Your Diabetes May Vary.
Everyone is different.
What works for me, may not work for you.
These phrases are very important in the world of diabetes and specifically in the world of Type 1 diabetes.
I have always been vehement about people’s right to choose. I believe that individuals have to do what is right for them. What is right for you may be not right for me but does that mean that I should stop you from doing it, right?
I have been equally as dedicated to the right to choose since entering the world of diabetes. I believe that people should be able to go on an insulin pump at diagnosis and not wait for a specific period of time…if they so choose.
I believe that everyone should have access to a Continuous Glucose Monitor. Access should not be restricted by income level or insurance plan…if they wish to use one.
Most importantly I believe in the right to education. Education allows people to make informed choices. Just because an insulin pump has been the best treatment option for my son, doesn’t make the best option for you. Every person is different. Every body reacts differently. Each person should have the right and be educated to make the choices that fit their lifestyle regardless of budget. That is my point.
I know of adults who have pumped and hated it. They did not want to be tethered to something. They felt that they had better control with injections. That was their choice and they made it armed with information about themselves and the alternatives. Everyone is different.
I have met parents who have seen great success using NPH on their children. I was able to learn how to use NPH and a rapid acting insulin in such a way that my son rarely did without at birthday parties or other food related events. We were educated. We could make choices that worked for our families. What worked for us does not always work for someone else.
If someone chooses to use an insulin pump, they have to choose the pump that works for them. Some people don’t like tubing. Some people want a pump that is water-proof. Some people require larger reservoirs or a sensor augmented pump. It is vital that they be allowed to learn about their options and then make the choice that fits their lifestyle.
We all have seen how amazing Continuous Glucose Monitors are…but some people still don’t want them. My son is one of those not sold on the benefits of wearing yet another device. They have a right to make that choice but that choice should not be driven by money. It should be made based on their own desires and knowledge of their diabetes care.
No one should have to choose insulin or bread, pump supplies or car payment, insulin pump or house down payment, a cab ride home after a night out or a sensor for their CGM.
No one should be forced to use an insulin regimen because they are ignorant of the options.
No one should be stuck in one treatment form or the other because it might take a bit more time to educate them.
Options should be given to everyone regardless of age or income.
People with diabetes should be shown all of the insulin options–do you want to go with limited injections? Do you want to use a basal/bolus regimen? Do you want to use an insulin pump? What features are important to you? Do you want to have a pump with tubing or without? A pump with CGM compatibility or without? Do you want to try a CGM? What works best for you and your lifestyle? What will give you the best quality of life? Yes it can be overwhelming but knowledge is power.
One treatment option does not work for everyone. I have come across people who have created their own insulin cocktails to maintain great control on injections. I have known people who only used their pumps to cover meals and used an injection to deliver their background insulin. I am hearing of people looking to add in the use of inhaled insulin for very specific needs.
Everyone is different but everyone deserves the right to make their own informed choices. Those same people who make informed choices then deserve our respect because what works for them may not necessarily work for everyone else.