Dexcom expenses covered by Texas Medicaid for all Type 1 Diabetic children.
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My name is Krista Jameson. My daughter Brianna is 13 years old. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 11 years old on October 2, 2015. That day is the day her life changed. She was and still is just a child that wants to feel like a normal child. But sadly she does not feel normal at all. Along with many other Texas children suffer from Type 1 Diabetes.
For those that do not understand what it means to be a Type 1 Diabetic (T1D) I will explain. Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvinille Diabetes is not the same as Type 2 Diabetes. There is absolutely nothing anyone can do in order to avoid becoming a T1D. It is not brought on by poor diet or lack of physical exercise. It just happens, out of no where, with no warning. Your pancreas simply put, stops producing insulin.
My daughter Brianna as well as thousands of other Texas children, have to portion food as if they were on a diet in order to account for every single carb they eat or drink. They can eat anything they want as long as they count carbs and give insulin injections. These children must check their blood glucose levels multiple times a day by poking their fingertip with a needle to bring blood to the surface. Insert a drop of blood onto a test strip that is put into a blood glucose meter which tells them their blood glucose level. The average range is different for each child. For my daughter her target range is 70-130. If she is lower she feels extremely shaky and is on the verge of passing out if she does not eat or drink an item with fast acting carbs such as fruit snacks, syrup or juice. Many nights I wake up to her attempting to scream for me as she is so weak and shaky that she can not even get out of bed to reach her meter let alone get up to get the carbs she needs. I pray every night that if she goes low she is able to feel it before it goes too low and is able to wake up and wake me up so I can correct it. If she goes too high she can end up with ketones in her urine which is in simple form, sugar overflowing in her body spilling into her urine. She feels sick, skin looks pale, slurs her words, continuously vomits and can end up in a diabetic coma which we have battled to keep her from twice in less than a few months, staying in ICU at the children's hospital on constant insulin drips fighting to remove the ketones from her urine. This causes children to miss school and parents to miss a lot of work ultimately costing parents their job, such as has been the case with myself.
With every meter reading over 130 she must take one unit of insulin for every 30 which she is over. In addition to this she also has to count her carbs and add one unit for every eight carbs she eats. She takes this insulin in the form of a shot. So every single meal for the rest of her life until a cure is found she will receive 2 needles in her body, one in her finger and one either in her stomach, legs, arms, hips or bottom several times a day.
On minimum she needs to check when she wakes up, at breakfast, lunch, before athletics class, after athletics class, when she arrives home from school and eats a snack, at dinner, at bed time, as well as I must check her every single night 1-2 times a night between 1- 3am possibly more. My child can not sleep a full recommended 8-10 hours because I have to wake her up every couple of hours as I poke her with needles. She is constantly tired at school and grouchy from the lack of continuous sleep.
She is also in sports as I want her to feel as normal as possible. She has to check before every athletic practice and event and after, When they have games out of town there are times myself and her school nurse are not around from 2pm to 10pm on event days. These days it is on her to remember to do everything. She may be 13 but she is still a child. I worry all evening then find out she has been having 500-600+ blood glucose levels and she feels horrible.
Wouldn't it be amazing if there was something that could alert her of any low or high readings, as well as myself while away from her, her father, her coach that may be at another area of the field in order to avoid her body deteriorating and costly ICU visits for days at a time while she fights for her life? Wouldn't it be amazing if these children such as herself did not have to be woken up multiple times in a night and could sleep peacefully? Wouldn't it be amazing if a child could spend the night at a friends house for once and feel like a child, instead of feeling like a prisoner to diabetes? Wouldn't it be amazing if parents could be alerted in the middle of the night of dropping or rising numbers? Guess what THERE IS A DEVICE THAT DOES THIS!
The Dexcom is a device that requires a small transmitter to be inserted into the skin and the device sticks in place for up to 10 days. This drastically cuts down finger pokes and middle of the night wake ups. The device checks the child's blood glucose every five minutes with out a finger poke. The level is transmitted to the meter and also the child's cell phone alerting the child when needed as well as the parents phones which are entered into the device and any other important people such as school nurses and coaches. This would allow myself and all other parents to monitor our children while they are out of our care at sporting events and at friends houses trying to be a normal child. As well as while they sleep giving parents peace of mind.
This would give children freedom and a sense of normalcy in turn possibly reducing the amount of money spend by Medicaid on ICU stays for days and also allow parents to not miss work because life threatening levels are able to be detected hours sooner than traditional blood glucose meter readings. Medicaid would spend less on mental healthcare as well. Due to the lack of sleep and ability to do the same things as other children such as sleepovers my daughter has been hospitalized on a suicidal watch for five days, two different times in a month. Which was paid for by Medicaid as well.
The Dexcom device is an amazing device that is helping so many parents with T1D children to allow their children to feel a little more normal. The problem is that Medicaid in Texas will not cover the Dexcom device and the supplies required. Parents like myself, a single mother, and full time college student, can not afford to pay out of pocket so the children suffer.
Stop making the children suffer and help to give them a portion of their childhood back. You can not take diabetes away from the child but you can reduce their stress from being a T1D.
Sign this petition in order to have Medicaid cover all expenses required for the Dexcom device for all children.
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