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Last night I woke up with a start. Before opening my eyes I was sure there was a loud phone ringing at the foot my bed. When I looked, there was no phone. Why was I awake then? I went to the dinning room to test my blood sugar, and sure enough, it was low-34 mg/dl. I had glucose tablets right there and I ate them.
It reminded me that last month I awoke in a similar fashion, but the phone really was ringing that night. My sister called after midnight to tell me that my big brother had just died.
I'm still recovering from this news, but I'm better now. I was in a fog for several days-couldn't really think straight.
The mind works in mysterious ways. Could there be a connection between that real call and this dreamed one? This night I thanked God for the ringing phone in my dream which woke me in time to treat my hypo.
The reason for the hypo you ask? I took a run on the beach and forgot to cut back my insulin.
Other Family News
My wife's mother Carol had a stroke. She has had diabetes for 12 years, and it's always been difficult for her to control BG's. She's been staying with us and is now recovering quite well. She was completely paralyzed at first, but now she is on her way to recovery.
My wife Nadia has been testing her mom's BG's, blood pressure and giving her all her insulin shots and pills. It's not difficult to do, but does take time. (She also takes care of our three- and five-year-old children.)
Nadia recently called me at work to say that her mom must be getting her dexterity back. Nadia had gone to the freezer to get the ice cream out to fix the kids a cone, but there was none left. The better part of a half gallon had disappeared.
"Mom, did you get into the ice cream?" Nadia asked.
"Yes," her mom answered, apparently feeling better.
Nadia gave her a talking to, "If you can get up and walk to the freezer, get a bowl and scope ice cream, maybe you can test your own BG's and take insulin to cover the ice cream."
In Other News
If you've been following our articles on Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, you'll be surprised by an article on page 13. Apparently Patrick has left his company and is being sued for $46 million by Mylan Laboratories. Mylan claims that it gave Soon-Shiong the money to pursue encapsulated islet cell research and he spent it on other purposes which benefited him personally. This on the heels of Steven Craig's suicide-Patrick's "model" patient who was "cured" with Patrick's implanted islets.
I've recently been told that Steven was taking insulin for the last five years, even though he told me and others that he wasn't. In a transcript of Soon-Shiong's presentation to the FDA in January of this year, he said that Steven was only off insulin for 30 days. To confuse matters even further, no autopsy was ever performed on Craig to see the state of his islets. It is hard to know what's really happened, but it is discouraging.
The C-peptide Test
I am finding more good doctors performing this test on many of their patients. I recommend that all of us ask for this test. In most labs, a positive test is greater than 0.7 nanograms (a normal fasting result is between .6 and 2.5 nanograms). This indicates the body is still making its own insulin.
It's been suggest to me that this could be a route to finding a cure for this disease. If a type 1 still makes even a drop of insulin, then he has some function islets. If it were possible to extract them (or the stem cells) and encourage them to divide, we might be able to re-introduce them without using any immunosuppressants.
A new Japanese study has suggested that this test is also very helpful in staging the treatment options for type 2 diabetes as well. If someone is still making insulin, knowing how much can significantly help guide the treatment.
I hope you enjoy this issue and the rest of your summer.
Aug 1, 1998
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.