So, as previously discussed a bit here, this summer I’m interning at a lab that is exploring one possible technique for protecting pancreatic islet cells from the immune system, and I am there through the JDRF internship program. My boss has asked me if I’d give a presentation about what it’s like to live with T1 at a lab meeting in a few weeks. In his words, though the researchers have been working on these projects (there are a few diabetes-related ones) for years, their exposure to what T1 really is is often limited to the introduction sections on the journal articles they read about related research, and it may be beneficial for them to hear about what it’s like from my perspective. I’ve agreed to this, and I am happy to do so, but I’m finding it a little challenging to decide how I actually want to design this talk.
My main point I’ve decided on so far is how freaking complicated everything can be, the wide variety of factors that can influence how blood glucose will behave like hormones, differing insulin resistance at different times of day, carb/fat/protein ratios in food, exercise, insulin absorption, etc. And generally how many treatment decisions have to be made throughout the day. Mainly because these are things that pretty much everyone underestimates and I don’t expect them to be different in that regard. I’m considering talking about how tricky things were for my mom managing my diabetes when I was young, as well as how difficult the adjustment period was for my brother when he was diagnosed. I’m also trying to decide how to add in positives like the sense of community among diabetics and the positive character traits diabetes instills without sounding overly cheesy
I’m wondering whether you guys have any other ideas for what I could put in my talk. If you were tasked with giving researchers an idea of life with T1, what would you want them to know?