Monday, 20 January 2014

The Fabulous Invention That I Wish Would Go Away

The following ranty post will be interrupted at regular intervals by unrelated pictures from last night's trip to Freddie's school on the North Shore, this morning's long training walk, and other bits of randomness. :) 

Freddie helps Paul do situps on the roof deck

Over the past few days, some entirely well-meaning friends have sent me links to info on a new piece of (not yet ready/available) diabetes tech, developed by Google, of all things. It's a contact lens that reads glucose levels, much the way a subcutaneous continuous glucose monitor (CGM) does, only less invasively.

Sunset City Views 

Now, I have no trouble recognizing the wow-factor of such a gadget; however, having lived with Type 1 diabetes (and, of course, finger pricking) for 26 years now, I gotta say that this kind of techno-dickering doesn't thrill me. Here's what I wrote on the Canadian Diabetes Association's web page (and my own Facebook page), in response to their announcement about this "exciting" innovation:

(But first a shot of Freddie being very attentive on his way to school!)

"This makes me mad. This fancy-schmancy glucometer is not exciting news; it's a waste of research money. With very few exceptions, we diabetics get used to pricking our fingers very quickly. It's a minor inconvenience in the scheme of things. What we don't get used to is living with the inevitable fluctuations in blood glucose levels and their immediate and longterm complications. I'm tired of making money for pharmaceutical and gadget manufacturers who have no interest in diabetes being CURED." Hmph.

Downtown Retro

And, and, and ...

If cure-related research such as Dr. Denise Faustman's (Massachussetts General) were getting enough support*, I wouldn't be quite so opposed to this kind of stuff. This contact lens has the advantage of offering far more frequent readings than conventional blood glucose testing — kind of like CGM, which I've tried and given up on** — but it doesn't relieve the person with diabetes of the impossible job of being his/her own pancreas. Fund the Faustman Lab, Google (and anyone else with some medical research dough to spare)!

Car2Go Man!

Still need to figure out the safest way for our passenger to travel ...
(His crate doesn't fit in the back, and then, what to do with it once we've arrived?)

Burrard Bridge at Night

*I suspect one reason Dr. Faustman's work is under-funded is that her discovery — the ability of a common TB vaccine to restore pancreatic function and prevent a recurrence of the Type 1 diabetic autoimmune attack —is CHEAP and would involve no substantial monetary gains for anyone. Diabetes, Types I and II, is a HUGE money-maker ... as, I suppose, are many other medical conditions. Boo.

Some Favourite Colours

**CGM is a fine thing in theory ... but the technology is finicky (often to the point of uselessness), painful to insert (the early incarnations were positively medieval), extremely expensive (and not covered by my insurance), and made me feel like a frickin' robot (especially when paired with an insulin pump and all its paraphernalia). I ditched the whole system about one year ago and replaced it with FREDDIE — also not a cure, but he's sweet, playful, cuddly, entertaining, and eager to please, which is more than I could ever say for a CGM sensor or a fancy contact lens!

This pic was taken by a friendly passerby who offered. I really didn't mean to stick my tongue out at him!

Freddie, on the other hand, did intend to stick his tongue out at the ghosts living under the VSB grates!

(Note the untouched chicken pieces ...)

And now for something completely different ... I've always dug black & white photography, but B&W cinema, for some reason, hasn't generally grabbed me — except maybe in classic noir, where, obviously, it's a natural fit. However ... Paul and I have just started watching a 1967 BBC version of The Forsyte Saga, and although I was initially bummed to discover its black-and-whiteness, it's sort of growing on me. Good thing, as we're only 4 one-hour episodes into the 26-episode series!

Here's a bit more black-and-whiteness to finish off ...

Happy Monday!


  1. I'm contacting Google to tell them to support Faustman. Then I'll think of another move. We could have a cure damned soon, with support in the form of what would be petty cash for the really rich: bad news for big pharma.

    1. Thanks, Flash. Don't tell Big Pharma this, but I can put up with a lot of crap, as long as I have you (and Freddie)!

  2. A big fat harumph is in order! Glad you are taking the news with appropriate Heather sense - will be writing to Google too... BTW your purple cabbage is looking worse of the wear and that unidentified plant some weeks back, probably months now I think about it, is a Mahonia - I tried to write are the time but gave up in the iPad interface. I now wait patiently till I am on laptop to comment - be grateful I'm not on it that often. signing off this stream of consciousness now x

    1. Thanks, Anna! Both for the letter-writing support and the plant ID! I would never be grateful NOT to hear from you ... don't be silly!

  3. I hadn't thought of it that way - the "gadget" vs the "real help" -- thanks for the brain opener in that regard. Also, when I was a kid in 1967 I watched the entire Forsyte Saga on TV and just loved it - Soames and Fleur (the luminous Susan Hampshire as I recall), and all the rest. I remember being very sorry when the 26 episodes were done.

    1. Paul watched the original broadcast, too! I don't think Fleur is in the picture yet, but Soames and the rest are great. Lots of winter evening fun!


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