Starting the Conversation
We’ve made big strides on our new Web site since I last wrote to you, and it’s shaping up into an exciting and dynamic community gathering place. Once it’s been inaugurated, you’ll want to drop in on a daily basis and check out what’s happened since the day before. We’re going to be posting all our articles hot off the press, and the input from you will be right there as well, ready for the lively back-and-forth that already animates your letters to the editor.
Be sure to write us about whatever’s on your mind—whether it’s an inspiring personal story, a funny anecdote, or an impassioned opinion, we want to hear from you, so that you can hear from each other. Let’s talk.
Turning a Page
Of course, you’ll still want the actual magazine to sit down with in your favorite chair and enjoy. Paging through a magazine is an old-fashioned pleasure that a computer screen just can’t recreate. As you may recall from last month’s column, we’re now publishing the magazine every other month so that we can pack it with your favorite articles from the Web site and give our writers more opportunity for in-depth reporting. As a result, our subscription price has also been halved, to just $9.95, and all pre-existing subscriptions have been extended to twice their previous length. We hope that this will allow more people who need information about diabetes to subscribe; for those who cannot, the Web site is, of course, available for free.
Say Hello to Linda
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our new managing editor, Linda von Wartburg, who’s stepping into the ample shoes of Daniel Trecroci. Daniel, whom many of you came to know well during his tenure as editor, has moved on to become a free-lance writer in order to deal with a wider range of health topics. Linda, who brings a fresh outlook to the position, is settling in this month, working on the current issue, and doing some writing. Take a look at her articles about sex and diabetes (if you’re 18 or over), “Women, Sex, and Diabetes” and “Men, Sex, and Diabetes”. She hopes to get to know you all very soon, so please feel free to write to her at email@example.com with any questions or comments.
The Cure: Cynicism and (Faint) Optimism
I always love to hear from our readers, and this month there was quite a reaction to last issue’s letter from Mr. Arnold Mellow, who described his disillusionment with cure-related research and his conviction that funds raised for a cure were lining big money’s pockets. While I share that disillusionment, I also can’t help being interested when something comes along that holds promise (even if it involves, one more time, a mouse). So I was intrigued by Dr. Michael Dosch’s discovery, reported in Cell on December 15, that abnormal nerve endings surrounding pancreatic islet cells are instrumental in the cause and cure of type 1 diabetes in mice. A protein produced by healthy nerve cells, when injected into the pancreases of diabetic mice, cured them of diabetes practically overnight. This research is intriguing because it calls into question the conventional wisdom that autoimmune dysfunction alone is responsible for type 1. See our complete article on the subject, “Canadian Researchers Show a Lot of Nerve”.
We All Scream For…
Driving home the other night after work, musing about how mice get all the good cures, I decided to stop at 7-Eleven for a quick snack. Somehow I ended up buying a half-gallon of Neapolitan ice cream. I’m not sure what I was thinking, maybe something about having a small taste of each flavor and then leaving the rest as a treat for my kids. But as soon as the ice cream and I were home, I took off the top and away I went. After a few bites, I found it tasted best near the edge where it had melted slightly. You know how it gets soft and creamy, so I ate my way around the edges. Somehow I felt I couldn’t put my spoon down until I had “cleaned” away those soft spots around the edges. The more I ate, the more it melted, and the more I had to tidy up. I had a bite of chocolate, then a fresh bite of strawberry, then a rich spoonful of vanilla. Then I would go around again. I decided to let go and rise up to ice cream heaven. I ate till I was full.
I took 6 extra units of insulin, but I guess that wasn’t enough. It took me until the middle of the next day to get my sugars back to normal. As a Low-Carb guy, I was surprised. Oh well. It sure did taste good, and now my craving for ice cream is gone! But I do wonder what came over me. Was it letting myself contemplate “the cure”? Some thoughtless rebellion against the everlasting grind of self-discipline that is diabetes? Did I simply sink into a over-indulgent ice cream coma? It doesn’t really matter. I pick myself up, a fatter but wiser man, and re-spin the threads of my resolve. Next time, I’ll just get a pint.
Type 1, 32 years (and counting)
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