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« Diabetes Blog Week 2013 | Main | Goodreads Book GiveAway »

Tears of Insulin

images courtesy of Lilly Diabetes

Recently, I attended the 2013 Lilly Diabetes Blogger Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana. One part of the visit allowed us to witness insulin being manufactured and I'm here to tell you that the experience brought me to tears.

Maybe it was the overwhelming feeling that Arden couldn't live without the concoction or perhaps it was when I realized how many dedicated people it takes to make the insulin that Arden needs so desperately. I'm still not completely sure why the sight of insulin production was so moving to me. All I can tell you is that as those little glass vials were zooming past me and as I watched the mechanical arm fill them, I cried. There I was in a viewing room with my fellow D-Bloggers, all of us clad in hairnets, masks and gowns, when tears suddenly began to roll down my cheeks.

Arden doesn't even use Lilly's insulin and still the thought of this place existing was too powerful for me to ignore. So many people that I love, and so many of you that I call friends depend on places like this. I never really thought about it before, never considered the scope and effort that went into the production of insulin. It was amazing and overwhelming to behold. "Arden wouldn't be here today without out companies like Lilly", I thought as I watched the vials fly by... Then I looked around the room and saw so many friends and fellow D-bloggers who all could make similar statements about loved ones and themselves.

I found the hours that we spent on the production floor to be altering, they filled me with gratitude and humility. Diabetes did it again, just when I thought that my perspective on life was as clear as it could possibly get, diabetes brought things into even tighter focus.

This visit was as close to spiritual for me as anything that I've ever experienced. I went to the place that makes the very substance that my daughter needs to stay alive. What an amazing day, what an honor!

Lilly Diabetes invited and paid for me to attend the 2013 summit. Airfare, lodging, food and transportation was all covered by Lilly. I did buy a jammin' lemon pound cake slice for myself at the airport. They never asked me to write about my experience or in any way tried to sway my opinions.

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Reader Comments (3)

Great post, Scott. I felt the same way, being inside the facilities and seeing all that up close and personal. When I first started working in downtown Indy, and found myself driving past the Lilly HQ every morning, it was a pretty remarkable feeling to be that close to the place where my insulin has come from and kept me alive for so many years. That feeling never went away. Was even more magnified being inside the actual manufacturing plants, though. And very informative! Thanks for sharing this recap and your thoughts on it with everyone.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike H

Did you actually see the insulin being made or just being bottled? I can't imagine what the process of creating synthetic insulin is like -- is it mad scientists and test tubes or machines and conveyor belts? I have no clue. I do have a mental picture of how my old animal-sourced insulin was harvested, and the picture's not pretty (and probably not accurate, either).

This must be a real sight to see!

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScott E

Scott, We spoke about the process in great length and then waled the production line. Most of what happens is not in plain view (Happens in tanks, tubes, pipes etc). At the end of the line, where the bottling happened, that's where I was when I felt this way.


May 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

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