Friday, November 30, 2012


It has been two months in the making. The lineup has grown far past what I hoped for. And it's all for YOU!

I may not be Oprah, but these are definitely some of my favorites.

I hope you're sitting down, because it's time to:

(because it's better than cleaning)

Here's what's going down:

What: I'll be hosting a series of rapid-fire, back-to-back giveaways right here on TMP in the month of December. Every weekday until I run out of sponsors (there are a lot, but just in case any companies* want to jump on this bandwagon last-minute to make this a month-long shindig, I won't name the exact number yet), you'll have a chance to enter to win. There will be all kinds of diabetes-related things you can win, and even a few things from non-diabetes-centric companies. You'll find stuff for kids and adults alike. There will be sponsors you're very familiar with, and some that you may not have heard of before. Some of the things I'm giving away, you actually can't buy anywhere. What are they? You'll just have to keep coming back each day to find out!

Who: As long as you or someone you care for has diabetes, you're eligible!

When: Give All The Things will officially launch this coming Monday, December 3rd. I'll publish a post announcing that day's "thing(s)" along with who is generously sponsoring the giveaway. I'll give you instructions on how to get yourself entered to win - it will always be by leaving a comment on that particular post, but the rules may change with different giveaways, so pay close attention! When I say rapid-fire, I'm not kidding: each giveaway will only be open for about 12 hours. I'll specify in each post when comments need to be submitted by, and the winners will be announced on the same post, as I'll update it with the winner(s) once the timeframe has elapsed. Still with me?

Why: Thanks to YOU, the diabetes online community has become a wonderful oasis of support, humor, and understanding. Not only are you taking care of your own diabetes, you're also looking out for others, and that's a lot of hard work. (And if you're thinking right now, "But I haven't really done a lot for others"... here's your nudge.) I'm hoping that this sort of paying it forward will inspire you to keep the goodness going with the people YOU come into contact with. I hope that as you see the kindness being channeled through Give All The Things, you'll extend some kindness to someone else. Let's start an avalanche of awesomeness! If you do something nice for someone else, be sure to tweet it using the hashtag #GiveAllTheThings (because not only am I giving away free stuff, you'll also be giving kindness, help, and compassion - get it?), or leave a note about it on the TMP Facebook wall. If you're in the coffee drive-thru, pay for the person's drink behind you. Pay a heartfelt compliment to someone. Leave a note on someone's car, telling them to have a wonderful day. Send a tweet to someone to tell them how absolutely fantastic they are, despite the high blood sugar reading they just shared. What you do is up to you, but make sure you do SOMETHING!

Happy weekend to you, and I'll see you back here on Monday morning!

*If your organization would like to sponsor a giveaway during Give All The Things, email me by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Joslin Blog Project: Moving Forward.

This post wraps up my part in Joslin Diabetes Center's Blog Project, which I participated in alongside a handful of other dedicated and passionate diabetes advocates during Diabetes Awareness Month. We each wrote four posts (you can find my first three here, here, and here) that detail our personal journey with diabetes, in the hopes that we could raise $5,000 as a team for the Joslin High Hopes Fund. It's not too late to donate, and any amount helps!

Our prompt for the final week is: What tech/management tools/delivery systems have helped you live more normally? How could these things be better?

Much like Batman and his utility belt, I carry and/or wear devices and gadgets that make my job - the job of living well with type 1 diabetes - less difficult. (I hesitate to say "easier", because it remains a fact that exactly none of it is easy, and won't be until technology can do the thinking for us. And even then... okay, I'm stopping this tangent here. It's a whole seperate blog post.)

My trifecta of necessary evils - glucose meter, insulin pump, and continuous glucose monitor - allow me, when used optimally, the information and flexbility to live as "normally" as anyone with diabetes can.

The pump, when programmed correctly for that exact moment in time, gives me the freedom to do things like eat Mexican food (love you, temp basal + extended bolus) and sleep in (love you even more, sleep) on the weekends. It does some of the work that my pancreas won't.

The CGM looks out for me most of the time, alerting me to rises, falls, and out-of-range readings. But more than that, it gives me some degree of confidence. Confidence to exercise, to try new foods, to not eat at all, to sleep (perchance to dream?), to live with a smaller amount of fear and worry. If I had to pick only one piece of tech to help me with diabetes management, this is it.

