For Thursday, the topic of the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week is “Fantasy Diabetes Device.” What thing would I love to have, that would help me manage Madeline’s T1 better? What would she like to have?
Madeline’s fantasy diabetes device: “A thing that would make my pancreas work again. I would put it in my pancreas, and push a button, and it would tell my pancreas to make insulin again.” That certainly would be the ultimate device.
Me, I have a hard time imagining things like this. I don’t let myself fantasize about anything, really. I’m a pragmatist, to the bone. So, this topic is a challenge for me.
Here’s what I want: a device that truly integrates blood sugar monitoring with insulin delivery. I want ONE device, with ONE infusion site, that can both test blood glucose and deliver insulin. There’s some excellent technology out there integrating data from continuous glucose monitors (CGM) with insulin pumps, but none so far allows the glucose monitoring and insulin delivery to be accomplished through one infusion site. Even the artificial pancreas is not designed to work this way, which tells me that it is likely not possible.
Ok, so if I can’t have that… can I have a device that allows for accurate, real-time continuous glucose monitoring without additional monitoring via finger pricks? Because current CGM technology does not deliver truly accurate real-time information, and because its use requires the insertion of a second infusion site, we have not elected to use it. Why would we subject her to the pain of a second infusion site if we still have to shred her fingers and toes 8 times or more every day?
Honestly, the bottom line is that I want something that delivers treatment and allows Madeline to experience less pain every day. Most of the time, she handles it like a trooper. But there are days when her eyes well up with big tears when it’s time to test her BG, and she sometimes elects to not eat in order to avoid a finger prick. My 7-year-old daughter is already developing strategies for reducing the number of finger pricks she has to endure. That’s great that she’s problem-solving this dilemma, but people, it simply sucks.