Friday, 4 August 2017

Wisdom Over Politics

Realize, I'm Canadian. Our health care system is very different than the system in the USA. I'm not here to talk about the two systems of health care. I am here to talk about my fear for those PWD (persons with diabetes) living in the USA in the current political climate. I may not get all the terms or people’s titles correct as I write. Please forgive those errors. My Twitter feed is flooded with reputable news agencies reporting on the latest concerns. I read, of course, with some skepticism as I am aware that bad news sells. But to be honest, the news may be bad.

To be a diabetic, any type, or have a chronic health concern and think you may lose your health care coverage would be terrifying. Back in May, I participated in a D-Blog week. During this time, I met and learned so much about diabetes I didn’t know. Oh, I know quite a bit about Type 2 because I live with it. I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did about Type 1. I didn’t know what it meant to live with it as an adult. I didn’t know what it meant to be the parent of a child with Type 1 and humbly I say, I still don’t. I have seen a snap shot though. Those snap shots have helped me to understand the concerns that have arisen with the changes in the American political arena, with the impending changes to the health care act (whatever nick name it has been given). And I feel scared. The cost of diabetes can be enormous. Admittedly, I don’t cost my insurance company a lot of money every month for my diabetes supplies or meds. I am lucky that way. I have the ability to influence my lifestyle so that the cost of my diabetes is on the low side. People with Type 1 don’t have that option. Hold on. Let me rephrase that. They can still influence their lifestyle in a positive way. As a PWD2, the changes I make to my lifestyle means I have a functioning pancreas in ten years. Oh the pancreas may eventually wear out but I have a lot of control over how fast that happens. The pancreas of a PWD1 is not functioning, it’s not making the insulin needed to live. This may have started in infancy, in childhood, in adolescence…you see my point. What courage does a parent have to have to give a small baby needles every day? Of course they do it, it’s their child, but the courage needed….think about that…just for a second. Or a toddler. Or a young teenager that just wants to be like other teens, eat what they want, when they want and pretend they’re not diabetic. Being a parent has enough normal struggles, now add to that the worry of diabetes.

For all diabetics, the thought of losing health care coverage and being told that it’s based on having a pre existing condition would be devastating. I cannot tell you the number of times I have vented to my husband or daughter about this. How judgemental and wrong this would be, how many lives could be lost with those changes. Then I read there are Senators on both sides listening to their constituents and trying to find ways to make sure people still have coverage and don’t get lost in the system. I applaud those Senators and hope they are true to their word and can affect change for the good. But are there enough Senators who will stand up and be heard, prevent devastating changes? I hope there are.

I sit back, watching, waiting, hoping and praying that wisdom will win. I am not alone. The world is watching. Please do it right. Lives are at stake.

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