Glucose meters give me valuable information, too - and some even provide that information in ways that are comfortable and convenient for me - even fun, sometimes. They help me make dosing decisions, food decisions, and mood decisions. (High? I'm grumpy. Low? I'm confused. Just right? I'm Goldilocks.)

But "how could these things be better"? Hoooo, boy. This one's a doozy.

Gadgets, apps, and everything else under the "tech stuff" category is great, and something I'm grateful for - it's more than someone like my grandfather could have ever hoped for, I think - but it's still flawed. It still leaves an enormous cognitive burden on the patient - not just decision-making, memory, and judgment, but also the emotional repercussions of all those. What would be abso-freaking-lutely lovely would be technology that carries more of that burden for me. I'm talking some serious science here - I want an artificial pancreas. I want a Bigi. I want a system that forces diabetes to take care of its stupid self, so that I can take care of me.

And if I can't have that (yet), I want better interoperability, for the love. Nearly everything I use is an island. Does my CGM make recommendations to my pump? Nope. Does the iBGStar app integrate with the GoMeals app? Nope. Can I use one charging and data transfer cable for all of my devices? HA! With the exception of the few bits of data that can ping between my pump and the meter it rode in on came with - that I never use, because it's ugly and clunky and ugh don't even get me started - nothing talks to anything else. Correction: they all talk to me, and no one/thing else. Not good enough. It's like trying to conduct an orchestra that I can't hear. I want auto-tune.

What I need is more, so that I can have the luxury of less.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Little Things.

It's a pump infusion site that lasts longer than two days, right down to the last drop.

It's catching that low before you brush your teeth, for once.

It's helping yourself feel better by helping someone else feel better.

It's a pretty number when you didn't expect to see one.

It's that small, defiant tuft of fur on your dog's back that refuses to lie down when he's freshly bathed.

It's being thankful that you were wearing black pants, as that pump site you pulled a couple of minutes ago ended up being a gusher, and now the whole side of your pants is soggy with blood.

It's being thankful that you aren't squeamish.

It's being able to FINALLY thread that damn sewing machine, slightly before going completely Yosemite Sam on it. (I should mention that I haven't sewn since Home Ec class in middle school, and that I bought myself a Singer on Friday through an awesome deal on Amazon. It turns out I can sew straight lines on scrap cloth just fine, thank you, so Project Runway will be my next stop. WATCH OUT.)

It's being thankful for the little things, even if the big things may feel heavier.

It's the little things.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Joslin Blog Project: Talking.

I'm honored to be participating in Joslin Diabetes Center's Blog Project this month, alongside a handful of other dedicated and passionate diabetes advocates. We'll each be writing four posts that detail our personal journey with diabetes, in the hopes that we can raise some awareness along with some money. Our goal is to raise $5,000, as a team, for the Joslin High Hopes Fund through this blog project.

Our prompt for this week is: Why/how did you get into blogging? What have been the best and worst parts of doing so?

I've shared my "how I found the online community" story before - so there's the beginning of how. But why? My first entry here explained how I hoped that adding my voice to the diabetes blogging community would bring "more awareness to the cause, and some comfort, information (and entertainment?) to those affected by diabetes". I think all of those still ring very true for me - I'm here to share my story, through whatever medium seems to fit best. I'm here because I know that feeling alone is one of the most toxic parts of life with diabetes. I'm here because I wish someone like me had been around when I was going through my lowest points.

My very favorite moments of being a diabetes advocate are the ones that connect us on emotional and personal levels: the swell of cumulative encouragement when someone needs it, the realizations and connections that lead someone to feeling the very essence of community in their heart, and the forming of friendships that sometimes begin with just a tweet and grow into the deepest sorts of love and support.

image credit: Wendy at Candy Hearts

When we give, we are beautiful. When we show love, we are true.

My less favorite parts center around the things I shouldn't care about, but sometimes do: Is this my last good idea? What on earth am I going to write about today? Am I tweeting too much? How can it take me five days to respond to an email sometimes? Why am I literally losing sleep so that I can stay up to write something that no one comments on? Why is no one commenting? Why do I care that no one is commenting? Was I off base? Do I care? Should I care? Should I really be using every vacation day from my "real job" to go to conferences? And then, shouldn't I just be grateful I have these opportunities and who needs a real vacation anyway? Is it worth the sacrifices I make in my "real life" to continue being this heavily involved in advocacy? And what on earth am I going to write about today?

