Patient Files: Type 1 diabetes
Award-winning playwright Simon Vinnicombe’s baby son George was just six months old when he fell gravely ill with a shock diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. He talks to PharmaTimes about life with the disease and his hopes for a cure
Can you describe the events that led to George’s diagnosis?
George got a tummy bug. My wife and I had the same thing. Only George never seemed to quite shake it. He wasn’t really at one hundred percent for about two weeks, and then, finally, he woke up one morning with restricted breathing. We just thought he had a chest infection. The doctor thought the same thing, but, as a precaution, said we should go to A&E. Around five hours later I was told George was going to die.
How did he develop the condition?
It’s an autoimmune condition. He did have exactly the same virus as Tracy and I, but something caused his immune system to attack his pancreas. Now George requires insulin twenty-four hours a day.
What does a typical day caring for George involve?
His blood sugar is monitored using a CGM (Continuous blood glucose monitor), which gives us a guide to the glucose levels in his blood. This alarms when his blood sugars go too high (hyper) and when they go too low (hypo). We also need to give him blood test to ensure that data is accurate. I would say that we check his blood, administer some form of medication as many as forty times a day. We wake on average, seven times a night to treat him. George has a base level of insulin which delivers different amounts of medication every hour of the day. He also needs insulin for the times that he eats. A Continue reading