On Christmas Eve my doctor called me with my latest diagnosis: I now also have Type 2 Diabetes. Going from an active life and 3-days-a-week at the gym to spending two years home-bound probably helped speed this genetic pre-disposition along.
Unfortunately, all of the usual oral diabetes medications are metabolized in the liver. Although I remain Hepatitis C undetectable viral load 64-weeks after treatment (yea!) my liver functions are still "wacky" from many factors including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Luckily, there is a relatively new injectable diabetes medication drug exenatide (marketed as Byetta by Amylin Pharmaceuticals/Eli Lilly and Company) and for me it has been a wonder drug. After 90-days, my diabetes is well maintained and I've lost 15-pounds (of the 40-pounds I gained since starting Pegasys).
In my appointment with Marilyn Tucker-Viselli, my Dietician/Nutritionist, I proudly showed off the progress I've made on the graph of my glucose levels — using my LifeScan OneTouch Ultra2 Blood Glucose Meter (Johnson & Johnson) connected by USB cable to my Apple MacBook and then to the HealthEngage website.
Marilyn told me that Byetta is made from synthetic Gila Monster's saliva. Yup, I shoot-up twice each day with Gila Monster Spit, and I couldn't be happier to benefit from my new cold-blooded friend, pictured to the right.
On a spiritual level, it makes me realize just how interdependent I am with the web of all existence of which we are a part. How many other vital drugs are waiting in similarly unlikely species that we might loose forever as we endanger our planet.
It's not just that we might need what these creatures have to offer, they are part of who were are as living beings. I read recently that "Scientists estimate that 90 percent of the cells contained in the human body belong to nonhuman organisms - mostly bacteria, but also a smattering of fungi and other eensy entities. Some 100 trillion microbes nestle in niches from our teeth to our toes." (Colin Nickerson/The Boston Globe, February 25, 2008)