Thursday, 17 May 2012

Fantasy Diabetes Device - We've come a long way.

Day 4 - Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary. Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be? Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc. The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

What a topic! After thinking about this I took a quick trip to the kitchen cupboard where I tend to hoard things that I don't need anymore and spent twenty minutes considering the past...

Meet early diabetes...

When I was first diagnosed my parents used to use Glucose Sticks and BM stick and a colour coordination system to work out what my BM's were in the region of. Sounds straight forward unless you're trying to pin down a 14month old for a blood or urine sample! I'd imagine it was easier though than trying tom administer insulin...

 The device for administering the insulin is about a rulers length when loaded with a syringe, once its loaded and ready it is placed against he skin and the big red button is pushed! The worst thing about this device is the horrific noise it makes as it administers, the bang sounds like a cap gun being  shot...!
 Not long after starting school a BM kit became available - this was a device that you could put the pre-wiped blood stick in and it would read it for you over sixty seconds to I've a more accurate reading! Although this was a huge development the gun that drew blood was still scary! The metre became available in a range of sizes but this seems to be the only one that's escaped diabetes heaven...
 Sometime around my Junior year maybe when I was 8 or 9 we received a silver device that was smaller, less noisy and more child friendly for administering insulin. WE used this by dropping the filled syringe into the top and then pulling it apart. When pressed against the skin the needle would fire in and then the syringe could be depressed. Painful but better than the previous massive black one!!
 We carried on with this until I was 15 when I was given the option to go onto 'pens'. As at this point I was on four injections a day it seemed to be the best option and so we were given two different coloured ones, one fore background insulin and one for meal times. Although they were much less painful, less scary looking and practically silent it took about two hours for me to manage to get the first injection in because I was so scared of not having a device to do it for me!!
 Around the same time this gorgeous little metre came out! It was compact, the gun hurt less than anything I'd ever encountered before and it all fit into a nice little pouch that I could carry around with me - I still use this metre.
So i was plodding along quite happily in 2006/07 all be it on five injections a day but I was managing some kind of control. As I'd moved into the adult clinic at the hospital  I was struggling to ask for advice when I met my new nurse, Jan. She is amazing! She suggested that I considered the pump as it would give me more control. A definite NO. At that point I didn't like the idea of being attached to something twenty four hours a day. With the help of Jan and my mum I was gradually talked around into thinking about it and eventually signed up to the waiting list in late 2007. When in Jan 2008 my giant box of supplies arrived I thought that I would be carry a brick around with. Instead my lovely little blue pump was just well packed and protected and all its supplies where in with it!

So why is all this relevant to the  Fantasy Diabetes Post? Its relevant because I could wish for a working pancreas, a pump and CBGM that work in partnership, a smaller pump etc...All I really wish is that companies who develop BM Kits and Pump Therapy will keep working at it. I think my pictures show what a massive improvement has taken place in the last 28years and I hope they will carry on doing so...


  1. What a thoughtful post! I thank you for this dose of perspective today :)

  2. I love that your post takes me down memory lane :-)

  3. Glad you enjoyed it - found myself quite emotional at some points just thinking back.