The truth is that I pour my energy, time, and heart into what I do as a diabetes advocate because it feels right to do so. There are times I can help someone laugh at something so cruel and punishing as diabetes - I love being able to do that. There are times I'm able to really connect with someone; to perhaps put words to something they've been feeling but haven't vocalized - I love that, too. There are times that someone who feels as I once have finds me and says, "I thought it was just me".

What I love most is being even a small part of that realization in others. It's never just you.

If you would like to make a donation toward our $5,000 blog project goal for the Joslin Diabetes Center, you may do so here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Long Weekend.

Oh, hey there. I guess I took an unintended (but thoroughly enjoyed) bloggy break. I've been busy, you know?

Clockwise from upper left: Nebraska game + coffee = yay; my only Black Friday experience of the day at JoAnn Fabrics (three hour wait to get my fabric cut and three glucose tabs consumed - NBD); Christmas decorating is DONE; Billy thinks the garland is for him to wrestle with.

Hope you're having a nice long weekend, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Short Roundup.

Things! Stuff! I have these! And the Corgi-to-other-things ratio is pretty high!
  • So... rashes are a good time. I discovered one this morning, not from a pump or CGM site thank goodness, but it was mildly amusing that a bandaid I wore for eight hours (oh hi, gusher last night) does more damage to my skin than the CGM sensor adhesive (and Flexifix tape) that I wear for 19 days. Yay? I don't know how to feel about this.
  • It occurred to me just this morning that I have three dishes to make for three different family gatherings (on on Wedneday night after work, and two on Thursday) and I have absolutely no idea what I'm making, or when I'm finding the time to make whatever those things will be. Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Tell me Corgi puppies aren't the cutest dang thing you've ever seen.
  • Okay, adult Corgis are pretty okay, too. This should surprise exactly none of you.
  • Did you know that JDRF's Juvenation community has a new name? Go check it.
  • I've been trying to keep up with the #NDAMphotoaday challenge, but I haven't been entirely successful. Follow me on Instagram (my profile is here), if you're not a robot made of spam.
  • And if you'd like more coherent ramblings than this post, you'll find them in the form of contributions to the Timesulin site, the Glu community, and Insulet's "Suite D" blog.
Let's cap this off with some some more Corgi photos - this time, of one you might recognize. D'awww.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Chosen Wisely.

Remember how a couple of weeks ago I got all sassy about how diabetes email pitches are crafted? Last week I received one that, for the first time in a while, I thought was pretty good (the fact that they used the term "diabetic" aside), so I thought I'd share.

It was for an app called iCookbook: Diabetic. I like it because it puts everything I want to know right where I want it, and in a way I want to view it.

High quality images of the foods? Check.

Stuff we care most about, like carb counts, shown right in the preview? Check.

All recipes under 350 calories per serving? Check.

Ability to filter by requirements like gluten-free, low carb, or vegan? Check.

Free to download from iTunes? Check.

And here's the other thing I was delighted by: see that "Rotate phone to prepare" note on the middle-right image? When you do that, you can turn on the "voice command" option. Which means that while you're cooking and getting your hands dirty, you can just speak aloud things like "next", and the app advances the pages for you. Say "back", and it goes back a page for you.

Which made me react like this, once I figured that out.

Nice work, you guys.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

CVS/pharmacy: Twitter Chat and Free Stuff.

A couple of months ago, CVS/pharmacy contacted me with a question: would I help give them some ongoing feedback on their diabetes products and programs? I'm still sorting my way through everything they sent me, but I wanted to disclose to you all that they sent me some free stuff.

I received a kit full of their house brand diabetes stuff (useful things like glucose tabs and a meter, and then less useful things like "diabetic socks" and sugar-free cough syrup, but hey, they're trying) and information on their verbosely-named "CVS/pharmacy ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes Program". From what I can tell so far, enrolling in the program gets you lower prices on some items, as well as more "cash back" through their savings program. Sounds promising!

They also will be hosting a Twitter chat today, Thursday, November 15th at 3:00pm EST, in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association. You can join in by following @AmDiabetesAssn and @CVS_Extra, and the hashtag #DiabetesMonth. According to the info they sent me, this chat will "discuss proactive diabetes management, including medication adherence and using diabetes supplies"Answering questions during the chat will be Dr. Elizabeth Seaquist, Vice President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association and CVS pharmacist Flora Harp.

