Tag Archives: insulin pump

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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