Woman, Independent Parent, Artist, Advocate, Artifical Pancreas.... and EVERYTHING in between.

I am blessed to be parenting two beautiful girls, ages eight and eleven. My youngest nearly lost her life at age six (August 2010) to diabetic ketoacidosis: an often fatal consequences of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. This is OUR journey: raw and sometimes, uncensored.

Thank you for visiting wishing good health and a cooperative pancreas to you and yours.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Politics Of Pumping

Being a resident of British Columbia Canada, I was very fortunate that my child received medical coverage for the cost of her insulin pump.  Pumps range from $6500 - 7500, and if a third party insurer won't help, well.... a pump wouldn't happen. As is the case, unfortunately, for many.  British Columbia is one of the FEW Canadian provinces that will offer coverage for this wonderful piece of machinery, which resembles a pager.


Did you know that in the application form to be covered for the costs of an insulin pump, you basically have to sign away your right to your child receiving assistance with said insulin pump at school?

Yes.  You read that correctly.

British Columbia will cover the costs of an insulin pump, if you basically agree that you'll shut up and put up and not expect your child to receive ANY assistance from school officials.

Of course, that's completely unrealistic.  Too much insulin could be fatal. Too little insulin, in time, could also be fatal.  So what happens when your child is seven, for example, and needs to wear an insulin pump.  Where is the line in the sand as to what sort of assistance you will receive.

THIS is where the situation becomes very complicated, and convoluted.  There has basically been established, a school upon school unspoken policy as to what will be done, and what will not be done.

Some schools have bent over backwards in their eager and willingness to assist a young pumping student.  But it is very much "don't ask... don't tell". You know basically it comes down to this: we'll help you, but don't you DARE tell anyone we're helping you, because not only will others want the same help, but heads will roll courtesy of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Children and Family Development, and the Ministry of Health (including Pharmacare).

Some schools are going through the loopholes of assisting.  They will not put their hands on the machine. They have basic knowledge in how to minimally operate the insulin pump, and will oversee the child pushing the buttons, giving them the information necessary to bolus for lunch or recess snack.

Other schools expect the parent(s) to come to the school everyday, and operate the pump. Every recess. Every lunchtime. Which in itself is ridiculous... how is a parent supposed to work, and be there everyday to instigate pump functions?

My daughter, Rowan (8) has NOT had a recess snack since December 2011, because there is "simply no one available to assist her with blood glucose testing or pump procedures" so while all her little friends are out and about playing and frolicking on the playground, with their snack in hand.  MY DAUGHTER MUST GO WITHOUT.... because of politics, and nothing more.

There is such profound irony in "oh sure, we'll buy the 6yr old an insulin pump..... but I sure hope she can operate that puppy on her own"  and yes.... if you detect some frustration, anger or fury about this subdivided willingness to help, there is.   I had NO IDEA the politics of pumping.  The sad thing is.... they don't start there.  Having a diabetic dependent child in the public school system in ITSELF is a lesson in helplessness.

How can a disease carry so much bureaucracy with it?

And how quickly do you think we'd see change, the moment all our BC politicians had school aged insulin dependent diabetic children?  Yeah. I don't think very long either.

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya all the way down here in Ontario. Do you know that here in Ontario our government can deny you pump coverage if you A1c is over 10. How crazy is that?