Rags to Riches

The cure.

That’s the ultimate rags-to-riches story for people with diabetes and their loved ones.

Somehow. Somewhere. There’s that thing that will right the wrong of a faulty pancreas. Just fix that and you will have that one thing that people say really matters: your health. After all, you don’t have anything if you don’t have your health.

But there is no cure.

Right now there are experimental treatments and proof-of-concept devices. Transplants. Stem cells. An artificial pancreas. Steps in the right direction—we think. But, so far, no permanent fix.

So what are the rags-to-riches stories told by people by diabetes?

They mostly involve getting access to a medical device and getting the insurance company to pay for it. Most often it’s a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) or a pump. Devices that promise to make managing blood glucose easier, more accurate, more effective—more like a well-functioning pancreas.

But after the honeymoon, the reality sets in. These devices are one more thing to manage. These devices are not perfect. These devices are not a cure.


Rags to Riches is one of the seven basic plots identified by Christopher Booker in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. This week I am looking at life with diabetes through the prism of these seven basic plots.