Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If you are Type 1 Diabetic I urge you to watch this documentary...

...and watch it quick! You only have 4 days before it becomes unavailable online.

This show screened on New Zealand TV last Sunday, and you can watch it by the magic of the interwebs at the link above.

It's all about the work of Professor Bob Elliot, and the research his company LCT Global is doing into Xeno-transplantation of (pig) islet-cells into humans.

Short summary for you who are not planning to watch the video:

  • The show follows one clinical trial patient as she goes through the work up and procedure.
  • Apart from the sensationalist made-for-TV title of the documentary, this is not actually being promoted as a cure, rather, it's hoped that the encapsulated islet cells will work to remove the roller-coaster style fluctuations, and reduce hypo-unawareness. So far, so good in the trials anyway!
  • I personally thought that some parts of the "living with diabetes" spiel had been ramped up a bit, but then, the candidate has many similarities with my own story. I will leave you to make up your own mind.
  • LCT Global has just started more clinical trials in Argentina, to determine the best dosage. Seems like they have got the big OK on the safety issue.
  • You can sign up for their email newsletter, which gives updates on where this technology is at, and how soon before it gets to "market".
  • That's another thing to consider... if this treatment does become available, how expensive will it be???
  • I want! Gimme gimme gimme!
In other, more local news, it's the end of semester one. I have been working like a crazy thing. I had a 9-day migraine with aura (not much pain though). I have recently developed moderately bad shin splints pain in my left shin (what the hell! There is nothing in a SHIN to go wrong, is there?? Sigh), and the RSI/OOS/Overuse Syndrome in my right wrist has reared it's ugly head, only this time in my left wrist. Typing this is hurting. Wah.

Work is busy, with grading, teaching extra classes, and preparing to move office in the next 3 weeks. We are getting a whole bright new shiny art facility built - can't wait to move. New digs have: duh-duh-daaaaa! Air con!!! Yay! :)

My freelance work is going nuts. I'm getting website projects coming out of my ears. This week alone I've encountered 5+ websites that need buildin' and have quoted on two of them. When I will actually find time to make them is still a question I haven't solved.

In sad news, my father-in-law has been admitted to hospital today with bad anaemia. He is 82 (I think) and has taken a hammering with health problems in the years I've known him. He's such a sweetie and he really doesn't deserve this. Please send your good thought and prayers for him to recover.

So.... go and watch that documentary. Now! (Sorry to shout, but it's like, real important eh.) And share it with your mates. Cool.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Some grumpy business

Don't you hate it when you think you are doing something good, and someone slaps you in the face for it?

I have been writing this blog for a wee bit now, and it has been both a cathartic journalling exercise for me, and a way to share information with others in the same boat. I'm really passionate about transparency and honesty in the health system, and the NZ infertility system has really left me disappointed.

Just this week, I thought I was coping pretty well. I had a moment where I thought about all the good things in my life and smiled and got the ol' warm fuzzies. Things like my wonderful husband, my cool job, and the fact that I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Even if it does rain a bit too much some days!

But then I got a short, snarly email from someone who I've been in contact with (who I shall refer to as "The co-Author) during the course of my infertility journey. He was pissed off. My husband agreed with him. I couldn't see the logic in what he was saying. The problem the co-Author had was that I'd published his emails to me, which included his name.

Well, duh!

I was discussing a report he had co-authored, and the information he provided me was basically what my whole life was focussed on for a good few months at the beginning of this year. A report that identifies him very easily - just Google the name of the report. In other words - he was already well and truly "in the open" about working in the infertility industry. And if I write the name of the report, it's as if I had already written his name. So no, I don't fully understand the grumpiness about it. I certainly don't understand the complete lack of manners.

But, because I am a nice person, I have wasted several hours removing the co-Author's name from my posts. I don't actually see that this will harm my blog's integrity, as my readers can still find out that information if they wish. And hopefully it will satisfy the co-Author's need to remain private. Didn't mean to offend you see. I understand what it's like to be a private person and have important decisions about your life accidentally, unwittingly, unknowingly taken from you. Sound familiar?

Let me get this straight - I did not go out of my way to make anyone unhappy, I just saw that the co-Author's name was already published, so logically, to me, it made sense to continue publishing the name. It didn't even cross my mind that I should censor it. Sigh. Tricky business this, pleasing everyone.

Oh, and the email wasn't exactly complementary either. It insinuated that I have an "agenda" and this only goes to prove my point: discrimination against those made infertile by vasectomy are considered second class citizens in NZ when it comes to accessing funding for treatment.

OK, so I do have an agenda. Yep, it's really well hidden! Guess what? It's TO HAVE A BABY. How hard was that to figure out?  :P

Talking to people, such as the co-author, the MP, the many doctors, the HDC advocate etc, none of it is done for fun. It's the only option I can see at this stage in my journey, because I'm restricted from doing anything practical. Like starting treatment. I've conducted myself professionally and have not screamed and shouted at these people, as my heart wanted so badly to do sometimes. So to have one behave so rudely to me is upsetting.

/end rant

In other, nicer news, I took my first group of students on a very successful field trip, and then attended my first graduation ceremony as a tutor rather than a student! How awesome is that?! :)

What about you? Ever had a spat with someone who only knows you via your blog? What did you do?