As a person with Type 1 diabetes, I’ve been frustrated in years past with the lack of advancement for the treatment of this disease. It wasn’t until about five years ago that I decided to stop complaining and take action. I asked myself the question – why aren’t things changing and what can I do to help? I did a bit of research and with the help of my regular physician, I was added to a list of diabetes related trials. I had no idea what I was in for, but knew it was something I had to do.
Shortly after signing on the dotted line, I was given the opportunity to participate in a blind trial. I took a deep breath and agreed. I sat anxiously as the facilitator shared the details. I was 98% on board until she said, “You’ll have blood drawn (lab work) at each visit“. I loath having this done and damn near pass out every time, but this didn’t stop me – I was committed.
I won’t bore you with the details of the study, but in a nutshell, I was trying a new long acting insulin and had to completely flip my regimen upside down. I whole heartedly did my best to document what was asked of me. For the first time in my adult life, my T1D management was shot. I was determined to keep going and it wasn’t until having a nervous breakdown on my parent’s sofa that I threw in the towel.
I felt defeated and reluctantly contacted the research institute to explain the situation. I felt like I had let them down and totally beat myself up for not completing the study. It took a few weeks of reflection to fully comprehend I had done my best. I feel confident I would have stuck with it if it wasn’t taking a such toll on my mind, body and spirit.
I have no regrets and have participated in two studies since this disastrous one. As we all know, insulin hasn’t changed all that much, but technology has. I’m incredibly grateful for all the brave souls who sacrificed a portion of their precious lives to participate in all of the trials that have lead us to this point – CGMs, insulin pump therapy, insulins, etc.
Who knows what lies ahead as I’ve been promised a “CURE” for 33+ years, but I’m excited for the future. I’ll continue to be a #walkingscienceproject so my experience will hopefully help the newly diagnosed folks live as wonderful of a life as I have. #YouAreNotAlone