What it Means to Me - A Parent & User's Perspective

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 09:35

Currently in the world of Type 1 Diabetes there are 2 paths that can be taken - 

  • Old School Path - This is the majority of people. This is anywhere between 5 to 10 manual finger blood tests every day. This means that in between tests all you have is your own  understanding of the way you feel to know if your blood sugar is at the right place or not. This also means usually multiple daily injections which will change in dose depending on your blood sugar level and what you’re going to eat. This path also sees no protection or awareness overnight which sees parents and people with T1D worry and loose countless nights of sleep.
  • New School Path - This path sees people and currently especially kids on a insulin infusion pump and instead of having gaps in understanding what your blood sugar is doing people have the ability to move to a continual blood glucose monitor which tracks and monitors interstitial blood glucose every 5 minutes and puts it into a real time graph to ensure the right decisions can be made at the right time. Medtronic have also taken it one step further and introduced SmartGuard® which has automation that will shut down the pump prior to a low from happening which will lessen the curve of the low and possibly save lives.

Yes I know I have been through this before in a number of my blogs however one thing that has kept people from making the jump from old to new is the price. The cost of living in general in Australia continues to increase and this is a pressure in itself however living with or someone with the cost of T1D is another burden.

The recent announcement and funding will be open to kids with T1D but unfortunately it will not be open to adults. This is a good step in the right direction and there is mixed feelings from my perspective as I see it from both having a child with T1D who will be eligible and me who will not be.

Firstly as a parent of a child that is too young to manage her own T1D and the pressure and worry that it puts onto the entire family, this is a much welcomed decision. This allows for ease of worry and concern not only at home but at school, with extended family, at the park, at the pool and in fact, every part of life. As she learns more and more about her Diabetes she has a real time view into what is happening at any given time and when needed it is there to back her up with the predictability that we all hope for.

I jump back quickly to school because having a CGM on gives teachers the ability to have a small peace of mind also. It doesn't take away from the tough task it is that we ask of them in looking after our kids but it gives them an idea as to what and how to do what is needed.

Sleeping through the night is also a massive benefit as instead of having to wake multiple times a night to manually test the CGM alerts and alarms only when necessary. If everything is fine then parents and kids will have the somewhat unknown feeling of getting a good night’s sleep.

Now, onto the perspective of being an adult with T1D who is not eligible for funding to access CGM. This is tough, and don't get me wrong I do believe that from and over the whole world perspective we have the ability and access to the drugs and equipment that we fundamentally need for a price that is maintainable. However, I also believe that having a chronic disease should be prioritised over other conditions that ultimately have the lion’s share of attention due to the ability to possibly cure rather than funnelling funds into allowing people to better the lives they live and ultimately saving money for the health system by allowing people to take more control through technology and better management processes.

We push to do the best we can and sometimes it is good enough and others it is just enough to get up to have access to what we need to live a better life is both the responsibility of the person and also the government to help provide all that can help.

Gareth
Medtronic Diabetes Australia Ambassador
Living With Type 1 Diabetes 

Living with T1D and a parent of a child with T1D, Gareth enjoys the peace of mind SmartGuard® provides to himself and his family. Gareth also runs his own blog titled “Blood, Needles and occasional Time Loss”.

 


This patient testimonial relates to an account of an individual’s response to treatment. The account is genuine, typical and documented. The views and opinions expressed are those of the patient or author and not representative of Medtronic or of any third parties referenced. The response other persons have to treatment could be different. Please consult with you healthcare professional for information on whether the treatment is appropriate for you.

*The information provided in this blog is an individual account specific to the writers experience in the management of their own diabetes. Before considering any changes to your diabetes management you must consult with your healthcare professional.

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