I’ve always considered diabetes to be a balancing act. The aim of the game being to defeat the highs and the lows, arriving somewhere in the middle. Surely it can't be that hard? For just over 15 years I’ve played the game pretty well, with only a few minor hiccups.
After a particularly busy year, playing numerous ’roles’ and reaching many milestones I noticed my diabetes was becoming unhinged.
Last year I turned the big 3-0, bought a new home, launched a plumbing business with my husband, facilitated adult learning at the bank during the day, raised an energetic four year old, celebrated 5 years marriage, laughed, danced, loved and travelled. Needless to say life was busy, chaotic, fun and challenging. Just the way we like it!
However after three continuous nights of hypos (low blood sugars) and broken sleep, which led to being unable to function at work I realised I had to master diabetes quickly. If not the world I was working so hard to build, was going to unravel.
I tried not to think about the consequences - disturbed sleep, exhaustion, unable to contribute at work and the terrifying fact that it's the people closest to me that end up bearing the brunt of it all. Not to mention other frightening complications such as kidney disease, blindness, blood vessel and nerve damage, gum disease and infections. Diabetes sure is glamorous!!
After an extreme hypo Christmas Eve, I was convinced my blood sugars would continue to drop during the night and I wouldn’t wake up Christmas morning. I decided to call in the big guns. It was time to start exploring an insulin pump.
In January 2015 the journey began. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just asking for an insulin pump. In New Zealand there are a number of hoops you must jump through gathering information, before Pharmac will consider funding your insulin pump. Alternatively you can pay for a pump yourself, however with an initial cost of $10,000 - $12,000 and ongoing costs of $200 per month, this wasn’t an option for me.
I was going to have to ‘jump’.
The hoops I’ve jumped through so far, do not guarantee an insulin pump, however they may very well lead to better control. Perhaps it is possible to master diabetes?