I saw my endocrinologist last week. Last time I saw him, he had ordered some labs for me. This time he had all the results. Here are the highlights:
My c-peptide was much better (2.0) than before (0.9) although it was not as good as it should be. Basically it means that my pancreas is still somewhat working. I am currently in something called “honeymoon period“ – the period where most of your islet cells (cells in the pancreas that produce insulin) are dead but some of them are still working their asses off to produce as much juice as possible.
My antibodies labs came out positive – well they were way high! While the normal value is around 1-1.5, mine was somewhere around 13! These antibodies are generated by my own immune systems. They go attack the islet cells in my pancreas and kill them. So, that helps explain how it all happened and confirms my diagnosis to some extent. My insurance although has not been helpful at all with these labs. They marked my antibodies lab as “experimental“ and refused to pay a single penny for that! I had a chat about this with my doctor, and he was really pissed at the insurance guys on hearing this. The test is actually not “experimental“ at all. It is kinda required for the diagnosis. Now, I have to go thru the grueling process of appealing for a claim for this lab but as of now, I need to pay $207 for the freaking test!
On the tratment front, I am on long acting insulin shots currently. I inject 17 units of lantus (a long acting insulin) in my tummy every morning. I was expecting (and half hoping!) that my endocrinologist will start me on short acting insulin as well this time and he did exactly that. So, now I’ll also be taking a few (3-5) units of short acting insulin (Novolog) right before dinner. So, that makes it 2 shots a day. This makes things more inconvenient but the upshot is that I can eat more freely (=more carbs) in one meal of my day. Probably a piece of cheesecake once in a while! Totally worth it!!!
And yeah! I asked him what he thought about the kind of research going on for finding a “CURE” for type I diabetes. He was very hopeful for a cure coming up in the next 10 to 20 years and he believed the most likely cure would be a islet cell transplant. It seems researchers have carried out such transplants recently and so it is possible to do that. The problem that the community faces today is the source of these cells. Right now, they come from cadavers but researchers are looking into various other sources to get these cells from. 10 years, 20 years – it’s definitely a long time but if we are looking at a possible cure, I’ll surely be waiting. Here’s a wonderful video I came across that talks about another possible cure.
PS: I have been telling a lot of people about my doctor’s visits lately. So, I figured it will be best if I write down all of the stuff somewhere, so I don’t miss anything when I am repeating the whole story again and again. This is the reason for the post above.