And to get you (even more) amped up about the Twitter chat, CVS/pharmacy is sponsoring a giveaway, right here! You can win everything seen in the picture below, and I have three of these kits to give away:

Your breath will be minty! Your skin will be soft!
Your lows will be treated appropriately! You'll get a cute
and tiny meter with a test strip bottle koozie!

To enter the contest, just leave a comment below that uses the term "CVS". The three winners will be picked (using a random number generator) tonight from the comments that are left here before 10:00pm CST today! Check back on this post afterwards to see which commenters won!

UPDATE: I apologize that this wasn't addressed in my original post, but I'm now told that this offer is good for U.S. residents only. So sorry to my global readers who had their hopes up! :(

UPDATE: At 10:00 pm CST there were 38 comments, with 34 of them qualifying for the contest. Using, I selected a number between 1 and 34 three times. 

Congratulations to:

Thanks to everyone who entered! Winners, please email me at textingmypancreas (at) gmail (dot) com so that I can get your information to the folks at CVS! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

World Diabetes Day 2012.

It's World Diabetes Day! I'll be doing a couple of things today to mark the occassion - want to join me?

  • There's a 16 hour World Diabetes Day chat happening on Twitter, beginning at 6:00 am EST and ending with the usual DSMA time slot (from 9:00 pm EST to 10:00 pm EST). 16 hours! 16 topics! 16 moderators! I'm honored to be moderating the 7:00 - 8:00 EST time slot, so tune in for some "Diabetes and History" talk with @YCDTProject; use and follow the hashtag #WDDchat12. And maybe pour yourself a drink, because it's going to be INTENSE.
  • If you live in the U.S. and care about T1D, this is super important: the Special Diabetes Program, which provides $150 million annually to the NIH for T1D research, is up for renewal (it's been renewed every two years since 1997) RIGHT NOW. Call your members of Congress TODAY and urge them to vote "yes" on renewing the SDP! Losing this funding would be devastating to T1D research into prevention, treatment and ultimately curing this disease. The folks at JDRF Advocacy are asking all diabetes advocates to call Congress on World Diabetes Day (you can use this brand new website they're launching today to call them - no need to look up phone numbers if you're a JDRF Advocate!) about SDP renewal, so do it!

The Nebraska State Capitol, lit blue the night before World Diabetes Day. Nicely done, us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Joslin Blog Project: Changes.

I'm honored to be participating in Joslin Diabetes Center's Blog Project this month, alongside a handful of other dedicated and passionate diabetes advocates. We'll each be writing four posts that detail our personal journey with diabetes, in the hopes that we can raise some awareness along with some money. Our goal is to raise $5,000, as a team, for the Joslin High Hopes Fund through this blog project.

Our prompt for this week is: "What were the biggest changes you went through after diagnosis, and what were (if any) small things you didn’t realize would change?"

I'm told that when I was asked what I missed about life before diabetes, my six-year-old self replied, "Macaroni and cheese. I want more of it."

Exchange diets FTL!

So many things change when you are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and all of a sudden your everyday life starts to resemble that of a highly-regulated pincushion. Food isn't just this thing you eat anymore; it's a mysterious math equation you must solve with each meal and snack. Having a cold doesn't just mean a stuffy nose and sore throat; it can mean wildly fluctuating blood sugars that refuse to be tamed, and which make you feel just that much worse. Running around the neighborhood park at the end of your street is never again a spontaneous activity - you have to plan, pack, eat, and test.

In short, diabetes adds a layer of "ugh" to everything you do.

While diabetes did introduce many changes to my life, what I find most interesting is what didn't change. It didn't prevent me from playing soccer (for one season, I think, and I wasn't so great at it), softball (I was slightly better at this than soccer), or the piano (I could play Chopsticks like a pro). Diabetes didn't stop me from years of dance lessons - ballet, tap, and jazz. It didn't hinder the four years of high school choir or cheerleading, and it didn't stop me from having fun with my friends - birthdays, slumber parties away from home, and a senior class trip to Colorado, sans my parents. A faulty pancreas didn't prevent me from pursuing a college degree many miles away from home, or from stubbornly moving 1,400 miles away to live life by my own terms for a while, or from dating and marrying my very best friend.

Diabetes may change the "how", but it doesn't change the "what".

If you would like to make a donation toward our $5,000 blog project goal for the Joslin Diabetes Center, you may do so here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lessons Of Perseverance.

Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, 
is the only way to accomplish results that last. 
- Hamilton Holt


Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong.
- Peter T. McIntyre

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.
- Thomas Carlyle

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
- Author Unknown

You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. 
- Jim Stovall

Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.
- Alfred Pennyworth

When the world says "Give up", hope whispers… "Try it one more time".
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Joslin Blog Project: The Beginning.

I'm honored to be participating in Joslin Diabetes Center's Blog Project this month, alongside a handful of other dedicated and passionate diabetes advocates. We'll each be writing four posts that detail our personal journey with diabetes, in the hopes that we can raise some awareness along with some money. Our goal is to raise $5,000, as a team, for the Joslin High Hopes Fund through this blog project.

Our prompt for this week is to "share a story from when you (or the person you blog for/about) were first diagnosed".

It's tough for me to remember much about my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, over 26 years ago. I was just six years old, and anything that didn't involve My Little Ponies or She-Ra is pretty fuzzy in the memory department. (As it should be?) I do have faint recollections of my hospital stay and of the friends and family that came to visit me, and I recall bits and pieces of learning how to prick fingertips, how to administer injections, and how to count the food I was eating.

Notes from my original diagnosis records.

More than any of that, I remember the emotions of those around me. I may not have known what diabetes was, but I knew that it was serious. I knew it was bad. I knew that it brought the people I loved to tears. I knew that life was changing for me in big ways. Emotions play a huge role in diagnosis, just as they continue to do in our daily management.

But as for a concrete diagnosis memory? I'm afraid I don't have one related to my diabetes diagnosis. I do, however, want to mention something that I'm sure the Joslin Diabetes Center didn't realize (because I've never mentioned it) when they asked me to participate in this blog-o-rama: it was a Joslin endocrinologist who finally diagnosed my hypothyroidism over ten years ago.

That doctor was compassionate, kind, and thorough. His team bothered to find out what meter I was using, and got me an updated replacement (which meant I would likely be getting more accurate results to work with). He recognized the thinning hair, the pallor of my skin, the gradual weight gain, and the extreme exhaustion - the extended period of time that my thyroid condition went undiagnosed wrecked havoc on not only my physical appearance, but my mental health as well. He didn't scold me as past doctors did when he saw that my blood sugars were all over the place; he didn't rush to the assumption at my appearance was completely my choice (did I mention that this time period was my goth phase?); he didn't dismiss my sullen demeanor.

He looked at the whole person. He looked at me.

And because he was willing to do that, he found an answer that I'm not sure my previous doctor had even thought to look for. As we worked to find the proper Synthroid dose for me, bits of myself came back to the surface. Depression had griped me for so long that I hadn't realized how much of myself wasn't present anymore.

That doctor may have, indeed, saved my life. For that, Joslin Diabetes Center will always have a special place in my heart.

If you would like to make a donation toward our $5,000 blog project goal for the Joslin Diabetes Center, you may do so here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Words We Choose.

To the marketers, communicators, fundraisers, educators, healthcare providers, medical students, and everyone else who wants to talk about diabetes in a public way:

Please choose your words wisely.

When your "awareness" pitch uses language like suffers from, I have to assume that you have little to no idea what living with diabetes is really like. I'll clue you in: we don't want pity. Most of us are not suffering. We want empathy, not sympathy.

I've had type 1 diabetes for 26 years. Do I look like I "suffer" to you?

When you talk about diabetes in generalities; when you fail to specify the type of diabetes you're talking about; when you use one word to try to encompass and summarize the colorful spectrum that is diabetes - you sound ignorant. And we stop listening.

When your header image pairs up a familiar diabetes awareness logo with a guy holding a triple cheeseburger, I'm disgusted and ashamed... for you. Not for me.

When you communicate, you need to know your audience and how they want to be communicated with, and then follow that. It is your job to enlighten without offending. It is your duty to advocate without resorting to fear and shame. You must be more mindful because what you say and how you say it has far-reaching implications on how everyone views diabetes.

When you communicate, you are positioning yourself as a voice of authority. You are trying to speak for me even if I don't know that you are or want you to, and there are ways to do that which won't degrade me or my disease. Want to know what they are? Go peruse the diabetes online community. Read some tweets and blogs. Watch the videos we make. Or, I don't know, crazy idea here: go find some actual people living with diabetes and talk to them.

Empathy, not sympathy.

Words are important, and you need to choose yours oh, so carefully. Otherwise I'm voting that Diabetes Awareness Month needs to be followed by Blood Pressure Awareness Month.

