I went to TV Land today to do an interview on a morning show about the artificial pancreas. I am always excited to see type 1 diabetes in the spotlight. Actually, I am always excited and pleased to see any diabetes in the spotlight, provided the reporting is accurate and the information devoid of any myths. And they don’t use the word ‘sufferer’.
I was a little anxious to speak about the artificial pancreas. It was being hailed as a ‘diabetes breakthrough’, which is a little misleading given that the trials for this technology have been underway for some time now. I am always very careful when talking about research and emerging technologies, making sure whatever I say is in context – I don’t ever want to be accused of promising something will be here, available for all, in ‘five years time’. In fact, I had made it really clear when speaking with the producer prior to the interview that this is NOT a cure and that it would probably be better that the word ‘cure’ not even be mentioned.
So, I was asked about how the AP would change things for people and what it would mean and gently speculated (based on a few things I’d read recently about current trials) as to when it would be available. I was a little hesitant at the ‘and what will it cost?’ question, because 1. Who knows? and 2. The answer is most likely ‘Out of reach for most people. Which sucks!’ and I didn’t think that would be a good thing to say on TV when I was doing my best to sound professional.
I’ve not seen the clip from this morning yet. Trying to focus on a camera, and listen to people I can’t actually see (they were in Sydney, I was in a dingy box of a room in Melbourne) and not wipe my Bold and the Beautiful-esque make up off whilst flattening my big hair was really not ideal for coming across as poised and professional. But I didn’t giggle uncontrollably. And managed not to swear. So, I think (hope) it was okay!
I got into a cab outside the studio when it was all over and the driver asked me if I was famous. (I would suggest the need to ask that question would also provide the answer, but whatever.) ‘Ha! Ah, no. Really. No,’ I said to him. ‘I was interviewed about diabetes research.’
‘About a cure? My son has type 1 diabetes,’ he turned around to look at me.
I looked back at him. I looked at the desperate look on his face. I know that look – I’ve seen it thousands of time. I’ve worn it thousands of time.
‘No. I’m sorry.’ I said. ‘It was about a potential breakthrough in technology – a new device that may be available in coming years. It will make things easier. But it’s not a cure.’
He looked away, disheartened.
‘I’m sorry. Really. I’m sorry.’
I looked out the window as the cab sped through the city, the buildings all shiny from the rain. And right at that moment, I felt as despondent as my cab driver looked.
UPDATE – You can watch here.