My Most Recent Joslin Visit

(tombeatson) #1

I got home (Phoenix) Saturday afternoon after spending 2 days at Joslin in Boston. My main reason was to take the one-day Sensor Logic class offered by Dr Howard Wolpert and his staff. I've been using an Abbott Freestyle Navigator for over a year and since my Navigator was either the 1st or 2nd in Arizona, Abbott sent q good trainer from their HQ in the Bay Area to Phoenix to train me, and to train another trainer. So I got good training, but I figured there was more to be learned from Dr Wolpert, since he seems to be out in front of what's going on with CGMs.

The class was definitely worth while for me. There were five of us in the class, plus two spouses.

The afternoon of the day before the class was spent talking to four researchers whose work I am supporting. They are Dr Howard Wolpert, Dr Keith Blackwell, Dr Gordon Weir, and Dr George King.

I mentioned to Dr Wolpert that I had a recent problem with my Navigator, establishing communication from the sensor, through the transmitter to the receiver after starting or restarting a sensor. Dr Wolpert had me talk to Astrid, one of his key staff people. It didn't take her long to figure out that my problem is with the 357 battery in the transmitter. It's still not entirely clear to me, and I need to get Astrid to send me an email to clarify, but apparently there is a difference between the 357 batteries distributed by Abbott with their sensor kits, and 357 batteries obtained independently. I'm not going to post a specific statement about which batteries are good, and which may not be good, until I hear from Astrid.

When I talked to Dr King (he is Director of Research, and is running the 50-Year Medalist Study), one of the first questions he asked me was "How soon can you make your next trip to Joslin?". He wants to get a skin sample from my wrist, and my time at Joslin during this trip did not allow for getting the skin sample. It seems that about two years ago some non-Joslin researchers discovered a way to make pluripotent stem cells from skin. It is claimed that these stem cells have ALL the characteristics of embryonic stem cells, without any of the political problems that are associated with embryonic stem cells. Dr King has two key Joslin researchers who are capable of reproducing the original work, so it's now possible to make stem cells for an individual. Of course, the next step (in my mind, at least) is to get those stem cells to become beta cells. Unfortunately, there is still one huge hurdle after that. Even though my body keeps trying to replace the beta cells, my immune system has been killing my beta cells for more than 66 years, so we still need something to get the immune system to stop its senseless misbehavior. But it seems like they are getting closer to the goal.

(meme) #2

Tom.thank you so much for sharing the stem cell information-It is exciting news what can be done--makes me feel we are moving closer to a cure.

(sarahslp) #3

Tom, It's nice to see someone else involved in Joslin's wonderful research and training. The two times I've lived in that area, I went there, and it's wonderful. I haven't participated in any of their studies since moving down to DC a few years ago.

I DO wish they'd get my pesky immune system under control! As well as attacking my poor beta cells, it seems to be attacking my skin and digestive system these days... I've been having all these weird allergies.