Category: Diabetes

Insulin shock therapy

I just finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which follows a woman’s descent into madness. While in the asylum, the main character receives insulin shock therapy, a commonly used psychiatric treatment in the 1960s when Plath wrote the novel. It was the preferred method for dealing with schizophrenia, and a famous case is…
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The Open Insulin Project

When Frederick Banting discovered insulin in 1921, he refused to put his name on the patent. He felt it was unethical for a doctor to profit from a discovery that saved lives. Co-inventors James Collip and Charles Best later sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for just $1, as Banting proclaimed that…
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Diabetic support

The other night I had drinks with my friend and his girlfriend. She’s Scottish and has the laudable goal of wanting to help people in her disenfranchised community. One of her best friends is a diabetic in her twenties who doesn’t know what food looks like unless it comes out of a tin. She’s a…
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Nature’s candy

I ran into my old boss yesterday, and we got chatting over a coffee. Diabetes came up, and she told me her sister has the type where you don’t have to inject insulin, and her doctor had told her it was much better to have fruit instead of things with actual sugar. I told her…
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The law of small numbers

What should be a foundation in diabetes treatment is barely known by anyone who hasn’t read Richard Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. It’s a shame. The law of small numbers states that the lower the carbs, the smaller the insulin doses, so the smaller the errors. By eating a low-carb diet, you can avoid the roller coaster…
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What’s wrong with the word diabetic?

I made the mistake of going on Twitter the other day, even though it does little else but make me doubt the future of humanity. We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters. This was no exception. Some diabetic was thrilled after discovering that Grammarly flags the word diabetic as potentially sensitive language. What…
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My life is tied to the fridge

I’ve been reading Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, which is overall a wonderful experience. There’s a story in it about a girl whose soul sits in an ice cube. She’s terrified that it will melt, so every night before going to bed, she checks her refrigerators to make sure that her soul…
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World’s worst diabetic

If she was still with us, Sue Townsend would have celebrated her 75th birthday this week. Sue, the brilliant author of The Secret Diaries of Adrian Mole, referred to herself as the world’s worst diabetic. While balancing her hectic career schedule with the role as a mother of four, her blood sugar would often run…
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The story of Eva Saxl

In 1940, with World War II raging in Europe, Jewish Eva Saxl fled her native Czechoslovakia together with her husband Victor. They arrived in Shanghai, China, where they started their life as newlyweds. After a year, Eva was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Insulin had been around for twenty years and there were ample stocks…
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Sick day rules

I have the flu. Or at least something similar that left me in bed with splitting headaches and fever for the past four days. I’m not sure how I managed, considering the lock-down where I don’t see anyone and my only social outings are trips to the supermarket. But then anything is possible. After two…
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