Chris is a diabetic
When I first scanned the headlines, Operation Yellowhammer sounded like a bad TV movie from the 80’s (Picture: Chris McGuire)

When you step onto a plane, you trust the engineers know what they’re doing – that the correct nuts have been tightened and the seats have all been returned to an upright position.

Similarly, when you bite into a take-away burger, you trust that the person who made it washed their hands after their most recent ablution and you’re not going to be spending the next few days having quality time in the smallest room in the house.

But when you find yourself, as I did, diagnosed with a disease like type 1 diabetes, you have to start trusting on a whole new level.

Every day, as a diabetic, I’m completely reliant on insulin. Without it I will die. Simple as that.

Knowing that you are completely and utterly reliant on a substance supplied to you by others, as part of long and complication process of manufacture and delivery that you’re a little foggy about, takes a lot of trust.

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The thing is, these days, trust is in short supply. And it seems, with a no-deal Brexit, that insulin may well be in short supply, too.

Brexit just got real.

When I first scanned the headlines, Operation Yellowhammer sounded like a bad TV movie from the 80’s. Sadly not, it’s a briefing document, initially for government eyes only, that explains the worst case scenarios that Britain and the British will face as a result of a no-deal Brexit.

They told us Brexit would be a piece of cake – the trouble is eating cake isn’t always great for diabetics.

In this document you’ll find a reference to the possibility of some supplies of medicines experiencing ‘expected delays of up to six months’. The document discusses how some medicines have a short shelf life and cannot be stockpiled. Presumably these medicines include insulin, which doesn’t last long and must be refrigerated – the vast majority of our insulin in the UK is imported from abroad.

This is not good news.

As a UK citizen, I trusted that Brexit – an idea I’m totally against and cannot for the life of me see the benefit of – would be handled in a way which didn’t put me on the front line of (literal) risk. The desire of others to follow their own political agendas has placed me in the position of necessarily turning my trust into ‘hope’.

I trust the sky will be blue tomorrow, I hope I’ll get something nice for Christmas. Hope is far from certain.

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Right now I want some certainty.

My fears were not allayed by the joint release put out by the TUC Health Unions regarding Operation Yellowhammer: ‘Many medicines, including life-saving agents for cancer diagnosis and therapy, cannot be stockpiled and for those that can, those stockpiles could run out. These kinds of shortages and delays can be fatal. No responsible government should take that risk.’

It’s understandable that many with chronic conditions are becoming frustrated, the rise of #DeathByBrexit hashtag on social media, reflects that I’m not the only one feeling their trust has been totally misplaced.

I’m fully aware that the voice of a remoaner (God I hate that word) diabetic like me is not going to change anything when it comes to Brexit – it was hard enough for our actual MPs to have their voices heard.

But right now I’m waiting for an injection, not of insulin, but of good old-fashioned statesman/woman-ship. It’s time for someone with a sensible head (no Boris, I said ‘sensible’) to rise out of the quagmire – and sort it out. This, unfortunately, seems a distant hope.

Yes, no doubt after a time Brexit will be muddled through – but how many people will suffer during this transition? Are they a price our society is prepared to pay?

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And what will I do in the meantime? Should I stockpile insulin? Well, let’s put it this way, I’ll have my full allotted quota on 31 October. And after that I’ll have nothing more than a latent sense of hope in things turning out OK.

They told us Brexit would be a piece of cake – the trouble is eating cake isn’t always great for diabetics.

For more from Chris see chrismcguirewriter.wordpress.com or @McGuireski on Twitter.

MORE: Operation Yellowhammer: What it means for electricity and energy prices

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