Category Archives: cost of diabetes care

New Age, New Worries

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I hate to think about it.

I can feel my stomach start to churn.

This isn’t right.

My son is 19.  He has stumbled along, trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life.  It has been a challenge but he is meeting it.  Slowly he is  making his way.

Unlike his brother who finished high school and instantly knew what he wanted to do in terms of a career, my youngest son has been a bit more uncertain.  He has applied for a variety of trades but finding the right fit isn’t easy.

He needs a job with great benefits. He wants something that will interest him.  He needs to be employable in a slumping economy.  It can be a challenge for any young person.

He isn’t just any young person however.  He is a young person with diabetes and  diabetes doesn’t care that he doesn’t know what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

Diabetes doesn’t care that he may soon be removed from his parent’s insurance plan.

Diabetes doesn’t care that he doesn’t have a job with insurance.

Diabetes doesn’t care that his provincial drug plan offers very little assistance.

Diabetes demands that he check bg levels multiple times per day.  He still must find insulin to use daily. He is required  to make appointments and order insulin pump supplies. Diabetes doesn’t care how he does any of these things but if he wants to live, he has to find a way.

He is just 19.  He should be concerned with going to school. He should be concerned with finding a career path.  He shouldn’t be concerned with health care costs.

The reality is that those are things that he has to be concerned with however.  He is still in school but will insurance still recognize this? I am not sure.

There is some help for pump supplies in our province but because of some of his own mis-steps, his coverage has lapsed. Together we will work on getting him back in the program but it will take time.

There is a provincial drug plan.  They  allow you a set number of test strips for the year but some strips covered will be better than none when the time comes.

Some days the reality of life with an expensive illness…well its overwhelming despite the fact that I am not  the person who has to test or inject daily.  He understands that it will be expensive.  This is his life. It has been for loner than he can remember. It still makes my heart ache. I still wish that I could take it away.

I can’t. We will do our best and that will be fine.

Twice a week should do it!

Over the holidays, my boys  and I were sitting at our kitchen table enjoying an after supper conversation.  My youngest son happened to look at a drug store receipt on the table and said “$160 for a month of test strips? That’s crazy!”

I quickly explained that sadly that did not cover a month’s worth of testing.  I also reminded him that there was still the cost of insulin and pump supplies to add to that monthly diabetes care bill. 

He was completely incensed.  He was adamant that he would NOT be spending that kind of money on his diabetes care when he was older.  This was insane by his calculation.  No one should have to pay such crazy amounts to stay alive.

He decided that he would have to seriously cut down his testing when he was forced to cover his own supply costs.  He informed me that when we went to diabetes events and he filled out cards, they always asked if he tested only a few times per week.  He had to state that he was the child of an obsessive tester and tested closer to 10 times per day.  My young son felt that these cards(geared to people with Type 2 diabetes) justified him not testing in his adult years.

I groaned and tried to explain to him that a lack of testing was not an option to consider.  I had invested in a Disability Savings Plan for him and reminded him that it would give him some money towards his diabetes supplies when he was older.  I also encouraged him to keep contributing and taking advantage of the free government money.

This did nothing to pacify him.  He remained horrified at the cost of his care. He decided that it was the job of the government to cover his costs.  If they did not pay for his supplies, he would die. It was simple.

I wish it was that simple. I wished that governments actually cared. His throught processes scare me at times. I pray that he does have good coverage when he gets older…and more importantly that he uses the tools available to him to keep himself healthy.