His name is Gizmo. He’s a small thing, about the size of a pager, with charcoal skin…. Gizmo and I are attached by a long string, like an umbilical cord. He’s constantly pumping insulin. Sometimes, he moves to the comforts of my small stomach rolls. Sometimes, he rides along my back. He doesn’t enjoy the hard surface of my legs, and it feels uncomfortable when I tuck him under my arm.
Many of you may remember when Gizmo and I first met or you may remember this short introduction from my book Sugarcoated. But I first met Gizmo back in March of 2012 when I went from injecting myself with pens and needles every day to the transformative wonders of an insulin pump. With Gizmo I never had another hypoglycemic seizure, and I was better able to function on a daily basis without diabetes getting in the way.
But recently I wrote about possibly saying goodbye to Gizmo and introducing a new type of insulin delivery system into my life. Well just a few days ago I took that step.
Gizmo, meet Evie.
Evie is my personal diabetes manager. She’s a little bigger than a pager with the same charcoal skin but she doesn’t attach to my skin. Instead, she wirelessly manages my insulin delivery through a pod taped to my skin, pearl white, and smaller than a pager.
I’m not sure if Evie will prove to be better than Gizmo. I’m not even sure if I will like Evie as much as I came to adore Gizmo, but so far there hasn’t been an interruption in my insulin delivery. I haven’t noticed any unusual highs or lows, and I’m able to manage my diabetes with the push of a button from a device in my purse, as if I were merely texting on my phone.
At first the weight of the pod was a bit unsettling, but within a day I got used to it, and I don’t have to take it off to jump in the pool or the shower. It’s waterproof. Like Cosmo, my continuous glucose monitoring system, it’s another lifeline, and I am functioning because of this plastic white doohickey attached beneath my skin via the marvels of adhesive.
And even though Evie has already proved to make my on-the-go, active lifestyle easier, I still think of Gizmo. When I’m about to take a shower, I think of unclipping Gizmo, and then I remember he’s not there. And when I take off my jeans, I think of removing Gizmo from inside my front pocket, but there is nothing there. Or when I want to administer an insulin injection, I think of removing Gizmo from the straps of my bra, but then there is nothing jarring between my underarm and side.
For the past four years I have conditioned my life to live by the pump.
And now I can just imitate every other smartphone-addicted person out there when I want to administer an insulin injection. Minus the two wireless transmitters taped to my body, for a moment, I almost seem normal.
But if I were normal I wouldn’t have an Evie, a Cosmo, or a Gizmo.
So here’s to you Gizmo – for giving me four unforgettable years seizure-free and for reminding me that even a personified pump can make life livable again.
— Tracy Gnadinger (@TracyGnadinger) July 18, 2014