I Am a Cyborg

Today we discussed Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto.  During the discussion, we started talking about how we are cyborgs because of the devices which become a part of ourselves, or the medication which we use.  Our discussion focussed mainly on cell phones, ipods and Facebook.  Well, I’ve got one device that I think fits the bill even better than a cell phone: my insulin pump. 

This is my current pump, a Minimed 522.

I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes for almost 20 years.  With Type 1, your pancreas completely stops making insulin, which is why you have to go onto insulin injections; Type 1 is not lifestyle related, so you cannot control it with diet or pills.  Several years ago, I decided to go onto an insulin pump, which has made my life a lot better; for all intents and purposes, I can now eat whatever I want whenever I want.  Whenever I eat something, I push a few buttons and the pump gives me insulin.  My pump functions like the pancreas of someone without diabetes except for two things: I have to tell it how much insulin I need when I eat, and it is on the outside of my body.

A few years ago, my pump died on me and I had to go back onto injections for the few days while the new one was on its way; those were the most miserable days of my life!  I couldn’t believe I used to deal with injections on a regular basis – it was so much more regimented!  That incident showed me just how much my insulin pump has become a part of me.  My insulin pump is like a slightly annoying body part – it’s with me all the time, and when it’s not getting caught on door knobs, I rarely think about it.  And while it isn’t implanted in me, I think it definitely qualifies me for cyborg status.

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1 Comment

Filed under School

One response to “I Am a Cyborg

  1. sarah swayze

    I definitely agree with you. I was thinking of the little boy I babysit, who is in a wheelchair and just how much more that means to him then my cell phone means to me. Or my grandparents hearing aids…without them they couldn’t function. It almost feels like we have different levels of being a cyborg, or necessity and of choice.

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