12 06 2012

Disclaimer: this is a controversial topic that I get very heated about. Read at your own discretion.

Here’s the definition of an artificial organ.

An artificial organ is a man-made device that is implanted or integrated into a human to replace a natural organ, for the purpose of restoring a specific function or a group of related functions so the patient may return to as normal a life as possible. The replaced function doesn’t necessarily have to be related to life support, but often is. Implied by this definition is the fact that the device must not be continuously tethered to a stationary power supply, or other stationary resources, such as filters or chemical processing units. (Periodic rapid recharging of batteries, refilling of chemicals, and/or cleaning/replacing of filters, would exclude a device from being called an artificial organ.)

Okay, now here’s the definition of the artificial pancreas.

The first-generation system of the artificial pancreas will use a CGM device and an insulin pump.  The wearer will still need to manually instruct the pump to deliver insulin at times, such as around meals, and adjust insulin delivery rates based on activity, illness and other variables.  But the system would “treat to range,” that is, try to keep blood sugar within a set range between, for example, 80 mg/dL and 180mg/dL by automatically increasing insulin delivery when it senses blood glucose going above the high end of the range, and slowing down or turning off insulin delivery when it sensed blood glucose levels moving below the low end of the range.

Now I don’t have a medical degree but what the hell? How dare they call the closed loop system, the “Artificial Pancreas Project”. The trade-off is that I have to wear a bulky, painful, stress-inducing CGM in order to no longer have to manually give myself corrections. This repugnant “Artificial Pancreas” consists of two external devices that are already available to the public. The only new “medical advancement” is an algorithm connecting the two.

Did I mention, these two devices that I will be forced to wear are external? And it’s not even one device, it’s two. How the hell can you call this an “artificial organ”?!

Everyone’s getting so thrilled about this being the future of diabetes. They’re bouncing up and down with excitement. It’s all you’ll read about in a diabetes magazine or online articles. It’s all you’ll hear about at any diabetes conference or panel. In fact, it’s all I heard about when I participated in Children’s Congress. I had to be an advocate, a child spokesperson, for the “Artificial Pancreas Project”.

As a teenage diabetic who has raised over $50,000 for diabetes research since 2004, I have had no say in what my money goes towards. If I disagree with what they’re doing with my money, I am shit out of luck. Because I am outnumbered.

I’m pretty sure I’m the only diabetic against the APP. There must be others out there. I must find you. We must convene.

The APP doesn’t sound like a blessing to me. It sounds like it will make diabetes into a bigger burden. I will be forced to have more external symptoms of my chronic disease. It won’t make life any easier. I will still have to be conscious of my disease at all times and always paranoid. I will always have to be prepared for the unexpected.

I want a real Artificial Pancreas. I want a surgeon to rip out my bum pancreas and replace it with a man-made machine that will do exactly what a normal functioning human pancreas does. I don’t want to be in control of my disease anymore. I want a machine to do everything for me, with precision. I don’t want to have to worry about diabetes anymore. I want to live my life as if I don’t have it. I totally won’t mind having to spend a little more time in airport security if it means I will be free of the guilt of managing my diabetes and having to be perfect all of the time.

When the APP is released to the public, I do not want anyone to think it truly is an “artificial pancreas”. But considering how small-minded people already are about diabetes, I already know the outcome of this. Life will not be easier when the APP is released. I don’t understand how everyone has gotten so brainwashed about this.


Diabetes Blog Week: Day 7 ~ Diabetes Hero

20 05 2012

After staring at a blank “add a new post” page for what seems like forever, I’ve realized I have no idea who my diabetes heroes are. Every PWD I’ve met has impacted my life in some way, whether small or big.

Here’s a quote I really like from “The Moth” by Annie Dillard:

“When the people leave I never blow the candles out, and after I’m asleep they flame and burn”

Some PWD I meet make me smile, some make me cry, some make me laugh, some make me nod my head in agreement, some teach me that’s how I should be living my life, some make me realize that’s how I shouldn’t.

I’ve met people I look up to and people I absolutely don’t.

With diabetes, I’ve learned to be my own hero at times.

Have I met anyone I consider to be my hero? Maybe.

Who knows.


Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts
Click here for a list of Day 4: Fantasy Diabetes Device posts
Click here for a list of Day 5: What They Should Know posts
Click here for a list of Day 6: Saturday Snapshots posts
Click here for a list of Day 7: Diabetes Hero posts

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 6 ~ Saturday Snapshots

19 05 2012

Sometimes, diabetes looks like…



Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts
Click here for a list of Day 2: One Great Thing posts
Click here for a list of Day 3: One Thing To Improve posts
Click here for a list of Day 4: Fantasy Diabetes Device posts
Click here for a list of Day 5: What They Should Know posts
Click here for a list of Day 6: Saturday Snapshots posts

Tears of Joy

14 05 2012

I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made in the DOC. I am blessed that I’ve met them somewhat early in life because many people had to wait til their twenties, thirties, or even longer before meeting anyone else with D. The support system I have gotten through the DOC is incredible and I don’t know what I’d do without you guys. I love being able to relate to people in a genuine way. We share laughs, smiles, tears, and frustrations. None of it is artificial or forced. I don’t automatically connect with every PWD I’ve met and for some reason, it’s been much easier to connect with the PWD that I’ve met in the DOC. It’s great to be able to connect with people emotionally no matter what age they are or what part of the world they live in.

After an unsuccessful attempt at making a D-blog in the past and a reasonably successful tumblr that incorporates all of me, rather than the D-side, I finally got the boost I needed to make this blog about a month ago. I met Karen of Bittersweet Diabetes and Kerri of Six Until Me, who are two phenomenal D-bloggers. If you haven’t read their blogs, you have yet to have gotten your feet wet in the DOC. I talked about this in a previous post that I went to an adult outreach meeting where Karen and Kerri were guest speakers to talk about social media and the DOC. The energy I got after attending that meeting gave me the perseverance I needed to make this *successful* D-blog. So here we are now.

I’ve already gotten recognition from Kerri and Karen for this blog which makes me feel so great! Thank you so much for everything. I was wondering why I had 72 blog views today and it turns out Karen put me first on her Find A Friend list. Here’s what she wrote. It’s so sweet, I think I might need some insulin. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the awful D-pun).

Diabetes Blog Week: Day 1 ~ Find A Friend

14 05 2012

I need to compile an actual list of my DOC friends. I know so many people on so many different sites but I unfortunately don’t have a list. I need to do this quickly because I have an AP test this Thursday to study for and I’d like to get this post published asap so people can actually read it! So without further adieu, here are my D-friends! Some of these aren’t D-blogs, they are just “normal” blogs run by people with D. Nevertheless, everyone here is amazing!


Favorite D-blogs:


Click here for a list of Diabetes Blog Week participants
Click here for a list of Day 1: Find a Friend posts

3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week

9 05 2012

I just found out on twitter that Karen of Bittersweet Diabetes announced the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog Week! I started this blog last month so this will clearly be my first year participating. Hopefully I will gain some new readers from this! I am so excited!

I’m always annoyed by those 1 week or 30 challenges on facebook or instagram because they seem so typical, boring, and unoriginal. Although, I am in love with this idea for the diabetes community.

Diabetes Blog Week is May 14 to May 20. Each day has a different theme.

5/14 – Find A Friend
5/15 – One Great Thing
5/16 – One Thing to Improve
5/17 – Fantasy Diabetes Device
5/18 – What They Should Know
5/19 – Saturday Snapshots
5/20 – Diabetes Hero
Wildcard – Something Good to Eat
Wildcard – Diabetes Creativity

Diabetic Chain Gang

4 05 2012

Like this except less business-like

Ok, here’s the prequel. On Wednesday, I had a consistent 380 mg/dl to 388 mg/dl blood sugar for a solid two hours at school so I came to the conclusion that my pump site had failed. During study hall, I called my mom to ask her to pick me up so I could change my site. Due to school policy, you can’t exactly leave until you’ve gone to the nurse’s office and they determine you can go home. I exited the cafeteria, where seniors go for study hall, in stealth mode, and made my way to the nurse’s office. I told them what was going on and they said I could sit on a chair while I wait for my mom.

Moments later, the only other diabetic student at my high school stumbles into the room and crashes onto the seat next to me. A teacher who had accompanied him said “I caught this one in the hall,” to which he replied, “I was stumbling around like a drunk person“. I giggled because I know the  feeling.

While the nurse was getting him some juice, he turned to me and said, “63, you?”
I replied, “388. Site failure.”
“Do you have the tingly feeling in your legs?”
“So you’re getting scooped up?”
“Maybe I should rip my site out so I can go home.”
“I think school will be over by the time you go high enough.”

He chugs the juice and we chat about site preferences while his blood sugar goes up.
“C’mon 64, c’mon 64.”
It was 60.

A little bit later, he’s 72 so we part ways.

Eventually my mom shows up and as I’m getting in the car, I’m still laughing to myself.