Category Archives: costs of diabetes

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.

Costly Disease

Recently someone I know was diagnosed with diabetes. Because this person is an adult, they have yet to decide if they are Type 1 or Type 2.  The process of finding an exact diagnosis exceedingly slow and painful for me to watch.  I want to see this person feeling better and back on their feet. I want them to be able to learn how to take care of themselves and reclaim their lives.
 
In my desire to help, I have offered tips and information on treatment options. I am fully aware that some doctors prefer a  tried and true older method of care in part because of the costs associated with the best care  options.  I know that this person would want to have the best life possible.  I never thought a lot about the cost factor. I always tend to look at quality of life.
 
I am lucky.  My son has insurance that covers test strips and insulin.  We live in a province that covers his pump and supplies until he is 25. The only thing that we have to worry about paying for is a continuous glucose monitor and at the moment I am still working to convince him that he wants one.
 
I also have great credit and have been able to purchase his supplies out of pocket on my Visa card and then pay my Visa off when the reimbursement cheque came in.  Not everyone is so lucky.  In the case of this person who has diabetes (type unknown), there is some insurance but no direct billing.  All strips and medications must be paid up front.  This family does not have a credit card to use to help delay payment.  They have to look at paying everything in cash.
 
The cost of diabetes supplies was a huge shock to them.  The idea of paying $1 every time this person had to check their blood seemed ridiculous. Their answer was that testing would be cut down or non-existent once the doctors knew what was going on.
 
My heart broke.  Its not that simple especially if the diagnosis is Type 1(which is a strong possibility).  To stop testing puts this person at risk for so many things.  They do not yet understand how vital the information from that test strip will be for their daily lives.  They do not yet know that testing must occur before eating, during the night, before exercise, and even before driving.
 
This family now has to learn how to deal with a very serious disease that will bring stresses into their lives that were previously unknown.  There is relief for them in knowing what is going on health-wise but the financial burden is something that they have not anticipated.
 
We live in a country that is proud of its public health care system.  This family can recieve a diagnosis without worrying about spending a small fortune or having the proper insurance.  They cannot however anticipate any help to pay for the medications and supplies that will be needed to stay healthy after a diagnosis is finally made and that is the biggest tragedy of all.
health and money