Since I'm still fairly new to the diabetes world as a Type 2 and had very little exposure as a gestational diabetic (about three months for each of my five pregnancies), it's hard for me to give a lot of personal experience in the area of technology advances as they relate to diabetes management. I remember a high school friend checking his blood on a not very portable meter at the kitchen table where he'd have to apply a huge drop, wipe it off, insert it into a machine, and then wait for what seemed like a long time to get the results. I know meters have gotten smaller and faster. Now they also have cables and software that all a person with diabetes (aka PWD) to upload their numbers onto their computer, make fancy charts, and even email to their medical team.
If I wanted to talk about diabetes advancements over the years, I could either sum up my own experiences in one sentence or research the topic and present you with a term paper-like report. Since I figure both wouldn't be very interesting to read (or write), I'm going to talk about what technology I would be interested in using or seeing in the future.
Of course a cure is first on my list, but since that looks like it's a ways off and I like gadgets I'll talk about those. I like the meter I've been using. It's fairly small, about the size of my small wallet in the case. I like the light that I can turn on to illuminate the test strip while I apply the sample then lights up the display to show me the results. Sometimes you need to test in the dark or a dimly lit room, so this feature is handy. I can fit this on my fanny pack with the handy dandy velcro strap when I don't want to deal with a purse.
One gadget that I would like to have (though I know insurance would probably not approve for a Type 2 who is diet and exercise controlled) is a continuous glucose meter (CGM). (Here's one example.) I would really like to see what my glucose levels are doing around the clock, not just when I poke my finger. When I'm starting to feel tired, is it because my sugar is off or am I just tired?
Of course one "diabetes gadget" that many forget about (and would like to continue to forget about) is the scale. For a PWD, keeping their weight in check makes controlling diabetes a little easier. Type 2s, dealing with insulin resistance, is less of a challenge at a healthy weight. I admit that over the last month or so, my weight has been creeping up a little. Stress and being busy have lead to me not taking the time for myself. This is something as a mom I struggle with quite often. Someone once told me they look at exercise as a prescription, just like any of the medications in their cabinet. To stay healthy, you wouldn't ignore the medications your body needs. Therefore you shouldn't ignore the exercise your body needs.
For now, my meter and bathroom scale are the only two items I need to help me manage my diabetes. Even though I don't have a closet full of supplies, it's not always easy. My prayer is that we find a cure soon and all of these pieces of diabetes technology will go into a museum. Someday we'll hear children at that museum say, "A long time ago, people had diabetes and used these things to keep their blood sugar levels under control. I'm glad we don't have to deal with *that* anymore!"
This post is my July entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2011/july-dsma-blog-carnival/