I’m a Diabetic Cyborg and Proud of It.
When I was a freshman in college I came down with a nasty cold. The cold symptoms went away but not the fatigue, weight loss and constant thirst…and I mean constant. I had an appointment at the health center later on, but my 8:00 am class professor told me in no uncertain terms that I should go that morning. Thank goodness she was one of the favorite professors I had there, and I was a little scared of her (in a good way), so I went early.
The PA did a urine test and suggested that I go home right away to see my family doctor, because the results indicated type one diabetes. I was already very familiar with diabetes because my mom lived with type one diabetes for pretty much all of my life. Of course, I was still freaked out and scared. My parents drove four hours to pick me up, and the next day I was admitted into the hospital to be diagnosed with type one diabetes.
Over the course of the next nine years, I took four shots a day to manage my diabetes. I struggled with the highs and lows, as well as incidents of DKA, which is when someone with diabetes has an abnormally high level of ketones, usually caused by dehydration. DKA landed me in the hospital multiple times to receive fluids.
My Life as a Cyborg
Several years later, my new endocrinologist recommended the insulin pump. I was nervous at first, but my life did a major 180 because of it. Every day since, I’m so glad that I took that opportunity. The technology of the pump helped me better manage and control my diabetes to avoid those highs, lows and DKA. In fact, my boyfriend calls me a diabetic cyborg.
I don’t want to say I went back to a “normal” life because diabetes is normal for me, but I was able to worry less. With the continued advances in technology, my blood monitor wirelessly talks to my pump; my continuous blood sensor talks to my pump; and through Allscripts my blood monitor can send my blood levels to my EHR.
The blood levels are only one part of diabetes care. My pump stores the other key factors, including my basal rates, carb ratio, insulin sensitivity rate and blood level targets. The combination of all of these items enables better management of my diabetes.
I wish my pump could talk and share this information to my electronic health record. My hope for the Allscripts Open App Challenge is the creation of an application that enables the communication between all my diabetes technology: my pump, blood monitor, sensor and my EHR.
I like to think of it as an upgrade to my diabetic cyborg technology.