Airplanes have had them for years. Cars have had them since 2013. I’ve had one since 1996. I’m talking about my personal little black box, an insulin pump.
It’s smaller than most cell phones, often mistaken for a pager. (What’s a pager and why would someone need one? They only use them in restaurants, buzzing for you to pick up your food.)
My little black box or the “insulin pump” has become more sophisticated since I first started using one to keep my diabetes in control.
Through the years, with every upgrade and change comes another great feature. Today, most pumps come with a continuous glucose monitor that communicates to the pump if your blood sugar is high or low.
I happen to have a dog whose nose is faster than modern technology. But with a combination of both, my blood sugars are monitored quite well.
Sometimes too well.
You see, the pump is programmed so well, it beeps or vibrates for notices other than high and low blood sugars.
It beeps to tell me to check my BG or blood glucose (sugar).
It beeps if I miss a meal bolus (insulin to cover food intake).
It beeps when the insulin reservoir is low.
It beeps when I need to change the set (tubing, reservoir attached to me subcutaneously).
It SCREAMS if I ignore the calibration prompt and it can be extremely loud and hard to ignore. Actually, it screams if I ignore any of the above prompts.
Although this little black box saves my life by giving me what my physical body can’t, it bullies me. Yes, I can change the tone of the above prompts, but it will continue to bully me until I respond. Oftentimes it bullies me all night long, keeping us from sleeping or dreaming, for that matter.
Yes, it is annoying. Yes, I feel bullied. But I can’t live without it. I can’t complain because it keeps me healthy.
I can live with a bullying black box. It helps me live by my own decree: