Four weeks after we’d appealed Pharmac’s decision to decline my insulin pump funding, we had a response…
I had the green light - funding approved! This was really happening.
Had Pharmac made a mistake the first time? Was I suddenly within the ‘criteria’? Had our letters painted the true picture of the struggles, making me more than a number? Who knows? At the moment the important thing is the funding’s approved and I’ve been given a chance to try an alternative way of controlling my diabetes.
An insulin pump is a small electronic device (about the size of a pager) designed to continuously deliver insulin to the body. It is worn outside the body and delivers insulin through a soft tube, connected to a cannular, which is inserted just under the skin. I’ll change the cannular every three days, roughly 121 times a year. This will eliminate the 1825 insulin injections I require at the moment! I currently inject both fast-acting and long-acting insulin. The pump will use only fast-acting insulin meaning I can kiss my long-acting insulin goodbye, the insulin that dictates when I must eat. You can imagine the preparation that must go into every lunchtime meeting. (Who books these anyway?)
Tomorrow I’ll begin using a pump. I feel excited, nervous, emotional and empowered. Let’s do this… Imagine if I’d given up.
As I take the next big step in the journey to master diabetes, I reflect on what I’ve learnt during the last eight months.
Surround yourself with strong people Their strength is contagious! It would have been easy to downward spiral when Pharmac said no. When the Hutt Hospital diabetic nurse Hazel, instantly responds with “we’re going to appeal it’’, you internally ‘pull your socks ups’ and start planning how you can help. Together we’ll win.
Don’t give up! Keep fighting There were certainly moments when I thought my struggles were trivial compared to others. Then I’d take stock. This was MY health. One of the most important assets I’ll ever own. If I don’t fight for it now, who else is going to?