Bret Michaels on Revolution

Bret Michaels was on last night's episode of Revolution! I enjoy this show, BUT...

The basic premise of the show is that due to a mistake in military technology, all the power around the world goes out. No electricity, no cars, no computers, **NO** refrigeration. Obviously, civilization collapses. The mega-corporations that currently sit on top of the world collapse, which would obviously include Eli Lily, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi Aventis. All this means is it's the end of mass-produced, high-tech insulins, blood glucose meters, insulin pumps...everything on which we currently rely. By the time the show starts, it's been 15 years since the blackout happened.

What do you think? Could a type 1 survive that long without mass produced insulin? While I know of a group who, during WWII, had to make do with their own hand-made insulin while detained in China, I also know that when the camp was liberated, one American was quite grateful when the US soldiers brought what she called "white insulin" that was far more reliable than the "brown insulin" her husband had learned to make to help keep her alive.

As for me, while I agree that Bret Michaels is a pretty tenacious character, I'm not sure I'd put money on type 1s surviving too long if this scenario were to come to pass!

(The episode can be seen here


In the early days of diabetes, before insulin. Some people, although not most, survived on a 'starvation diet' eating mostly fats and exercising heavily. I have always wondered about this, but got the answer in the first chapter of Joslin's Diabetes Mellitus. Its an expensive book, so I'll type what they wrote: "Prior to the use of insulin, most young patients with diabetes died shortly after diagnosis. The Joslin Clinic experience showed the commonest cause of death to be ketoacitosis (63.8% until 1914 and 41.5% until August 1921). The improvment from 1914 to 1921 was probobly due to the introduction of Fredrick Allen's "semistarvation" therapy in about 1915. Even though patients with type 1 diabetes could sometimes survive for years using this form of starvation therapy, most died much sooner..." (p.6)

I think it would definitely be difficult most people with type 1 to survive without having easy access to mass produced insulin. Now I'm not saying that it is impossible, and that some people wouldn't survive but I certainly believe without a doubt that the number of survivors would be significantly less than they are today.

You have to keep in mind that up until around the 1980's, insulin was extracted from animals (specifically bovine and porcine). While not ideal, using this insulin would be a substitute for any of the analogue's that are common today. The trouble would then lie in the fact that there would be no refrigeration to keep it cold and/or modes of transportation to distribute it.

And of course… Very few of us know how to “extract” insulin from animals… And without communications and networks with the people who might know how to we’d have a hard time getting our hands on it. There was a post on here months ago where someone was asking about learning how to extract insulin from animals… He didn’t get a lot of replies but it actually seems like a pretty good idea for at least a small percentage of the people who actually need it to figure that out in case of emergency

Yep, I am pretty sure I would be dead within one week, maybe less. Ever read Bel Canto? I have always wondered what I could survive….plane crash? Holocaust? Week in the Amazon? In my pre diabetes days I felt pretty hardy, now I realize I am dependent on something to keep me alive, which scares me so I do not focus on it too much.

Someone once told me this "survivalist" type of thinking is uniquely American, which is why we spend out youth learning survival skills….like learning to camp alone in the woods without matches. etc.

LOL, Hope.![|375x375](upload://abj02Z3TXEKVyFOSNFLwXJ0YbDn.jpeg)

Maybe the nano's cured his diabetes :)

Ah, there you go! According to the story line, Rachel kept her son alive with the help of the nanos, while her collaborator, Grace, kept her partner from succumbing to stage 4 cancer thanks to the nanos. Perhaps the nanos fixed everyone with a disease?

I was just looking closely to see if I could catch a glimpse of an insulin pump. Anyone see that great American Idol clip with Crystal Bowersox and Harry Connick Junior? Crystal's pump beeped while she was singing with Connick and he said, "somewhere more important to be?" When she said it was her insulin pump he was really embaressed! And no, I don't normally watch American Idol.

I'd be dead soon after I ran out of insulin, too, so I guess I'd join you in the afterlife! The only thing that might keep me around a bit longer is that I don't live too far from a pharmacy. If a nightmare scenario were to play out, that, at least, would give me access to insulin, test strips, batteries, meters, etc.

It's interesting that "survivalist" thinking is seen as uniquely American. Perhaps that's why "Doomsday Preppers" is such a hit for Nat Geo!

While I wasn't a diabetic back in the '70s or '80s, I knew a lot of people who were. And many of them said they liked their animal insulins much better than the human insulins which were available at that time. You know, by the time human insulins came out, animal insulins were far more pure than the ones Banting and Best first injected. I'd say that making animal based insulins would be difficult, though not impossible. As for keeping things cold, well, in the 1800s and early 1900s, they did have ice boxes which kept food cooled using large blocks of ice that were cut from rivers, lakes, etc. Good for northern temperate climates, but in a place like Texas or Arizona, I'm not sure if that would be available.

No, I didn't see that! Can you send a link to the clip? I normally don't watch American Idol either, as I don't really like the judges (Simon Cowel is just too mean for my taste). But I'd love to see that one.

Bret is still doing insulin injections as far as I know. And, there was an insulin pump featured as a plot device on NBC's The Blacklist just a week or two ago.