T1D affects a person’s life like no other disease. What other illness leaves you making countless decisions, day after day, that directly impact your life? What other illness leaves you counting and calculating, figuring out the correct dosage of a drug to take when too much or too little of it will kill you? With what other illness are you walking on this fine line between too much and too little every second of every day, it always in the back of your head?
Doctors aren’t the ones calling the shots on a day to day basis. It’s real people – and diabetes doesn’t discriminate. It’s a two year old little girl, it’s your next door neighbor. It’s those amazing humans riding their bikes across the country. It’s mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. It’s those active and those lazy, those adventurous and those timid. We are people first, and have diabetes second – but without the ability to choose which medical devices work best with our lifestyles that identity is stripped away from us and T1D can take over.
Luckily, we living with type one diabetes in 2017 have seen technology that allows us to control our blood sugar levels like never before. I’ve been wearing a Medtronic Minimed insulin pump for ten years now, and have been using a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor for just about a year. These two devices have changed the way I live with diabetes. Because of them I can live my life the way that I want to. I can be me first, and have diabetes second. Because of the pump and cgm that I decided was best for my lifestyle I am the healthiest I have been in years.
The insurance I am under currently covers both my Dexcom and pump, but a lot of people living with T1D aren’t so lucky. Their insurance companies have limited their access to these devices that keep them healthy and keep them human. Insurance companies aren’t the ones living with diabetes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They’re not the ones that go nights without sleeping because their blood sugar keeps dropping. They aren’t the ones making these life impacting decisions on a day to day basis.
But they are making the life impacting decisions of limiting those living with diabetes from getting to choose their own medical devices.
My insulin pump has saved my life. My continuous glucose monitor has saved my life. These are devices that I chose because they work well with my life. Like I said before, diabetes does not discriminate. One size does not fit all and what helps me manage my diabetes can be completely different from what helps someone else living with T1D.
The power to choose our medical devices means the power to choose our lifestyle. Limiting one’s ability to choose what’s right for them means limiting them in the life they were destined to live. Click here and join me in standing with JDRF in telling insurance companies not to limit our #coverage2control