Thursday, July 10, 2008

Inventions I could actually use...

There is this gadget I have had in my head for a few months now. I swear, it seems simple enough, and important enough, that someone should be able to create it (or should have already). They're working on continous glucose monitoring sensors, even islet cell transplants. But what about just figuring out if my bottle of insulin, right now, is still good?

I want a little device that I can inject a few units of insulin into that will tell me if it is still good or not. One that could've helped me out last weekend, when I had no idea why I was 389 after dinner. Did I really do that bad of a job counting the carbs I ate? Or was that afternoon on the beautiful Lake Michigan beach too much for my vial of insulin without an icepack, even though I was careful to keep it covered up and in the shade?

A device that could've helped narrow down the cause of several spates of ridiculous and unpredictable blood sugars I've had over the past year or two, during which I was getting my insulin from a mail order pharmacy (way cheaper) that didn't seem completely trustworthy. Like when the insulin showed up during our late-summer heatwave last September and the ice was all melted. And when I called the company pharmacist to ask, he said, "Well, it took 5 days after it left our warehouse to arrive at your post office. We aren't responsible for what happens when our shipper has it." (WTF?! I'm paying you for my insulin and you can't be responsible for whether or not it gets to me in working condition?)

Anyways, someone needs to create this little gadget. It should be totally doable... the heat just denatures (unravels) the insulin proteins, right? So something that could detect the shape/structure of the insulin could figure it out?

I want inventions and technological advances that can actually help me control my blood sugars, and make doing so less stressful, and more convenient.

I want to know if my insulin is working or not, and not have my own body be the experimental test tube taking the hit to figure it out.

I want an infusion set that delivers insulin in a way my body can absorb (as it seemed I couldn't absorb well from all the infusion sets I tried in the last round of extreme blood sugar unpredictability and highs). I don't care if my insulin pump looks like a Minimed, an OmniPod, or an iPod, as companies and some diabetics are concerned about, judging by consumer surveys I did and blogger design contests. I just want it to work.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post (a gajillion years ago). It was nice to hear your thoughts and experiences and have a little discussion/support/camaraderie.


Scott K. Johnson said...

I think that sounds like a great invention!

The Patients Voice said...


We have just launched a test version of a new site which you might find of interest

Please go to



Bob Hawkinson said...

I'm all for stuff that works....substance over design....

Jonah said...

I used to be very interested in that idea. Not sure what happened. But when scientists want a quick and dirty test to see if Lantus is still good, they test the pH level. Get some pH test strips from your local science store (not sure if ketostix would work) and see what happens.