There are other bloggers who describe their type 1 children as sweet, and even include it in the title of their blogs. My Reuben is...well... sweet. Hes just a precious little boy. My other kids, I describe as energetic, cute, entertainers, loud, quick witted, funny, caring, sensitive, smart, inquisitive.
But there it is. Reubs is sweet in more ways than one. Stick with me , this blog IS going somewhere.
Recently I read how a blogger whom I love reading was talking with her daughter about a cure. I beleive in a cure and I suggested she be encouraged by reading about the discovery of insulin. To encourage MYSELF thats exactly what I went and did. And I tell you what- I think its about time for a cure! This generation has seen so much in the way of technology - we may see a cure in our lifetimes.
The story of insulin excites me however. Heres some quick history on diabetes and insulin (and it wont be terribly historical or scientific-y thats just not how I am) - *refs at bottom
Ages ago the Greek wrote about diabetes, they were clued in. The word we use now, diabetes, came from the Greek, and related to people wee-ing alot. This is still one of the most recognisable symptoms. 586 years ago, Diabetes is first recorded in English, in the form diabete, in a medical text. (Written around 1425.)
250 years after that, the word mellitus was added. Came from the Latin, meaning "honey", a reference to the sweet taste of the urine. Lots of years of focus on urine, for sure. Ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians, and Persians all noted this. In 1776 Matthew Dobson, confirmed that the sweet taste was because of an excess of a kind of sugar in the urine and blood of people with diabetes. Indians had tested for diabetes by seeing if ants were attracted to the urine and called it 'sweet urine disease'. I read once that a mother noticed her childs urine on a cement path (before diagnosis) had dried out in the sunshine and left a 'substance' probably sugar...
In ancient eras Diabetes was regarded a death sentence. Hippocrates didnt even mention it - he mustve felt the disease was incurable. Aretaeus did attempt to treat it but could not give a good prognosis; he commented that "life (with diabetes) is short, disgusting and painful." Frick...
:( This makes me immensely sad when I think about Reuben being born in a different generation and what his prognosis wouldve been. For all the diabetics in the world, through the ages. Immensely sad. But the story gets better.
Some scientists named Mering and Minkowski found out that dogs with pancreas removed developed all the signs of diabetes and died shortly afterwards - (this was in 1889.) They were credited with discovering the role of the pancreas.
Now into the 1900's.
In 1910, it was suggested that people with diabetes were deficient in a single chemical that was normally produced by the pancreas and called this substance insulin.
Enter insulin injections....!
1922. THIS IS EXCITING. The insulin was tested on Leonard Thompson. He was a 14-year-old diabetes patient who lay dying at the Toronto General Hospital. He was given an insulin injection. At first he suffered a severe allergic reaction (eek) and further injections were cancelled. The scientists worked hard on improving the extract (for 12 days Collip worked) and then a second dose of injections were administered on Thompson.
The results were spectacular!
The scientists went to the other wards with diabetic children, most of them comatose and dying from diabetic keto-acidosis.
They went from bed-to-bed and injected them with the new purified extract - insulin. This is known as one of medicines most dramatic moments. Before injecting the last comatose children, the first started to awaken from their comas. A joyous moment for family members and hospital staff!!
Both Banting and MacLeod got a Nobel Prize in 1923. They shared their Prize money with others who werent recognised. They made the patent available without charge and did not attempt to control commercial production.
For this I am grateful.
For our sweet kids.