Imagine it's 1968, you're 22 years old, a recent college graduate, just married the love of your life, and you are in the process of buying your first home. Then, all of a sudden, your dream life is shattered when you're told you have 10-15 years to live, and having children may be a risk you shouldn't take. That was the reality for Pat Wloch when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. But that diagnosis was not going to stop Wloch from fulfilling her dreams. "I decided if that was all the time I had, I was going make the most of it and do everything that I had planned to do in my life," remembers Wloch.
Wloch learned to manage her diabetes day to day. As technology improved, she welcomed the new advances. Wloch remembers, "When I first became a diabetic, the only way to test glucose levels was to urinate in a cup and then dip a little piece of paper into the cup. You would compare the strip's color to the color chart on the bottle. That was no fun at all." Wloch then moved on to the glucose meters, where she would use a needle to prick her finger to test her blood. She did this 10 to 12 times each day. "After you stick yourself so times your fingers get a lot of little black dots on them from the pinpricks. You look like you've never washed because the tips of every finger become covered with little black dots."
Now, as part of the Translational Research Institute AIDE clinical trial, Wloch has traded in the pinpricks for an automated insulin pump. The Dexcom G6 lets participants see their glucose levels without finger sticks. A small sensor is placed just beneath the skin. A slim, easily removable sensor on the outside of the skin continuously measures glucose levels and sends data wirelessly to your smartphone. You can see how it works by clicking here.
The AIDE study is examining if an insulin pump with different treatment modules, like the Dexcom, can reduce the incidence of low blood sugar and increase the quality of life in people ages 65 and older who have had type 1 diabetes for at least one year.
The AIDE trail was the first study Wloch participated in with the Translational Research Institute and she cannot imagine life without it now. "I had no problem comprehending what was going on. I would've done any amount of reading and studying to eliminate the finger pricks."
Now, Wloch pushes a button on her smartphone and immediately sees her levels. "It has made me feel much more secure because I don't have to carry a test kit around with me. All I have to do is bring my smartphone and look at the app and it will tell me exactly what my blood sugar is right at that moment. So I'm always aware of whether I'm having a high or a low, and I can adapt to that and fix it."
Wloch has been a diabetic for 55 years now, she's a mother of two, grandmother of six, and thanks to the latest technology and medical advancements, she no longer has to do the finger pricks. "I, once again, can see my fingertips."
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To find out more about the AIDE clinical trial, click here.
Learn more about other studies currently enrolling at the AdventHealth Research Institute,visit our website by clicking here or call Call407-303-7193.