Maybe I’ve been watching too many comic book and sci-fi movies/shows lately, but I’ve come to the realization that technically, I’m kind of a cyborg thanks to my insulin pump.
Well first, I had to look up the actual definition:
a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent upon a mechanical or electronic device.
My physiological functioning is dependent on my insulin pump essentially acting as my pancreas. And while it’s technically not built into my body (maybe it will be in the future), it’s still attached at all (well, most) times. But upon reading other definitions, most cyborgs’s mechanical or electronic device allows their physical abilities to extended beyond normal human limitations. While my insulin pump makes my diabetes much easier to manage, it’s still not the same as an actual working pancreas and so it probably wouldn’t qualify in that sense.
But that’s not the aspect of the pump that I want to focus on today. Instead, let’s talk about one small feature of it, the light.
My insulin pump has a button that turns on the screen’s back light. This makes it easier to give insulin in the dark. But its uses extend beyond merely giving insulin. I essentially have a built in flashlight at all times.
When I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I turn on the light and use it to guide me through the dark. Unlike the jarring light from a phone, the brightness doesn’t rouse me from my slumbered state.
My reliance on my light is most apparent when the battery in my pump needs to be replaced and the function stops working. I stumble through the darkness to the bathroom, cursing myself for not replacing the battery when I first noticed it was low. No matter where I am, a dark movie theater, my bedroom, or even a cave, this light is always available (and connected) to me, allowing me to illuminate the darkness. It extends my abilities beyond normal human limitations.
In many ways, my type 1 diabetes has essentially given me both physically and metaphorically, a light in the darkness.