I was rather touched by an awesome type 1 Mum who spoke out about Continuous Glucose Monitors here in Australia on last night’s episode of Q and A.
Aussie Type 1 Mum Catherine asked Ken Wyatt, our Minister for Health, when Continuous Glucose Monitors would be subsidised by the Australian Government and hence bringing us into line with other countries.
She noted that the cost of a Continuous Glucose Monitor here in Australia was $5,000 per year, which was considerably less than the costs of looking after people with diabetes who are hospitalised. During a one week trial last year, a Continuous Glucose Monitor saved Catherine’s daughter in three instances where her blood glucose levels were dangerously low and could have resulted in hospitalisation.
Catherine told us that she checked her daughter’s blood glucose levels every two hours. She was often sleep deprived from managing her daughter’s type 1 diabetes throughout the night. Diabetes kept her awake for eight hours last week, in an instance where she was unable to get her daughter’s blood glucose to rise above 4mmol/L.
As a single parent, Catherine feels the financial pressures of type 1 diabetes. She cannot afford to work part time, or to stay at home with her daughter. A Continuous Glucose Monitor would allow Catherine to keep an eye on her daughter’s blood sugar levels remotely, and reduce a lot of the stress in her life.
As for the reponse given by the politician on the program, it was the typical response given by a politician. Wishy washy xtatements implying concern and high regard for the issue, but nothing committal.
I can relate to wanting to keep a close eye on blood glucose levels. I will test up to 10 times on most days, just to make sure I’m not having too many nasty hypos or being too high. There are nights where I so badly want to test in the middle of the night to make sure I don’t end up too high. And I often hate myself the next morning for succumbing to my exhaustion and not doing so when I see a high blood glucose level. And I don’t earn a lot of money, either. At the moment, a Continuous Glucose Monitor is a luxury that I simply cannot afford. When I’m paying the bill at the Chemist, I often think of all the other things that I would rather have spent that money on.
Catherine, you’re not alone. Thankyou for sharing your story, and for bringing this issue in front of our leaders, and the Australian public. Well done, type 1 Mum.
Thank you for your kind words about last night’s question I raised on Q&A. Yes I am the mother who bared all to try and raise just a bit of awareness of what we go through.
I had great feedback from audience members, who advised they were brought to tears, to the Q&A team and Ken Wyatt himself.
My young daughter watched from home and turned to her grandmother and said:
“Grandma, some days I wish I would die so my mum didn’t have to go through this. I don’t like making her upset”
It broke my heart, NO child should ever feel like their life has a price cap on it.
Lets fight and get the CGM subsidised and keep our Type 1’s alive.
Hi Catherine, it was a pleasure to watch last night and to share it here today. Type 1 is often an invisible disease – many people don’t see/realise all that we have to go through, and you did an awesome job standing up for all of us. 🙂
All I can say is thank you. You both voice what all parents of T1 children are going through. Master 5 was diagnosed 14 weeks ago (while he was still 4) …. if we can’t have a pump and CGM I will have to give up my part-time job to allow me to visit school every day to test levels and administer insulin. Funding is critical and crucial for all with T1 and their carers. Let’s hope I get more than 4 hours sleep tonight. ……..
I was really touched by the story, and I was compelled to share it here. Not enough people are aware of the “invisible” aspects that we go through to manage type 1 diabetes. I get it, 100%. I hope that something will come from this in future decision making.
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