I was able to be a part of this trial,  and I slept maybe a total of 2 hours last night. If you know me, you know that I dont sleep before anything exciting happens in my life. Even at almost 30 years old I can barely sleep on Christmas eve, it's just what I do. So while I knew that this was exciting enough to warrant a sleepless night, I think that I finally realized the magnitude of this trial when I walked into a room filled with what can best be described as Christmas morning for diabetics. CGMs, glucose meters, tabs, a blood keytone meter, an insulin pump, I mean the display was intense and somehow I've managed to keep myself together but I know the tears are coming. If I make it through to tomorrow without an episode of uncontrolled happy sobbing it will be a small miracle. But I've worked hard to stay healthy for the past 20 years since my diagnosis and not only me but all the people who have helped me get here  have earned this bit of freedom.

Once again I don't have words to clearly express how immensely excited and grateful I am to UVA, Stacey, and the rest of the team at the Center for Diabetes Technology to be doing this, and I know that the future is going to be so incredible. Not just because I have the chance to use the DiAs but because this all means that the DiAs is on the horizon for all type 1 diabetics. The hope that I see for the future is mind blowing and I can only wish that others are able to feel that hope too. The future is here and it's coming faster than anyone could have ever wished for. Get ready world, we are about to diabeat this!!!