FFL Anticipation + Bigfoot Summer Book Club: BREAKTHROUGH

Read this book—even if only to ogle photos!

On the history of the discovery of insulin.

ANGLE: Guys who figured out how make pancreas extract from dogs = petulant, insecure bastards. T1 family quite lucky all work out. Also: dogs = lovely, loyal. Bonus: photograph 10,000 tons of cow pancreas—in heap on barn floor, like pile of hay —> it for science.

Bigfoot not know turn of century treatment diabetic children = starvation. Parents send child live at diabetes place, eat one tablespoon thrice boiled green bean, one egg, one tablespoon cream/coffee. Usually live one year or so. Pass time make scrapbooks food pictures, play game “If I Could Eat Anything in the World, I Would Eat…” Come away from book feel very grateful insulin.

Guess main point of Breakthrough is personality of Frederick Banting. For example, refuse read science experiments of others, only want plow ahead with own idea even if redundant. Maybe main point is: isn’t it incredible this uncooperative, mediocre-seeming person was actually a superstar? But most memorable = sweet Marjorie the dog. Banting remove Marjorie pancreas, keep alive w/new extract, no one believe really took whole pancreas out, Banting kill Marjorie prove no pancreas in there. (SPOILER ALERT: pancreas in there.)

One million pounds of pancreas. No need to put it on a plate.

Spent yesterday Duckfat/Peak’s Island w T1 adult friend, dx age 7, now 40. Ask so many questions, make Bigfoot happy this woman no problems, never ketones, never hospital, never glucagon, two times “didn’t wake up.” (#1: Middlebury College. Friend squeeze orange slice in mouth revive. #2 France. Foxy French husband rub honey in mouth.) As child, no finger prickers, only pee-on strips. If high BG, no remedy except run around house 20 times. In high school, get finger pricker. Still no remedy high BG. In college, begin see endo at Joslin. Head of pump program, but never recommend pump because such good control NPH. If something works for you, don’t change it. French endocrinologist agree. When meet, only discuss literature/upholstery fabrics.

Now home, Bigfoot try remember be here now/meet self where self exist, but feel tiny bit hairy ogre ask so many diabetes questions. Bigfoot #1 hobby = diabetes; Boston/France friend’s #1 hobby (i.e. career) = wine sales. All day Bigfoot slip back into diabetes topic, then apologize, then friend say really, it’s okay. I never have anyone to talk to about this stuff. Or well it’s normal to have a lot of questions, it’s your first year. But huge relief get home, talk diabetes-diabetes-diabetes with spouse, also so eager get FFL where maybe other person even more myopic focus diabetes. Will be huger huge relief such person exist—maybe by dozens, hundreds.

Still not sure how pack FFL. Advice: bring twice as much as you could possibly need. (= 4 kachunkers/day?) Bigfoot need grow pair, just start pack.



  1. Mary M · July 1, 2012

    I’m a Chebeague summer complaint. Happy to know you’re an Island type too!


    • Katy · July 1, 2012

      i was on that island for only about 5 hours. hope i still qualify.


  2. Linda · July 1, 2012

    Hi Bigfoot.
    This link is for a youtube video about Eva (T1 diabetic) and Victor Saxl – a young Jewish couple who fled Europe during the WWII Nazi occupation to a ghetto in Singapore. Victor figured out how to keep his wife alive by making insulin from the pancreases of water buffalo!!? The guy in the video who looks like Jiminy Cricket is Dr. Bernstein – a diabetic for over 60 years and quite the story himself….


  3. shannon · July 13, 2012

    so, did you encounter someone (even hundreds) of others more myopic? comforting thought: even if you didn’t speak with them surely they were there!


  4. Pingback: Summer Book Club Update « Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes

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