Life with Diabetes Down Under

In regards to diabetes, no place is secure. We have featured people with diabetes from Spain into Germany into Canada and today we’re traveling across the World to Australia to hear from Simon, a 35-year-old using LADA.

Simon lives in South Australia where he operates in antiques, and even though living in the biggest country on the planet (and an entire continent!) , he’s discovered that the Diabetes Online Community is fairly small in comparison with the US.   Not that it stops him : Simon is a favorite tweeter and blogs about his life with diabetes at Simon from the 70s. Today, Simon takes us on a Fast tour of what diabetes appears like Down Under…

A Guest Post by Simon (last name undisclosed)

Regardless of the mystique that surrounds our wonderful nation, diabetes has the same feel as it does anywhere in the world. It’s unpredictable, difficult to manage and inconvenient.

Having enjoyed a childhood free from diabetes, I was misdiagnosed as a type 2 diabetic in the 1990s. Like many other late diagnosed form 1s, my diagnosis also proved to be wrong and adhering to an episode of DKA, I was finally properly diagnosed with LADA many decades after. I manage the condition with multiple daily injections of NovoRapid and Lantus.

Like the rest of the world, Australia is also in the middle of a diabetes epidemic. It’s currently estimated that well over 5% of the Australian population (a total of more than 1 million individuals) have diabetes, with roughly 10% of the number living with type 1 diabetes.

Unlike our American counterparts, type 1 diabetes treatment is a bit bit more old fashioned here. It’s estimated that less than 10% of type 1 patients use insulin pumps, and CGMS (Continuous Glucose Monitoring Systems) are only starting to make an appearance among the general population.

Unlike a lot of overseas services, the Australian public healthcare version is easily available to all and sundry editor’s note: that’s Aussie for ‘everyone, collectively and individually’. Our authorities gives universal accessibility to free public healthcare and has just introduced a diabetes-specific program called NDSS (National Diabetes Services Scheme). The goal is to provide increased access to patients including podiatry, dentistry, physiotherapy and diabetic teachers. The Public Medicare scheme is funded via a levy imposed on all citizens depending on their income.

Private healthcare is available through a range of different funds, on a single decision foundation. These funds provide heavily subsidized and faster treatments. But they also involve expenses that are not a portion of the Public system. Whilst the take up of care is increasing, the availability of the Public system ensures that generally, healthcare is within reach of all of the population irrespective of social status or income.

The Diabetes Online Community is much smaller here in Australia than in the United States. Whilst there are a few diabetes-specific forums, there are bloggers and less . That having been said, I have been lucky to have had limited involvement with the most important type 1 particular Australian forum Reality Check, also have discovered their voluntary work second to none in helping to connect and teach people, like myself, living with insulin-dependent diabetes.

My involvement with the diabetes online community for a blogger and on Twitter has brought me home the universal nature of the struggles facing lots of diabetics. Regardless of age, location or creed, we all require help managing the disease either professionally or through interaction at some time. Here in Australia, the professional side of therapy is easily accessible. But, there is advertised supply of services such as those we like online.

After all, I count myself very lucky to live in a country with healthcare that is accessible. Whilst there are stories that are negative, our version makes living with diabetes that little bit simpler than it could otherwise be.

We envy you, Simon — also for your formal writing style. A version of the ’70s? Or a nationwide use of the English vocabulary? ;-RRB-

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community, for Diabetes Mine. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn’t stick to the editorial instructions of Healthline. To learn more regarding Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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