Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Kiss from a Rose

This is a brief post, the first of two that I shall be publishing in the next two days. 

Tomorrow’s is about my experience of a DAFNE course, and as such it is typical of the sort of stuff that I and many others post because we have diabetes. I hope it is at least interesting to others and potentially helpful to them. But in the end, it’s self-indulgent and trivial.

However, this one is anything but. I’m writing this post because of a campaign which has been drawn to our attention by one Chris Aldred, better known to the dia-world as the Grumpy Pumper

For this, Chris deserves endless credit: beneath that grumpy persona beats a heart of pure gold, as we all know, and he has done us all a favour by reminding us just how lucky we are, or more importantly, how unlucky others are. And to do something about it.

It’s about the Spare a Rose Campaign, which aims to draw attention to the grotesque inequalities that exist as regards diabetes care and treatment in different countries. Quite simply, this should remind all of us in the UK that however badly done by we may feel, our life with diabetes is – excuse the pun – a bed of roses compared to many other parts of the world.


We were reminded in the news only yesterday by the clergyman father of Lauri Love, the English computer hacker threatened with extradition to the USA for allegedly stealing details from the FBI, that "To be born English is to win first prize in the lottery of life" This is variation of a quotation originally attributed to Cecil Rhodes, yet despite that provenance from a man who represents much that is wrong about our past, it is not a bad thought to carry in the context of healthcare.

We are the lucky ones.

Take this as an example: A few minutes ago, I received a delivery of FreeStyle Libre sensors, brought to my door by a courier, and paid for by me. I had tracked their arrival on an app on my phone, and immediately announced it to the world of Twitter, because there has been an issue regarding delays in sensor supplies to UK customers, caused, it is alleged, by the spike in demand caused by their availability on the NHS. It’s the sort of thing we all tend to do on social media. We moan because we can.

How pathetic am I, that I have been bothered about a delay – only a delay – in the availability of a device which is, yes, of great value to my diabetes management, but essentially a luxury in a worldwide context.

Elsewhere in the world, it is a shortage, or unavailability of, insulin which is the issue. In the USA, it is the extortionate price of insulin which is the issue. And indeed less than a hundred years ago, insulin therapy had yet to be invented. Successful treatment of Type One Diabetes started within living memory, and in many parts of the world is still not a reality.

So let’s just remember that next time we moan about some frankly trivial aspect of our care and treatment by the NHS. We are the lucky ones. And before anyone accuses me of finger pointing, may I remind myself that whenever you point a finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back.


Let’s all join our man Grumps and donate the cost of a Valentine’s rose – or more if we can. Let’s all Spare a Rose. The website is here:-


Chris will be leading a #gbdoc tweetchat on the topic tonight, Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 21:00 GMT from the @GBDocTChost account. Please join in if you can, and let's give some less fortunate than ourselves a metaphorical Kiss from a Rose

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