A doctor’s view of living and working with insulin 12 May 2021 Professor David Story was diagnosed as a student doctor, he reflects on life in a demanding medical specialisation and how insulin has made that possible. Professor David Story is the Head of Anesthesia at the University of Melbourne and a specialist anesthetist at a major Melbourne hospital, he also lives with type 1 diabetes. “I start work at seven thirty in the morning and finish at 6pm, with insulin I can eat when I need to. I have strategies to deal with diabetes, but it never undermines my ability to perform clinical care. I can work up to seven hours straight while keeping an eye on blood sugar levels,” Professor Story said. He says without the discovery of insulin he would not be alive today. “Insulin has saved my life and the evolution of insulin and the development of technology has given me a very happy life.” “I have a potentially fatal disease that doesn’t have a cure, just a treatment. It’s a bit like how HIV has changed over time. Medication now means our conditions are no longer deadly but can be treated over our lifetime.” David says he is able to balance a demanding medical career with diabetes because of better blood glucose monitoring equipment and newer insulins. “I can look at photos of life before diabetes and reflect on my life now and my condition hasn’t changed the way I’m living. What has changed is the monitoring and medication. The new blood glucose monitors don’t need unpleasant finger pricks and there are more controlled insulins that help with my day-to-day life.” David was a newlywed and 24-year-old student doctor when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, he has seen an enormous advancement in insulin and technology which has helped him lead a fulfilling and successful life. While life before diabetes is a distant memory, David says diabetes management doesn’t rule his daily routine. David’s diabetes journey started with using pig insulin in the late eighties before moving on to human synthetic insulin when that was available. Integrating diabetes management into his career and life has been important. “The newer insulins have made a dramatic change in my life. I now have incredibly good blood glucose control and the ability to monitor it. I can take one dose of long acting insulin that gets me through the day if I don’t have time to eat. The less a chronic condition interrupts your daily life the more you can put up with it.” The 100-year anniversary of the discovery of insulin is significant for David and others living with diabetes, without insulin they would not be alive today. Want to help others reach their career aspirations like David? You can donate towards diabetes research to help find a cure here.