The next time you go to write one of these things, let me suggest something: try a little more hope and encouragement. Try using facts without layering them with blame, and address us and our condition respectfully. Try talking about people with diabetes as if they are just that... people.

A little respect goes a long way.

Friday, November 2, 2012


I recently finished reading, for the second time, the book Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle, and I'm sure I'll reread it many, many more times. (Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for free, when I attended the Lilly Diabetes Blogger Summit in May. No one asked me to write about it.)
In 1918, an eleven-year-old girl stands in the kitchen of her family's elegant townhouse gulping water from a glass with such ferocity that it runs down the sides of her face. It is her sixth glass. {Prologue}
If you live with type 1 diabetes, I highly recommend that you try to find a copy of this book. It's enthralling, educational, enlightening. It's emotional*, especially when read by someone who relies on insulin therapy. And yes, it is a difficult read at times. But for as many times as it is difficult, it is also inspiring and eye-opening.
On this day in April, [Dr.] Allen was to tell Charles and Antoinette Hughes that Elizabeth would not likely survive the summer. Her only hope was to completely surrender to his extremely onerous [starvation] therapy. {page 9}
Elizabeth Hughes was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1918. Insulin wasn't discovered and made available to the public until 1922, and Elizabeth was one of the first people with diabetes to ever receive insulin injections.

The descriptions of Dr. Banting really colored in the story for me. I knew next to nothing about him as a person, nor how he came to discover insulin. If you live with (or care for someone with) diabetes, you really should hear how the idea came to him, and how hard he fought to prove its truth.
Banting's initial idea was neither original nor successful, but he persisted in it, and his persistence led to a solution that was both original and successful. He would say later that if he had been more familiar with the literature on the subject and had known about the previous attemps, he would not have pursued his idea at all. {page 63}
 Thank goodness for his aloofness.

I don't want to give too much of the story away if you haven't read it, but I will say that it's very difficult to walk away from this book and not feel incredibly grateful for the work of Banting, Best, and the rest of the insulin team at the University of Toronto. Breakthrough also, of course, highlights the work of Eli Lilly and Company (as it should) to get the extract produced safely and consistently, and into the hands of the people who so desperately needed it.
Eli Lilly and Company agreed to delay its own clinical work at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis in order to supply extra insulin to Toronto until Connaught [a member of the insulin team] could recover the ability to make its own. {page 179}
Insulin was now not only readily available, but also affordable. Although Eli Lilly held the exclusive franchise of insulin production in the United States, the company was committed to keeping the price as low as possible so that it would be available to all diabetics. By the end of 1923 the cost of treatment per patient was frequently less than one dollar per week and seldom more than two dollars. {page 228}
Banting is painted as a driven, frustrated, and mostly socially inept man searching for his life's purpose. He was uninterested in his physical appearance, preferring to dedicate his energy to his research. He questioned, argued with, and sometimes ignored authority. I like him.
Robertson blanched and asked Banting if the suit he was wearing was the same suit he had worn to meet Mrs. Hughes. "I only own one", Banting replied. After lunch, Robertson took Banting to the most exclusive tailor in Toronto to be fitted for a suit and overcoat. Banting complained about the expense and protested that "no one ever had a good idea in a dress suit". {page 199}
Banting's refusal to comply with military orders won him the Military Cross. His refusal to comply with medical advice won him the use of his right arm. With this arm he would save the lives of millions of diabetic children. {page 39}
Especially interesting, to me, is how Elizabeth chose to address her diabetes in the public eye: she didn't. Breakthrough does a thorough job of framing the story in a way that helps you understand her viewpoint.
There were two things that Elizabeth was afraid of the public finding out: First, that Elizabeth Gossett [her married name], the dynamic, self-directed wife and mother was one and the same person as Elizabeth Hughes, the desperately ill diabetic girl; second, that her emancipation from the fatal destiny was, quite possibly, purchased at the expense of another child's declining health. {page 241}
It can be easy for me to become frustrated with the tools I currently have to help me manage my diabetes - nothing is as accurate, expedient, or consistent as I'd like. Breakthrough reminds me just how lucky I am, how far diabetes care has come, and what I can be oh, so thankful for.

*There is one part of the book that involves a very special dog and a very tough decision, and it had me in such a state that I had to put the book down and hug the stuffing out of my own dog, through my tears. But I'm a dog lover, so maybe this just hit me harder than it should have. Still, something to look out for.