For those that haven’t followed our Type 1 journey, let me introduce myself. My name is Tannya Stevens and my 16 year old daughter Anna was diagnosed in October 2017. Although the finite details of diagnosis seem to fade with each day, what doesn’t change is the absolute feeling of despair and that our world as we knew it would never be the same. Anna’s Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis affected our entire family and had a dynamic ripple effect on our friends, her friendships and her future.
Fast forward two and a half years and we are the same family but different in so many ways – let me be clear though, it’s a good different. A better different.
Now that you have the backstory, what I really want to talk about diabetes technology. When Anna was diagnosed she used needles (as I’m sure is policy) and most people would do this. We moved Anna to a pump after 12 months which unfortunately became redundant (boo!) and so we looked for a viable alternative for her. She was used to using a patch pump so the only alternative we had if we were going to continue the patch pump option, was the Omnipod.
Being in Australia and despite the Omnipod being TGA approved for use, we cannot access it here due there not being a distributor, therefore not on the prosthesis list which means not covered on private health insurance. The Omnipod is expensive and there are many hurdles to overcome but with the belief and support of Anna’s endo and health care team, we were able to transition her to this patch pump.
One word – awesome!
This patch pump is changed every 3 days, is controlled via a handset and is so discreet that you wouldn’t know it was being worn. Allowing it to be worn discreetly is important to Anna so that makes it important to us. We have recently started to be comfortable enough in our knowledge of Type 1, Anna’s needs and the pump itself that we are using a temp basal much more than we used to. Anna has an assessment block this week and for the first time, her levels have stayed in range which is an incredible achievement. I’m not saying this is solely due to the Omnipod but without a doubt, it has made management easier.
For me, it would be wonderful to see this pump in Australia, on the prosthesis list and covered by health insurance. It seems like a no brainer – technology that has been specifically developed to help manage Type 1 Diabetes should be made available for all people to access and use if that is their choice. There are a number of pumps currently on the market in Australia but you’ve not seen anything like the Omnipod.
What a game changer for Type 1 Consumers – to be given more choice. Perhaps we could start a revolution? #OmnipodforAustralia