Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What Door Would You Open?


I'm paraphrasing from the above link.

Transplanted islet cells from a deceased persons pancreas has made the person who had those cells injected into her liver free of insulin injections for the past two years. I think it's great progress, but I worry about the fact that the recipient has to take anti rejection drugs for the rest of her life.
Those drugs do a major number on the kidneys, and costs run the patient about $10,000 a year. Also these drugs cause high blood pressure and mouth sores.

Dr's are working with a seaweed extract called Alginate that would protect the cells from an immune system attack, but would allow insulin, oxygen and nutrients to come and go as they please.

Another problem is The supply of donor pancreases. In 2006 there was only enough donated organs for 1% of type 1 diabetics. Scientists are trying to replicate islets in the lab.

Obviously, they need work out a few things.

I'm really not sure what door I'd choose.

Door #1. I'd no longer have diabetes, but be on rejection drugs and have a suppressed immune system and the other side effects associated with those drugs for the rest of my life.
Door #2. I'd continue to be a diabetic who must take insulin, count carbs, and exercise to maintain his or her health. But, whose immune system is not compromised.

I'm going with Door #3. I'll wait a few years until they figure out some of the kinks and then choose between Door #1 and Door #2.

What door would you open?


Jeff said...

Dear Monty:

For the record, I'm wearing a clown suit and jumping up & down hysterically, so I'm a legit contestant.

Door #1 is out. I just KNOW there's be nothing in there but a smelly old goat dressed up as an immunosuppressant.

I've pretty much already got what's behind Door #2, and so far so good, knock on wood.

But I'm still not sure about waiting so long for whatever's behind Door #3.

Can I trade the anti-rejection drugs for something? Like a pair of kidneys with a warranty? How 'bout a SINGLE kidney with a warranty? A good eye, maybe?

Any fine parting gifts if I pick wrong?

Thanks for putting up with me, Kelly. Seriously, though, if you have time, take a look at the review of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation's conference from last November. I know you're familiar with them, and well aware that they are exploring some fascinating stuff along these lines. It's at


It was quite an experience being in the same room with people truly on the cutting edge of research for curing the Big D.

k2 said...

Jeff -

Love the costume, though must say in general, I hate clowns. I guess it has to do with the fact that when I was diagnosed with the BIg D, my nurse was dressed as a clown. Me being a big "Quincy" fan, tried to sound all scientific and told her. "I think the test results were inconclusive, they need more time so if u let me go out and trick-or-treat, I'mm come back tomorrow and we can figure it out then." She the told me, "Honey u got diabetes, and u got for life!"
After that, clown lost their humor and just became Bitchy in my eyes.
No trade-ins at this time, I'm running out of doors.

No parting gifts, this show has no budget!

I don't want to wait forever for door # 3 either. I should have phrased it differently.

I will checkout your review. I'm interested.

Thanks for your great comment and talk with u soon!
Kelly Kunik

Chris said...

I would have to take door #2. Granted, Diabetes is high maintenance but it is something that is manageable. That aspect and how healthy you stay is completely up to you. With door #1, you no longer have Diabetes but you have to take meds that compromise your body and you can manage that. It is inevitable. I definitely think that door #2 is the lesser of the 2 evils.

k2 said...


I like door #2 for all the reasons u listed!

I'm not really jazzed about the anti rejection drugs side effects.

At this point I'd rather just do the work that Diabetes requires on a daily basis.

Thanks for your input!

Kelly K

..M.. said...

I'm right behind you at door number 3. I'd rather stick with the devil I know! At least until something pretty darned special comes along to make the fuss worthwhile.
Thanks for the meme tag - I'd never have found your blog otherwise! You're now firmly plonked into my list of favs.

k2 said...

Door # 3 it is! Thanks for stopping buy and visiting - blog tags are great because they help introduce u to fellow bloggers from around the world!
Kelly K