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.