have been discharged from hospital after your diagnosis of type 1 diabetes you
are probably wondering what to do next! Well, here’s some help in the form of suggestions
from the Starter Kit; a guide for Adults with Type 1 Diabetes
. It’s comforting
to know that there is a list.
Find out who you can call in an emergency. Your
endocrinologist or diabetes nurse specialist might give you their mobile
number. Most major public hospitals will have an endocrinologist on call, so
you could call and ask for them to be paged. In a serious emergency, call an
ambulance. But whatever it is, make sure you have a number in your wallet or
programmed into your mobile phone because you can guarantee it will be 3am on a
Sunday when you have an urgent dilemma!
If you have
Drivers’ License notify your local Motor taxation office; this is required by
law. The Motor Tax Office will ask you
to submit an application for another license, with a GP or specialist’s report
and two photos. A new license will be
issued to you at no extra cost. It will
now have a ‘101 restriction’ – all this means is that you will have to submit a
medical report when you renew your license on the next occasion – there will be
no reference to diabetes on your license.
are applying for a drivers’ license for the first time or renewing, your GP or
specialist will fill in a medical form which accompanies your application.
Essentially what they’re looking for is that you haven’t had a bad hypo (low
blood sugar) recently and you get heaps of warning symptoms when one’s coming
along - so the doctor basically needs to write ‘no hypoglycaemia unawareness’
in the comments section.
your car insurance company as soon as you can after you have been diagnosed. Don’t
worry they cannot increase your insurance premium because of your diabetes
unless they can show that you, as an individual, are more at risk than you were
prior to your diagnosis, which is virtually impossible. However, if you do not
inform them that you have diabetes and you do make a claim the insurer can
invalidate your cover.
You can also talk to Diabetes Ireland about this and other insurance
cover such as mortgage, mortgage protection and travel insurance.
Long Term Illness (LTI) Book or a GP visit card. Usually, this process has been started for you while you are in
hospital but just in case. If you do not have a medical card then you are
entitled to a LTI book, which provides all of your diabetes medication and
supplies free of charge. You can get an application form from your local health
office or your GP, it needs to be completed by you and your doctor and must be
returned to your local health office.
During 2012, people who claim free drugs under
the Long Term Illness Scheme will have
free GP care. The details for this have not been finalized. Diabetes Ireland
will make an announcement when this benefit is available. Watch their website
If you have medical card you are entitled to free GP visits and hospital
care, free medication, pens/syringes, lancets and glucose monitoring strips.
Most people have to have income below certain limits but if an individual is
near the limit and has on-going medical expenses it may be granted. Apply
through your community welfare officer at your local health centre.
out what sort of hypo supplies work best for you. Some
useful places to have some sort of sugar available:
Glove box of
your handbag/backpack, or back pocket if going out;
Desk drawer or
locker at work;
or pencil case;
boyfriend/girlfriend/best mate’s house.
worry - You are not going to use all
these supplies in the first week, it’s just that you can generally guarantee that
a ‘hypo’ (especially your first) will take you by surprise and happen when you
least expect it.
Glucose Meter. Find one that works for you!
(Note: a search on the Internet is likely to also showcase monitors that are
only available in the US and Europe). This thing is going to have to go
EVERYWHERE with you so choose one that you reckon is easy to use and not too
ugly. They are free and you can usually
get them directly from the manufacturer or from your Diabetes Nurse Specialist.
going to be sitting exams this year? If so, make
contact with the appropriate person at your education institution and inquire
about ‘Special Conditions’ such as being allowed to take in food, for your
exam. You should be entitled to these so organise it now as it’s the last thing
you want to be worrying about in the lead-up to the exams. If you are a student
who is filling out a CAO form you should note that you may be eligible for the
Disability Access Route to Education (DARE). You will find more information on
this on and
Get yourself a medical alert ID. This helps
emergency personnel treat you appropriately should the need arise. If this
totally freaks you out, there are a couple of other options, (though a well-known
bracelet like Medic alert is the most easily recognisable symbol if you get
into trouble). Engrave a piece of jewellery you wear all the time with
something like ‘Diabetes on Insulin’. Carry a card in your wallet (available if
you become a member of Diabetes Ireland). At the very least, this is the kind
of thing that relaxes our stressed-out mammy’s!