Sunday, May 16, 2010

Who doesn't want more machines?

This is called a continuous blood glucose monitor.

Actually, this is called a comic, one that happens to involve a woman who happens to wear both an insulin pump and a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGMS). These two little machines, when they work in tandem, effectively tell her what her blood sugar is doing at five-minute intervals throughout the day, and then help her make decisions on how much insulin to take.

Sometimes being a savvy type 1 diabetic means remembering words from high school chemistry. I knew "interstitial" would come in handy someday. Gotta love those "hypers" and "hypos," and "glucose"--my life would be so much more boring without that C6H12O6. But the opportunity to live with not one but two
little machines plugged directly into me all day long--this was something I could not turn down. How often do you get to tap into the superhighway of your own bloodstream every day, all day long, and have it help your health? Not only that, but it graphs out glucose patterns and beeps before you get high or low, just to check in. It's like living with a doctor slash mother attached to your hip, with some of the implied advantages and disadvantages.

I'm not squeamish about needles and finger pricks, and have worn an insulin pump for more than 8 years, so I learned long that the diabetic aesthetic doesn't -- and won't ever -- cramp my style. One of my favorite Eddie Izzard sketches is his identification as an "executive transvestite" -- I like to think of myself as an "executive diabetic."

Pretty soon everyone will want one.

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