Mechanical Exhaustion

cables-3-1243182-639x852“Where’s the damn cable that works with this? ARGH.”

John hands me one after another as I clumsily attempt to connect the correct USB charger to my Dexcom receiver. We’ve got lightning cables, USB micro cables, USB 3.0 and 2.0 cables strewn all over our house. We’re a wired family. We even have a cable “coffin” where older, no longer needed cables reside (but we won’t throw them away, because you.never.know.).

My diabetes exhausts me sometimes and not just physically or mentally. With the technology available these days to us, I have now added mechanical to my list.

The mechanical tools I use to manage my diabetes include: iPhone, iWatch, insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor and glucose monitors. I’m like an electrical junkie that’s always looking for a fix. (My friend, Briley, once snapped an image of me after I got out of my car. I was charging my Dexcom through the car adapter and forgot to disconnect, shutting the door on the cable.)

Much like our community’s desire to have a universal uploader and standard operability for our devices, I wish that the world would just settle on one charging method. My phone connecter won’t charge my watch and the watch connector won’t charge my Dexcom and my Dexcom charger won’t charge one of my glucose monitors…

I am on a constant quest for power to charge/recharge these devices and when a get a notification that one of these devices are low on juice, it triggers a tiny anxiety that grows until I get connected to a power source again. These tools help me to manage my diabetes but along with alarm fatigue (when you hear the beeps and buzzes so often that you begin to ignore them, to your own detriment), I’ve come to realize that these  devices are also creating a type of exhaustion that I can’t seem to quit. It’s mechanical.

Of course, you’re telling me that I could just stop using the devices. Sure. That’s an option. And I also know that the next generation of devices may have better battery reserve capacity and my quest for power may not send me into a tizzy. I made the choice to use these devices, but sometimes the side effects include exhaustion. They don’t list “mechanical exhaustion” on the warning label.

But I know that I’m not alone. It’s much like the feeling you get when the alarm on your pump tells you that there’s a finite amount of insulin left in it. You’ve got to add that to the list of other things in your life.

What would you do to help keep the mechanical exhaustion at bay? I’d love to know. In the meantime, I’ll be carrying around four different cables, looking for a place to plug in to stay healthy and on top of my diabetes.

Please excuse the insensitivity of this rant, as it’s full of first world complaints. I recognize that for many individuals, access to these devices are impossible, improbable, or downright unaffordable. As a family, we’ve made decisions to pay for these tools, eschewing other “luxuries.” These tools are my family’s luxury, as John feels that having me healthy is a necessity. 


  1. Hi Christel,
    Yes, I can relate to your issues regarding the need to charge stuff, all the stuff. This is how I handle this challenge and there are two approaches. First, the uploading of the blood glucose meter, the pump and the CGM is a daily routine. They all get re-charged at the same time during a given day. Now, the second plan is for equipment that is not changed each and every day. Some have color coated tapes. All the cords with tapes have the name of the piece of equipment which they are assigned. Regarding the CGM unit and any other equipment that is charged everyday, there is a set of backup cords packed for when traveling. Given that these are normally used every day, I have chosen not to place an identifier tape on these items. Hope this helps and as always have a great day.

  2. I use a cane to get around the house because of the MSA-C. Don’t be fooled into believing more knowledge is always better. Sometimes it is just more information.

  3. “Cable Coffin”. Love it. Mine is more like a Cable Laundry Basket. Seriously, on my regular packing list for traveling, I list cords too. Hope the exhaustion becomes something better soon.

  4. […] along with my juicebox and my glucose tabs and my receiver and…” We talk about being overwhelmed with our supplies/devices sometimes, so this is what I’m […]

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