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Re: [IPk] Balance article

Diana Maynard wrote:
> Hi folks
> Did you all see the article on pumping in Balance (finally!)?
> Love the pic, Eleanor!

Di! Thanks for spotting that. No, I haven't seen it yet. It was several
months ago I gave the interview.

Steve - Could you extract the text and post it on your site?

Do they quote Dr John Pickup saying that pumps are too complicated to
use? That was in the first draft I saw. And that most people really only
need one basal rate? That is the biggest load of drivel I have ever
heard... even by doctor standards. Hands up here who is well controlled
and uses just one basal rate? The IP survey shows most people use 3...

> Actually I wasn't too impressed by the article - the only thing
> pro-pump about it was the testimonies of Eleanor and John N. the rest
> of it seemed to gice the impression of "a few people who can't control
> their diabetes do better on pumps, but it's all far too complicated
> and unnecessary for most people to handle, and it costs far too much
> to make it worthwhile."

It is so depressing. It's like bashing your head against a brick wall.
All we can do it seems is give testimonies and keep talking.

Last week a had a long chat with Edwin Gale, who is the diabetes boss
for the Bristol area. He has ultimate responsiblilty for organising the
diabetes care for about 17000 people with diabetes. He knows me quite
well, and I spent about an hour and a half in his office chewing over
various matters - not just pumps. He knows how the pump has improved my
quality of life. He knows my diabetes wasn't previously out of control,
but that I just wanted better. Yet he refuses point blank to endorse
pump therapy for general use. There is simply no research proving
benefit for the general population he says. We can argue the finer
points of what research does or doesn't prove what - but at the end of
the day, are we all here freakish weirdos who for some bizarre reason
find we can get far superior control on pumps than on injections? And
the other 99.999% of the diabetic population can't? I think not somehow.

Given a million pounds more, he would spend it on more drop-in centres,
more community out-reach, better healthy living advice. The unglamorous
things like that. That, he feels, will buy far more "units of health" in
the long run than splashing out cash on expensive fancy gadgets like
pumps, no matter how "wonderful" I may find them to be.

How can you argue with socially just logic like that? It's very hard.
And it cuts to the heart of a state-run health system. Private money?
Edwin gets very animated at the suggestion that the rich should have
access to better healthcare than the poor. But ultimately I think he
will be disappointed. We are already voting with our feet. Those in
Britain who get your supplies paid for - lucky you. Those that don't,
well, presumably you have all made savings elsewhere in order to find
the cash.

My aim is that everyone - and every doctor - should know that pumping is
a viable, even optimal, alternative, and that specialised pump centres
should be accessible all over Britain. If funding for pumps and supplies
is unavailable, then find your own cash, either from your own pocket or
from healthcare charities. But the current ignorance among healthcare
professionals I find deeply offensive.

Michael - how do these sort of problems look from a Californian

If anyone is confused by my situation, I moved from Britain to Germany
last year. German healthcare is funded by compulsory private healthcare
insurance. And all insurers must fund pump therapy if a doctor
recommends it. And as a result, over 12% of people on insulin use pumps

If anyone can shed some light on this intractable problem, and plan a
socially just way forward, I would very grateful and will sleep more

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