This week I planned on finally finishing the Week 20 summary as well as a few other projects I have going, but someone touched my life a few months ago and he tweeted some special news, and so I wanted to devote my time to something even more important than an excellent diabetes summary . It is a story about an unexpected life changing moment for both of us that happened around the same time. This is the story of my friend Brendan.
Most people who follow me know that my sister was terminally ill and I flew to England to be with her in her final hours of her life some months ago. It was on very short notice that I decided to make the trip. As many of you know my web site has been read in about 130 countries and I receive emails from around the world. I try to find the time to read and reply to most of them but obviously with what was going on with my sister I had plenty of other things on my mind. However, at exactly the same time I was going to England, I received a very touching email from a person in the UK named Brendan Hyland who is a type 1 diabetic, diagnosed almost 30 years ago and he was looking for help and feeling like giving up. He explained that he watched my interview with Emily Coles on the internet and that we had many similarities in our diabetic journey and he wanted to know if Afrezza works as good as I say it does.
Brendan’s A1C is around 7 or so which is fairly controlled, but as he explained to me, he suffers from “massive swings” in his BG control–from extreme lows near 36 to highs around 450–and it was wreaking havoc on his business and personal life. He had tried insulin pumps on 2 different occasions and neither worked very well for him. He was constantly exhausted from babysitting his diabetes around meals and also at bedtime, leaving him completely tired and struggling with his everyday activities, and just being able to perform his job was a huge battle. It could have been the wild blood glucose swings, the profuse sweating, the not being able to concentrate for long periods of time, or maybe it was the need to go to the bathroom when his blood sugars were high and not being able to skip out and take the 5 minutes to handle the situation — but things were getting to be too much to bear, and he realized that diabetes was winning the war. With all the worry about the toll diabetes was taking on his physical health, he also realized there is a tremendous mental health strain as well that not many people talk about. After all, you don’t see many people in diabetes magazines that look like either of us – he is 6 ft 3 in, and a very commanding individual who works out regularly and looks by all discerning eyes to be someone who couldn’t possibly have any issues or problems. But that is diabetes. With it comes all the terrible emotions and side work no one else can imagine or even see.
At the same time of Brendan’s email, my sister, who lived in England and was losing her battle with Breast Cancer and struggling to prepare her 3 kids (all under 10) and her husband for life without her, little did I know that out of this deep loss I would be gaining a new friend, Brendan. My sisters husband was kind enough to welcome Brendan to come visit at their house in the midst of our grief after hearing about his situation, and although he was in route to meet all of us in person that day, after 4 hours of traffic due to a national strike and holiday, he decided it would be safer and easier to speak via telephone, and that time of exchanging stories forever deepened our friendship. We continue speaking to this day and although we haven’t officially met in person, I’m proud to report Brendan is now on Afrezza. And so far so good. Best of all, he now has more hope, confidence and spends less than worrying and more time living and it’s only his first week.
As we all wait for that eventual good news of approvals around the world, I think it’s an appropriate time to remember that there are real, hurting people like Brendan doing their very best to live a “normal” life and are desperate for what Afrezza can do for them. And not just in England either. The US Market is still relatively unaware that Afrezza the “real-time” solution even exists, yet as Afrezza Users we know that will all change very soon with Sanofi’s ever-increasing presence, slowly increasing advertising campaign and continued success stories like Brendan and the hundreds of others.
I would like to give a special shout out today to all the Sanofi Sales Reps who do the very challenging job of educating doctors, diabetes educators and others day in and day out on a drug that saves lives in a medical environment that sometimes resists anything new, different or paradigm-changing. Please know how much all of us Afrezza Users consider you “heroes” for what you do to help diabetics and appreciate all your efforts. There is truly nothing in the world like Afrezza–and doctors really need to know that! Afrezza does more than improve A1C Levels–its gives us our time and our life back, and in the process, it makes us feel completely “normal” again. Thank you for going the extra mile and doing your best–you are saving lives and we will hear of many more “life-changing” examples in the future because of what you are doing today!
Please keep Brendan in your thoughts and prayers on his Afrezza journey and feel free to send him a line of encouragement. Out of a loss there always comes rays of light into your life–and Brendan for me is one other those bright, passionate people who inspires others, and I wish him every success on the drug that also saved my life–Afrezza. Welcome to the Afrezza Family Brendan, and we look forward to hearing more about your experience and also to see you spreading the word to the entire UK about how this new “life-changing” drug works for you! Go UK AU!