End of the line. This time.

My clinical trial is over.

Last weekend I made the trip down to Charlottesville to wrap things up. The group of us that participated in the trial sat together in a focus group to talk about our experiences as we went about our daily lives during the length of the study.

Our group was diverse: Different ages, from different parts of the eastern half of the USA, different walks of life. I loved spending the 2 1/2 hours or so hanging out with them and listening to their stories. In other words, a typical D-meetup, if under different circumstances than usual.

One of the things that really struck me was the comments in the group about how we gathered the daily information we entered for each day in the trial. With a couple of exceptions, we all gathered our data the same way. I thought that was interesting in that none of us were told how to gather the data. But because we’re all people with diabetes, we all knew how to get the data the easiest way, and we just had different ways to record it.

We talked a lot about the performance of the web-based application we were using. I can’t really reveal any details about that until the study is published… sorry about that.

The end of the trial also means the end of my use of the Dexcom® G4 continuous glucose monitor. I never thought I would hear myself saying this, but I miss it already. I’m definitely feeling the withdrawal symptoms this week. When my current CGM’s warranty period is over, I’ll be looking at the Dexcom again.

In the end, while I realize that what we accomplished in the trial didn’t move the diabetes needle too far toward a cure, I do realize that it did make a difference. It was truly an honor to participate. I’m happy, especially at this point in my life, to participate in something that might help others like myself. I’m not overstating it when I say that’s a really great feeling. And by the way, I can definitely see myself participating in another clinical trial in the future.

You don’t have to always be involved in something that involves investigational drugs that may or may not be successful. Sometimes you’re testing new technology or therapy; or in my case, taking a website for a spin and seeing how it works for your diabetes self-management. The point is, the opportunity exists for you to help move the needle toward the positive side for everyone living with and affected by diabetes.

Interested in participating in a clinical trial of your own?

The USA’s National Institutes of Health has a complete list of clinical trials taking place all over the USA, and even some outside of my country. To find them, go to www.clinicaltrials.gov and enter “diabetes” into the search box. A recent search found 9,994 studies.

JDRF has a very helpful web page that lists multiple sources for registering and finding out about clinical trials. Just go to www.jdrf.org/research/clinical-trials/ to find out more.

To read more about the University of Virginia’s Center for Diabetes Technology, including staff bios and more on Artificial Pancreas technology, visit the center’s website at www.medicine.virginia.edu/research/institutes-and-programs/cdt/the-center-for-diabetes-technology-at-uva.html

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  • Surface Fine/ Alecia (@SurfaceFine)  On August 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

    An awesome message and very well explained. Glad you posted this Stephen. Thanks for encouraging all of us!


  • fifteenwaitfifteen  On August 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Such good info, thanks for sharing!!! (and I love my G4, too!)


  • xxlovelylizxx  On August 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I’m glad your participation was so wonderful. Thanks for sharing a bit of your experience. Hopefully more people will be interested.


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