"What I have seen with Lewis is that diabetes tech means it's been much less stressful for us and for him. Hybrid closed loop would make my life simpler too, and we would both be going on the same journey together."
The year my son was born, I was diagnosed type 2 diabetes. But as there's type 1 in my family, I requested more tests. It took me 5 years to get a correct diagnosis when I was finally told: "Stephen, you're actually type 1."
I was offered the Freestyle Libre (a Flash glucose monitor). I felt lucky because I have friends in other areas who have had type 1 for years and still don’t have access to this tech.
Stephen’s son’s diagnosis
When my son Lewis was diagnosed with type 1, I was asked ‘Do you want to put him on the pump waiting list?’ I said yes straight away.
I too requested a pump at the same time as him so we could work it out together and support one another. But it took a bit of a fight for me to get on the pump waiting list.
Fighting to get on the waiting list
I pushed to get on the DAFNE course nearly 2 years ago. I also asked the clinic if I was on the waiting list for the pump. They said they’d put me on it, but it took until the follow up from DAFNE before they put me on the list and I didn't receive any confirmation in writing. I thought that was quite strange.
I would have thought that if a person asked to be put on the waiting list, they should really be able to go on it straight away.
People should be able to make that decision for themselves because as soon as you’re on the waiting list you can forget about it. If I'm kept in the loop, I can deal with it.
The NHS are spending money on strips, lancets, glucose meters and everything else. It feels like a no brainer that they instead fund the more up to date tech.
I get that funding is difficult, but the NHS is meant to be free at the point of use. Spending on diabetes tech is short term pain for long term gain because it can mean less diabetes complications as people get older and if we act now the NHS would save money.
What it means
What I have seen with Lewis is that diabetes tech means it's been much less stressful for us and for him. He doesn't need to make as many little decisions every day.
Hybrid closed loop would make my life simpler too, and we would both be going on the same journey together. It would improve our quality of life and it would improve my son's experience with the condition.
Seeing the hybrid closed loop pump at play, it is a game changer for us as parents and I'm hoping that it’ll be lifechanging for me when I start using it. It’s going to take away a lot of the stress and a lot of the decision making and where I go wrong, the pump will help to correct it.