Assessment Task 1 Case Scenario: Debbie
Debbie is 42 year old woman who lives in Walgett in northern NSW. She has just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus by her GP, and has been given a referral to a specialist three hours’ drive away in Dubbo. Debbie has a history of asthma and has a BMI of 28.
Debbie grew up in Walgett and has lots of family members living nearby including her mother, several brothers, and many members of her extended family. Debbie is single and has three adult children aged 26, 24 and 23.
Debbie left school at the end of Year 10 and has worked casually as a cleaner throughout her life. In the last two years, however, most of her regular clients have cancelled her services due to financial insecurity resulting from drought. Debbie says that her work always used to keep her active, but now that she is not working as much she has put on weight and feels fatigued all the time. She says she has never been able to exercise because of her asthma.
Debbie’s two youngest children live at home with her. Her son, Paul, has worked as a shearer but is currently unemployed. Her daughter, Casey, works ten hours per week in a local bottle shop and is looking for more work. Casey’s two year-old daughter Violet also lives with them. Debbie looks after Violet while Casey is working or staying at her boyfriend’s on the weekend.
Prior to the drought, Debbie’s income was enough to comfortably cover her major expenses such as rent, groceries and petrol. There was usually some money left which she liked to use to get her hair or nails done, or save for Christmas. Since the drought took hold and Debbie’s income has dropped, she is only able to pay her rent and buy basic groceries. Debbie buys pasta, milk and bread in bulk and makes large family meals such as macaroni cheese, spaghetti bolognaise and lasagne. She used to occasionally buy fresh fruit and vegetables but became frustrated that it was often wasted because it went off, or her family did not like it. Debbie now prefers to prioritise food that will be eaten by her family without fuss. She also likes to buy chocolate, soft drinks and cakes for her family, as she says that “they need something to cheer them up – times are tough at the moment”.
Debbie used to drink tap water throughout the day, however since Walgett switched to bore water in 2018, Debbie has stopped drinking tap water because she does not like the taste. She now has a few cups of tea with two teaspoons of sugar each day.
In 2018 Debbie was diagnosed with influenza and spent a week in Walgett Multipurpose Service on IV antibiotics. Debbie did not know that influenza could be so serious, and she had never heard of “Fluvax” before. During her hospitalisation, Debbie’s extended family and friends were very supportive. They visited her regularly, took turns caring for Violet and ensured that Debbie’s pets were fed. Since that time, Debbie has ensured that she gets “Fluvax” from her GP every year, and she encourages her family and friends to do the same.