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Understanding Diabetes 2019

Pricking our baby’s fingers and toes was really upsetting

Kirsty Edwardes

Coffee shop owner and Rosey’s mum

Rosey was a 17-month old baby when we found out she had Type 1 diabetes. She had been very poorly and had lost a lot of weight quickly, so we went straight to the hospital where they diagnosed her with the condition. It was a stressful time for us. She was so tiny and it was really upsetting to prick her fingers and toes constantly to make sure her blood glucose levels were fine.

Rosey’s been most bothered by the finger pricking as her fingers (and toes) would get really painful – she was also told by the doctor she had begun to have nerve damage.

But, one day, Rosey saw the Flash sensor on – then prime-minister – Theresa May’s arm; a technology helping those with diabetes check their glucose levels and better manage their condition. That was when we looked at whether Rosey would be able to access one herself and found out that, in our area, it wasn’t possible.

We realised such a sensor would be life-changing so Rosey – brave as she is – sent a letter to Mrs May explaining the importance of people having access to this technology. And Rosey didn’t stop there; she lobbied until people with diabetes in our area who could benefit from Flash were able to access the same technology.

Flash monitors weren’t available in our area, until we lobbied for them

It just shows that you can get great results if you stand up to something you feel strongly about, and Rosey was incredibly determined to help others manage their diabetes effectively.

This technology was a life-changer for us all – for Rosey, as well as for me and my husband. As parents, it was hard to know that our kid was in constant pain from finger-pricking. Knowing that, now, this is no longer the case and seeing how it has dramatically improved Rosey’s diabetes control has been wonderful.

She can now do gymnastics without constant interruptions because she can easily swipe her sensor, whereas she used to have to stop to do a finger prick test. It’s the same in lessons. She can scan at her desk rather than go to the school office to get her test kit out. When she’s out and about with friends she can scan using her mobile phone and I can check her sugar levels. This takes away a lot of the worry when she’s away on school trips or on sleepovers. It seemed unfair that she had to miss some of her lessons to do a check that is vital for anyone living with diabetes. It all made a huge difference to Rosey’s life.

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