I am Becoming a T1D Cyborg!

I am excited about becoming a cyborg soon!

A Cyborg is a “person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.”

I have a disease that benefits from me augmenting my body. As a science fiction fan and technology fan, I love that!

Diabetes cyborgHaving Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) means that my body does not have the ability to regulate the amount of sugar in my blood (called glucose).  If it goes too low, I could die, and if it stays high, I could suffer ketoacidosis (like my original DKA attack) and die, or I could suffer long-term consequences, such as limb amputations and blindness. I must inject just the right amounts of insulin every day to stay alive and healthy.

To know the right amounts of insulin, I must monitor all factors that might impact my glucose. Factors include food, exercise, stress, and sleep. All throughout the day, I currently have to prick my finger to check the level of glucose, then I often have to use a whole bunch of math to figure out the right amount of insulin to inject into my body.

I just placed an order for 2 devices to help make this all a little easier: an Insulin Pump and a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).

An insulin pump is an insulin-delivering battery-operated device; it’s connected to a narrow plastic tube that’s inserted just under the skin and taped in place. Reasons I want one include:

  • Auto-calculated units of insulin – Automates much of the math… Because mistakes are deadly
  • Precise insulin delivery – injections can only be rounded to the nearest whole unit, which could be too much or too little; a pump can be delivery 1/10 unit
  • Reduce the risk of low blood sugar (because it’s in smaller doses and is more precise)
  • Fewer needle injections. With a pump, one injection replaces at least 20.
    Flexibility to snack or be active on-the-go without having to manually inject myself
  • Being a cyborg is cool

A CGM includes a sensor and a transmitter that measure glucose levels continuously in order to gain insight into patterns. I want a CGM:

  • To have a continuous, large data set and graphs that will give me much needed insight into my glucose patterns
  • To ease my anxiety about not knowing my glucose at any given time
  • To ease my anxiety about having low blood sugar; I don’t want to die! The CGM alerts me (and/or my husband) when my glucose is low
  • Because being a cyborg is cool

By using these devices together, I am confident that I can get all of these benefits and obtain tighter glucose levels. The closer my numbers are to non-diabetic numbers, the better I feel physically and mentally. I want that!

It’s wonderful that these devices exist, but it’s also challenging to be a Cyborg in the year 2017. Cybernetic augmentation is still primitive. The devices are large and involve tape and manual maintenance. Still, count me in if it’s going to enhance my ability to be stable and healthy. And the technology is only going to get better. Until a cure is found (more on that topic later), I will share my journey as a T1D cyborg. Stay tuned as I share my experience trying out my new cybernetic equipment soon!

4 comments

  1. ‘Tape’, doesn’t make it sound very sturdy or reliable. Are there chances that the tube would fall off, especially if you do vigorous activity like running or sit-ups?
    But I’m glad you’re giving this a try! I’m curious what you think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently, there are a lot of varieties of special space-age tape that stays on. They make some for kids that have animals on them… I think I want that! Maybe froggies 🐸 or piggies 🐷.

      Like

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