May 14, 2013: Dream Diabetes Device
People in the DOC can get incredibly creative when it comes to imagining technical devices that they would love to have in their arsenal. Me, I’m not dreaming too big here. What I want is something that should be available—something, in fact, that manufacturers say exists and is readily available. I, however, have yet to find it.
What do I want, you ask?
I want a functional blood glucose monitor. A functional glucose monitor. Like this:
- It has a light that illuminates the finger I’m trying to poke for a blood sample. And the light stays on, rather than shutting off just as I’m achieving the precarious alignment of blood bubble-test strip. And if the light stays on, Madeline’s dreams might not be rudely interrupted by the string of expletives emitted from my mouth in exhausted frustration.
- It accepts the blood sample rather than rejecting it due to a test strip error. Because we all know that test strip error = stupid equipment operator did not get a big enough sample for processing. And yet, the blood bubbles are plenty big enough, and they sucked up just fine into the strip, thankyouverymuch.
- And if there is one test strip error, a functional glucose monitor does not allow the occurrence of test strip error three, four, five times in a friggin’ row. Even though the blood bubble-test strip alignment was perfect every single time. PER-FECT.
- It holds the glucose reading longer than 15 minutes so that when I get around to the bolus, I don’t have to re-enter the information. I know, I know: a bolus really should be given within the first 5 minutes of eating, and ideally even before eating has begun. But hey, Madeline is 8, with big eyes and a small belly. She has no idea how much she is going to eat.
- Its visual display is high contrast so that I can actually read it in the dark.
- It has download-ability, into a data format that I can manipulate the way I want, to get the information I need. I’m sorry, but studying the trends of an 8-year-old child requires much more detailed and flexible information than studying the trends of an adult who follows the same routine every day.
- It allows me to tag details onto the glucose reading that actually provide real, helpful information later on when I’m analyzing data. Not “before lunch” or “after snack.” More like, “she just barfed up her dinner” or “it’s hotter than Hades right now” or “she’s wicked pissed off because her mom told her she couldn’t have another cookie” or “just finished a 2-hour hike” or “ate pizza—the carbs that keep on giving.”
- Its menus are easy to navigate. Meaning, I don’t have to wait for-EVER for it to advance from one menu to the next. Meaning, menu-option labels actually make sense. Meaning, click-wheel navigation, not some stone-age button that, when depressed, speeds the carb data from 5g to 5 million grams in a nanosecond.
R & D at Roche and Life First, are you listening?