This blog post is a part of a series of posts, that will be giving an in-depth look into the life of living with Type 1. A non-D friend has asked me to write these posts as an education tool that is not just for them but for everyone. Hope you all enjoy them :)
Along with dealing with such a tiresome annoying disease, there is cost to manage Type 1 Diabetes to purchase needed supplies and also the cost of time. D can take away heaps of time. Sleep is a major one. I'll go in more detail.
I will start with the physical money side of living with Type 1 Diabetes. This is very complex because it really depends on if you have a Health Care Card. A Health Care Card is given to you via Centrelink if you do the necessary paper work for a allowance called Carers Allowance. You get money to help pay for supplies etc and the Health Care Card for children 12 and under. As soon as you turn 12, the government sends you re-assessment papers but 99% of the time after sending the forms back, your stripped of the allowance and left with just a Health Care Card. When you turn sixteen, your striped of your Health Care Card. If you are still a full-time student, you can then apply for the Ex-Carers Allowance Health Care Card. The Health Care Card gives us access to cheaper prescriptions from the chemist and blood glucose test strips via the National Diabetes Services Scheme. We require a lot of things to manage Type 1. We need testing strips, we need insulin, we need needles for the insulin, we need so many other things but I can't think at this point.
|Blood glucose meter (left) Testing Strips (right)|
Test strips are $1.20 for 50 with the Health Care Card, $8 without. Testing strips work with a glucose meter and tell us how much glucose is in our blood. I use 50 strips in 5 days. Sometime even more if I am exercising, sick or have abnormal blood glucose tests.
Insulin such as NovoRapid, Humalog and Apidra (Fast acting) are used for when your eating carbohydrates or for insulin pumps and Lantus, Levimer, Protophane, NPH (long acting) work as a background insulin. We require both of these types of insulins to help manage D. 25 pre-filled pens of insulin are $5 with HCC and something like $30 without. Lucky for us Australian's, between funding from the NDSS and the Australian government, needles needed to inject the insulin are completely free.
We have to first purchase our pumps either via Private Health Insurance or self funding. Self funding is $9500 for most pumps. Of coarse going the private health insurance route requires cover but anyone with even the most basic full non-restricted cover can get an insulin pump funded with only having to pay the excess of your policy.
To hold the insulin in the pump you need what is called a cartridge or reservoir to hold the insulin. These cost approx $10 for 10. They last depending on how fast you use the insulin in them. For me 1 reservoir lasts me 3 days so I use 10 a month.
I could go into more but this is the bare basics for a person that doesn't know D too well.