computerFor some reason, and I am not exactly sure why; the last three days have been an absolute perfect-storm for the techno-gods to not shine their smiling faces upon me.  My oh my–what a mess.  One computer glitch disaster to another.

Traveling as much as I do—-this could potentially become a problem….and this trip….it surely did.

Now this may surprise you; but that got me to thinking. 🙂

How much do we rely on all of the modern conveniences of technology that when it runs amuck, we pay a price for it.  That price is frustration.

I found myself talking to my computer like it was a child who had done wrong.  And as the stern parent I demanded an answer…..yeah that didn’t work too well.  Our lives have become totally reliant on these mechanical-must-owns in almost everything we do.

Even in our kids, shots are replaced by pumps and blood testing is also being done more and more on a reliant basis.   And in as much as I love technology, and I love the computer, I have recently asked myself; What do we do when it goes off track?

Have we become too reliant on modern technology?  What do you think?

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That’s been the main concern that I’ve had about the artificial pancreas. It’s often talked about in terms of “lessening the cognitive load”, a noble goal, but at the same time, a potentially dangerous one. What happens when it breaks? Will we still have enough training, and will we remember it, when we find ourselves faced with carb counting, bolus calculations, etc?

Hmmmmmmm I wasn’t even thinking about technology in the future Scott and as always a very good added point. I loved Sherrie’s point—when the lights go out—we still need to know how to light a candle or flashlight…..don’t we????

I so agree with you on that Tom! I actually in the beginning was reluctant to go on a pump (visions of the Terminator – me!!!) – but then I realised it wasn’t all the machine doing the work – but also my sponge brain. I have been to many discussions about the artificial pancreas at JDRF symposiums – and it scares me – especially when I see parents agreeing that it’s the best thing. Maybe because I’m an old fart T1D – been thru’ the Stone Age process – know how to do the technology stuff inside my brain – and not a machine – is a good thing. It’s not fun all the time – but at least I know how to do it if my piece of technology breaks down (urine testing anyone – ching, ching???).

It has nothing to do with anything about being an ‘old anything’….if the promise does not match the capability; the results should be thousands of questions…..until teh answers make sense. Period.

When (preferably before) technology goes off-track, we make sure we have a backup plan. We keep that emergency vial (or pen) of Lantus in the fridge and hang on to that box of syringes that hasn’t been touched in seven years, just in case.. We store our pump settings in our smartphone so it’s available if we need to resort to said backup plan. We hang on to our old, out-of-warranty pumps because, although not guaranteed to work, they’re better than a primary pump which has absolutely and undoubtedly quit. We hoard free meters so if one dies, we have backups to choose from. We make friends online and around the world, so if something goes wrong, there’s somebody to talk to.

At least that’s what I do. Fortunately, I haven’t ever needed to invoke my backup plan, but I sleep a lot better at night knowing that I have one.

Correct Scott…..I always read stories about how parents completely ‘freak out’ when the pump breaks…….um…..a shot is what worked for years—–might be a good lesson to pass on—I might address it in tomorrow’s column. Perfect input—-Thanks!

Yes, we do rely an awful lot on modern technology. however as long as we don’t lose sight of the original methods… just like when we lose electricity during a storm… we can get through this.

I totally hear you on your frustration Tom. As a T1D of almost 50 years – technology – only came into my life in the 80’s. I only started pumping in 2008 (I’m a late bloomer) – and with the s/w probs, etc. with the Animas 2020 – had to force myself off my pump – aka George Michael – in order to have the ability to do my diabetes control the “old fashioned way” incase he goes wonky like all my previous 2020 pumps have done whilst I’m on holidays. Now, when I say “old fashioned” – I will still cheat with a BG meter and calculator to figure out I:C, etc.. It’s been a gruelling process as I remember how I did my diabetes control 4 years prior – but finally – almost a month later (hair pulling – yikes I’m going bald!) – I have the basal rate (Lantus) sorted out and I’ll hopefully not freak out any of my fellow sailors I’m sharing a 36′ Beneteau in the Bahamas over the next few weeks with any freakish hypos. I’ll be writing a blog tomorrow – all about how it took me 2 weeks to get a pen from Novo Nordisk – that somehow must be made of gold (or every child who is on small amounts of insulin like I am – is now all using insulin pumps). Sometimes I think it’s good to go back to the “old ways” – just so we don’t go into panic mode when we no longer have all the bells and whistles at our finger tips. Oh – and see you at CWD FLL in March – I’m bringing my god daughter and her 13 year old son (diagnosed a 6 like myself) – they are going to have soooo much fun!!!!

I would miss being able to read my favorite blogs and get access to the latest news about the cure but I would survive if something happened that would end my connection to the web. We live in a town where Amish live and farm without electricity, telephone or car. So evidence is right here that we could manage.
But I must admit that I would let my son go bionic with a million dollar pancreas if we had the money and it would help. I’d have candles, matches and syringes for back up just in case. 😉

To go one futher, a concern of mine is a natural disaster, on a large scale. How long will it take to run out of insulin? How long would it take to get the supply chain back and running. I would go low carb with my girls (not low enough for ketones) and stretch it out a ways. That’s nothing I ever want to face, that’s one of my worst nightmeres. Thanks for sharing.

Tim – that has always been my worse case scenario (I’m with you on the low carb diet if need be).

I have dreams of sailing around the world – where ports may not be easily accessed like we can as land dwellers – I know for myself – keeping my insulin supply stocked is abit of a concern for me. After just having come back from a 2 week sailing adventure – where there was only 3 smal ports we stopped off (towns of 50 or less population – and no pharmacy) – alot of careful planning will be done. I know tho’ that many Americans who I correspond with – have so much insulin and supplies in their homes – that it blows my mind of places where insulin is like gold (e.g. Ecuador and other underdeveloped countries).

Now back to reality, wi-fi after 3 weeks – is such a treat 🙂

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