I've been a diabetic for almost 9 years now. It just randomly happened when I was 20. Got the flu, next thing I knew I was thirsty all the time, lost a pile of weight, and was baiscally death warmed over.
Back then, my regimen was up to 6 shots of Insulin a day. I manually mixed the shots with 3 different kinds of insulin for the optimal effect. I pricked my fingers up to 10 times a day, dripping blood onto a "Test Strip" inserted into a blood sugar meter. Forty-five agonizing seconds later, the meter would display my blood sugar. I kept a manual log each day of my carbohydrate intake, my insulin usage, and my blood sugar. I'd sleep, rinse, and repeat.
But now, the GlucoWatch has come out. It's to be yet another device in my BatBelt of Diabetes tools.
Today I use a FastTake meter to check my sugars. It gives me results in 5 seconds. I'm plugged into a pager-sized Insulin Pump that acts as an external pancreas. I replenish its insulin supply every 3 to 4 days. I check my blood sugar, and enter the values into my PalmPilot in an application I wrote called GlucoPilot. It provides charts and graphs and reports to help me make the right decision about how much insulin to take. There's no way to make that decision for me. I have to collect the data and make a judgement call, about 6 times a day. But now, I don't have to take a shot, I just enter the values into the pump and it delivers the insulin for me into a tube connected to me all the time. Believe me, it's WAY better than shots.
Tommorow, I'll be getting a GlucoWatch. It measures the level of glucose (blood sugar) in my blood through my skin! I'll wear it 12 hours a day, like a watch. It will interact with a replacable conduit patch stuck to my skin to collect glucose. I'll be using it in conjunction with my finger sticks as they are still more accurate. The promise of nearly continuous blood sugar readings is just too exciting.
As an engineering-type personality I need as much data as possible to make a decision. Every day, many times a day, I have to take these things into consideration before I eat, work out, sleep, etc:
- Current Blood Sugar Level
- Predicted level of Exercise in the next 3 hours
- Exercise performed in the last 3 hours
- Grams of Carbos, Proteins I'm about to eat
- Level of Personal Hydration
- Do I have a cold? Flu? Any virus?
- Current average speed of digestion
It sounds melodramatic, but it's not. I always feel like I just guess. What the GlucoWatch will give me that I don't have today is TREND information. It's one thing to know my blood sugar is 100 right now. But if it was 200 an hour ago, I take one action, while if it were 50 an hour ago, I'd take different action. The GlucoWatch will show my blood sugar every 20 minutes continuously for 12 hours.
It will be a good day when I'm done with Diabetes.