But when Laura launched Azurite and the crowdfunding campaign to test the completely needle free way of glucose testing, I was hit with the realization that this could completely change the way I live, and the way millions of other diabetics live. Since then I’ve been reflecting a lot upon how the disease has affected me and have been more open about diabetes in hopes that it will make people realize the magnitude of importance that this project has.
After 18 years of going to the doctors and having them endlessly preach to me about how a new technology is out that will make things easier, and that the cure for diabetes is “just around the corner” I have learned to take things with a grain of salt.
The technology that the doctors would propose didn’t make things easier. Some diabetics have found the technology on the market useful and helpful, and it definitely has its place. But for me it doesn’t actually make anything easier. There is nothing easy or enjoyable about stabbing yourself with a long needle that places either a small sensor or tube inside you. The sensor is supposed to last 7 days before you repeat the process, but I have issues making it last 3. The sensor also isn’t completely reliable and I have had it record my blood sugar at an amount that was drastically different from what it actually was.
The diabetes technology on the market today has a way of making me painfully aware of my situation and how dependent I am on technology to survive. After 18 years I have gotten used to the frustrations of having diabetes, but I’m getting tired of the endlessness of the disease and the slow rate at which diabetes technology has developed.
When Laura let me know that her research was turning into something and had promising hopes, I became interested. Really interested. No one had ever followed through on their word like this for me that had the power of making such a profound difference in my life. I am currently studying digital arts and the fast rate at which technology is advancing and so when she told me of the progress that was being made I realized that this could be something really ground breaking. How are there so many cool developments in technology right now yet it hasn’t influenced diabetes technology? I have always believed that if you set your mind to something you can succeed. Non-invasive glucose monitoring technology is possible. It is just a matter raising money and developing it.
One of the biggest promises that I see for this new technology is to reduce the amount of low blood sugars. For people who are athletic, this is one of the biggest challenges of diabetes. Extremely low blood sugars are the scariest thing about the disease. You get dizzy, your hands start uncontrollably shaking, you lose feeling in parts of your body (especially your face). You start sweating. You feel like you are going to pass out. The only thing you can focus on is sugar. Sugar. SUGAR. Your brain is screaming it at you. You have to consciously think about every step you take to the fridge. And your mind is fiercely aware of the effort it takes to open the fridge. And pull out the juice with your shaking hands, untwist the cap of the orange juice, and then chug as much as you can. Time seems to move in slow motion when you are this low.
The need for an accurate and reliable non-invasive device plays an even bigger role for when you are asleep. Diabetics have died from not waking up from low blood sugars. This realization can be really stressful for kids, and even adults, with diabetes. Having an easy and reliable device that you don’t have to replace and that would accurately alert you of changes in your blood sugar would remove a huge amount of stress.
While diabetes may not be curable at this time, I am convinced that we have the power to advance the technology and make it more livable. It has been amazing to the see the generosity of all the people we have reached out to, and to see how complete strangers share our vision of challenging the status quo of diabetes technology.