The Friday Six: Six Photos from the Discovery of Insulin.
Twenty four years ago, diabetes became part of my life and with it came these vials of bandaid-scented insulin and a potluck of syringes. Diagnosed in 1986, I came in just as at-home blood sugar monitoring was becoming common and well into the age of disposable insulin syringes.
What I didn't realize was how different life would have been, were I diagnosed sixty-four years earlier. How my life wouldn't have had nearly the quality it has now, nor the length. Because if I were diagnosed sixty some odd years earlier, I wouldn't have had access to lifesaving insulin.
Insulin is not a cure. That's for certain. But it is a way of keeping myself alive, until such time that there's a better option. (See also: hurry up, researchers) While I was in New York this past weekend, I had a chance to check out the Breakthrough: The Dramatic Story of the Discovery of Insulin at the New York Historical Society with some of the local diabetes crew. (Thanks for arranging the guided tour, Allison!) And it really was incredible to see just how far we've come in such a short time.
This is a shot of a boy before he had access to insulin and then an "after" photo, where he happily describes himself as a "little fat boy."
A quote from Mary Tyler Moore about how diabetes becomes just part of the fabric of our lives. (And no, that is not a plug for cotton.)
I thought this photo (of a photo) was amazing, because it's a pile of dog pancreases in the background, and then the resulting vial of insulin in the foreground. Yes, that's how many dog pancreases it took to score one vial of insulin back in the day.
One of the first insulin pumps. Wicked old school.
And one last shot of a very old insulin pump. (I wonder what the "H" stood for - "Hug-a-Diabetic?")
If you're in the NYC area and have a chance to check out this exhibit, I highly recommend it. It's amazing to see how far we've come. (And for those of you keeping track at home, the sixth photo is from earlier in the week, of the meet up group!)