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October 28, 2016
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Songs to Diabetes

As if diabetes wasnt in the back of my mind enough as it is, the music industry seems to be playing a little joke on me to keep it on my mind even more often. We all know the tools that keep us healthy are filled with wires, and electronics, and batteries, and that has been a stellar improvement on diabetes care over the decades. But with all this technological advancement comes the need for increased safety measures, including alarms that beep to proclaim an insulin pump error, a successful blood test, or a completed phase of setup. The joke becomes less funny when I am driving down the highway with some music going, focused on the road, when an identical tone comes from the stereo that sounds like my insulin pump.


I end up trapped in a moment of confusion and concern. Is my pump experiencing a problem? Does it need to be changed out sooner than I realized? What gives? It causes me to pull the pump controller out to check for a status change before I realize it is fine and the latest song wailing on the radio is really the cause. The artist, Pink, has a way with her voice that mimics the error tone on my insulin pump. It is a monotone high pitched hum that goes on limitlessly until the error is recognized on the controller, or until the FM station is quickly changed.


An infrequent mood will have me listening to some Gary Allen country music on the IPod, but watch out when Watching Airplanes comes into cue. Some mix of musical instrument and audio editing and synthesizing sounds like the pod expiration noise my pump makes before it needs to be changed out. Gavin Degraw also has a special way with his music. Both Follow Through and Over-Rated from his Chariot album ping little notes of diabetes noise. Background noises during the songs give a high-pitched recognition to pump noises.


It really puts me on alert for a second, and then a second later leaves me feeling slightly gullible. It is funny to me how my brain is attuned to these electronic noises and hyper-aware of their presence. For all the faults it would create, I wish my pump could be set to all vibration alerts. Instead, it has none bummer. So it goes in this electro-magnified world we live in, and really how much concern can I give it. I am ever grateful for the tools of this era and the options they give me.

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